Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945)

Steinmetz W (2021)
Time & Society 30(4): 536-558.

Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
 
Download
Es wurden keine Dateien hochgeladen. Nur Publikationsnachweis!
Abstract / Bemerkung
Comparisons across historical times can appear in various shapes. Apart from simple then/now contrasts, three basic modalities may be distinguished: (1) Comparisons that stress similarity and repeatability (“once again”), (2) comparisons that claim absolute novelty, if not incommensurability between present and past (“never before”), and (3) comparisons that suggest a time lag between two entities which, although synchronous in calendar time, appear nonsynchronous in other respects (“too late”/“not yet”/“far ahead”). Relying on a broad range of comparison-performing utterances by leading politicians and observers, this article will assess the conjunctures of those three modalities of temporal comparison in 19th- and 20th-century German politics. Prima facie, one might expect an increase in the use of novelty claims (“never before”) and comparisons of the “too late”-type in that period of frequent upheavals. By contrast, the “once again”-variant should be declining because it builds on the historia magistra vitae topos which, according to Reinhart Koselleck, was dissolved in the post-1789 age of revolution. However, there is abundant evidence to show that historical examples and analogies continued to play a significant role all through the 19th and 20th centuries, whereas allegations of absolute novelty or of being too late remained limited to situations of imminent crisis. Even though the examples presented in this article refer to Germany’s special case, it will be argued that the pattern is typical for Western modernity at large: Modern political rhetoric and action are characterized not by one dominant regime, but a copresence of all three—competing—modalities of temporal comparison.
Erscheinungsjahr
2021
Zeitschriftentitel
Time & Society
Band
30
Ausgabe
4
Seite(n)
536-558
ISSN
0961-463X
eISSN
1461-7463
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2955507

Zitieren

Steinmetz W. Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945). Time & Society. 2021;30(4):536-558.
Steinmetz, W. (2021). Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945). Time & Society, 30(4), 536-558. https://doi.org/10.1177/0961463X211016183
Steinmetz, W. (2021). Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945). Time & Society 30, 536-558.
Steinmetz, W., 2021. Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945). Time & Society, 30(4), p 536-558.
W. Steinmetz, “Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945)”, Time & Society, vol. 30, 2021, pp. 536-558.
Steinmetz, W.: Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945). Time & Society. 30, 536-558 (2021).
Steinmetz, Willibald. “Once again—never before—too late: Competing modalities of temporal comparison in German politics (1790–1945)”. Time & Society 30.4 (2021): 536-558.

Export

Markieren/ Markierung löschen
Markierte Publikationen

Open Data PUB

Web of Science

Dieser Datensatz im Web of Science®

Suchen in

Google Scholar