The Mosse Program supports and sustains an international scholarly community informed by multiple perspectives and cultural traditions exemplified by George L. Mosse. » Learn More
- For Mosse, the fact that the study of myths, rites, and symbols in mass movements did not wither away within the temporal confines of the first half of the twentieth century, nor in the systemic and political confines of totalitarian regimes, was crucial for the sustainability of democratic regimes. The various actors and protagonists in democratic regimes also find themselves having to come to terms with the necessity of mobilizing the masses, of proposing a Weltanschauung, a vision of existence that is capable of answering the most fundamental questions, of offering, in other words, a realized vision of Man, of the State, of society, and of the historical process. The parties of mass movements compete on the ground with myths and symbols and they battle for the individual soul, and mass consensus, especially within a context like that of the Cold War, rightly defined as a “war of representation” or, alternatively, a war “for hearts and minds” and, in any case, a concept that claimed for itself its own dimension of religious competition. Mosse saw the danger of a political situation in which such a large part of the population was alienated from governmental institutions and was, in fact, actively opposed to them. – From: George L. Mosse, Intervista su Aldo Moro, A cura di Alfonso Alfonsi (Rubbettino, 2015).
- In this 1991 interview with Jean Feraca for Wisconsin Public Radio, George Mosse comments on how racism had again become “respectable” in U.S. politics. The topic of the interview was the political campaign of David Duke for governor of Louisiana, and the Willie Horton ads employed by the Bush campaign. Mosse also addresses the nature and mechanics of reactionary mass politics: “The danger is that one way to integrating the underclass, the disenfranchised, into society, is, in fact, through demagoguery. Yes? Not through democracy as we know it, but through demagoguery, through leadership. Yes? Through making them participate.”
- The Mosse Program is a direct beneficiary of current restitution efforts to locate and return the art collection of Rudolf Mosse (grandfather of George L. Mosse). The most recently restored work is this Antonine-era mummy portrait. For recent developments, and for more information, visit the Mosse Art Project.
Mosse Materials (Visit the Archive tab):