Beauty, however, has a very dark side to it. This really should not be surprising since most powerful human emotions are double edged swords – the same knife that the surgeon uses to save a patient could be used to kill another.
In particular, Hitler employed his sense of art and beauty (he was an artist) to enthrall the German people. The Nazi swastika was used as a symbol of how German power would dominate; the torch light pageants were designed to recall the Nordic myths and German heritage; the massive gatherings were created to make people believe they were part of a magnificent larger whole and also to realize that they played only one small part, and that at the top of the structure, the highest point of the pageant, stood their leader, the Fuhrer, whom they would follow. In short Hitler’s carefully crafted sense of beauty was used to enslave an entire people to do his bidding.
And to make the question of beauty even more complicated. How should we regard the music of Richard Wagner. Wagner’s music was deliberately created to be very Germanic. It was revered by the Nazi’s and used to inspire their regime. Can it be seen as beautiful in and of itself irrespective of how it was used?