Alessandro Bazzocchi

Atlantis. Remarks on the political history of a myth

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Atlantis; Mass Culture; Irrationalism; Racism; Mythology.

The present article analyzes the political contents of books concerning the myth of Atlantis. Between the 19 th and the 20 th centuries books on Atlantis became very popular in Europe and in the United States of America. Authors of these books believed that Atlantis had really existed in a very remote age of gold, which they identified with the origins of the human race. Authors of books on Atlantis were followers of irrationalism, a philosophical movement which emphasized instinct and will over and against reason. As a consequence, while exalting racism and preindustrial society, books on Atlantis strongly oppose progress, industrialization process and capitalism, which are on the contrary supported by Positivism and Darwinism. The present article demonstrates that books focusing on Atlantis contributed to the spread of the ideology later expressed by totalitarian regimes.

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