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By A. M. Pusca

Following the spirit of Benjamin's Arcades undertaking, this book acts as a kaleidoscope of swap within the twenty first century, tracing its assorted reflections within the overseas modern whereas looking to comprehend individual/collective reactions to alter via a chain of artistic methodologies.

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Italian intellectuals were aware of it, Machiavelli’s writings representing one of the earliest examples of such awareness. 53 Further, Gramsci may have heightened his interest in the Pacific while sojourning in Moscow in the early 1920s. After all, 32 Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Change Russia’s historically consistent imperialist outlook towards the East had dramatically accelerated during the 19th century as it engaged, next to Britain, France, Germany and the United States, in economic, diplomatic, and financial processes which contributed to an acceleration in the disintegration of the Chinese empire.

Gramsci uses the terms of uneven cultural and moral preparation of the Italian people when discussing the unevenness of a ‘longue duree’ of what Benjamin would have called ‘public intellectuality’. 62 Gramsci, who compares Italian ‘civil cultures’ to those of Germany, France, and Britain, registers a wide deficit in democratic consciousness in Italy due to the immense heterogeneity in moral and intellectual preparation. 63 By inquiring into the democratic deficits of Italy’s civil cultures, Gramsci developed a comparative sociology of intellectuals in Europe.

2 For studies of Weber’s methodology, see Fritz Ringer [1997] Max Weber’s Methodology. The Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences. Harvard UP: Cambridge, MA, USA and London, UK. For a brief historical overview of the location of the social sciences between natural sciences and the humanities, may I refer to my essay ‘The future of the Social Sciences’. In Journal of Social Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, Vol. 32, No. 1, January–June 2001, Ed. 1–36. 3 I am referring here to Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and its Discontent [1929], to Marcel Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu [1913–1927], and Max Weber’s powerful images of the ‘iron cage’ and ‘disenchantment’ as evoked in his Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism [1905].

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