Wagner and the Philosophy of Revolution:
Professor Anthony Grayling looks at the crucial years before and after the Dresden uprising of 1849 when Wagner was manning the barricades with revolutionaries such as Mikhail Bakunin. After the death of the philosopher, Hegel, in 1831, a group of his followers, the Young Hegelians argued that the forces of freedom and reason would continue to conquer everything in their way. Into this heady mix came the attacks on religious orthodoxy of Ludwig Feurbach and the political and economic theories of Proudhon. Wagner drank this all in greedily. And during his years of exile in Switzerland these ideas bubbled away and were reborn in his own philosophical essays concerning the artwork of the future aimed at remaking society along utopian socialist lines.