One important aspect of the Circle's generational rejection of their parent's values was a belief that a distant, unemotional, detached style of thinking that characterized Austrian middle-class culture was responsible for cultural shallowness and decay. Instead, inspired by the ideologies of Nietzsche and Wagner, the Circle members extolled the virtue of passion and emotion in political and cultural life. Emotion was viewed as closer to Nature and to ultimate reality than intellect. Passionate engagement was called for to address the needs of society. Circle members saw their society as one in which, in the terms set down by Nietzsche in his Birth of Tragedy, the Apollonian element was in excessive dominance.
This belief was clearly reflected in the political style of Adler (both in his oratory and the symbolic/dramatic elements he introduced into mass organization). It was reflected in the dramatic emotionalism of Mahler's music. And the conflict between the Apollonian and the Dionysian is an essential theme in Lipiner's work.