Rebuilding Superman

November 1st, 2007


The celebration of the ‘body beautiful’ in the 1920s and 1930s is commonly associated with fascist Italy or nazi Germany. Focusing on the physical culture movement, this article argues that the endeavour to build a ‘superman’ was not confined to fascist dictatorships or Britain’s small fascist parties. There is an extensive literature on the ‘superman’ as a political icon and on the role of sport under fascism in Italy and nazi Germany. For Britain, Dan Stone has traced the influence of Nietzschean ideas on intellectuals and eugenicists who, if not fascist, were located at ‘the extremes of Englishness’. By contrast, the physical culture movement which originated in the late nineteenth century has received rather less attention. Joanna Bourke has portrayed the movement as a site of male bonding, uniting men through ‘worship of the gorgeous physique’ and offering techniques to develop male bodies to enhance military prowess, economic success and social harmony.


From here posted because of this from the Telegraph:

Ministers are designing new towns dedicated to promoting healthy living in a bid to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic, it has been reported.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said 10 “eco towns” already being planned by the Government to minimise the environmental impact of new housing should be extended to become “fit towns” […]

So still no new ideas from the current set of dunderheads.

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