Attitude Towards Life
The attitude towards life of the Weimar Republic during the phase of stabilisation between 1924 and 1929 was called «Americanism» by contemporaries. The term describes a transformation of both the external and the inner way of life caused by the inflow of American capital (Dawes Plan), the changes in the forms of production and consumption, the formation of an "employee culture" (Siegfried Kracauer) in the major cities and the rapidly growing importance of new media such as film and radio.
Aspects of «Americanism» were considered to be the following: the democratic principle of equality, the revolutionising of the needs of the population at large, the desire for material things, the beginning of mass culture, the acknowledgement of the employee as the final consumer, the fascination with technology and sport, the open satisfaction of needs for entertainment, distraction and diversion, the «de-sensualisation» of the erotic sphere, the relationship between the sexes based on partnership, in short: expedient, objective, sober and de-mystified ways of life.
The numerous conservative or politically left-wing as well as right-wing critics of this attitude towards life, on the other hand, identified the democratic principle with increased monotony, levelling down and de-individualisation. They either criticised that «American» capitalism, connected with the democratisation of needs, abolished differences whilst intervening in the private reserves of the citizenry, or they considered this democratisation to be a concealment of the new social relations of dependence.