Fascism, Iconoclasm and the Global Village

Stevenson, Guy. 2021. Fascism, Iconoclasm and the Global Village. In: Aaron Jaffe; Michael F. Miller and Rodrigo Martini, eds. Understanding Flusser, Understanding Modernism. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781501348433 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This essay compares two seminal twentieth century media theorists, Marshall McLuhan and Vilém Flusser and reads them as inheritors of different modernist traditions – the one appalled by the damage new media could wreak but exhilarated by its humanistic potential, the other quietly amused at the cruel global village he envisioned. Thinking back to McLuhan’s beginnings as a scholar of Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, Guy Stevenson places him in an early twentieth century conservative modernist tradition far removed from the politically progressive ideas Flusser used his work to reach. By extension, he considers the mid century and contemporary implications of these differences. What can Flusser’s negative critique of McLuhan teach us about the sixties counterculture the latter helped guide? What impact has this had – politically, socially, culturally - on our interaction with and through new emerging media?

Item Type:

Book Section


Marshall McLuhan, Vilém Flusser, Modernism, American Counterculture, fascism, The Global Village

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


11 September 2018Submitted
15 October 2018Accepted
11 April 2021Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Aug 2019 14:48

Last Modified:

06 May 2021 11:18



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