Monday, December 3, 2012

further to the post about retro politics and Republicanism versus the "reality-based community", here's a column by the Guardian's Gary Younge based around that infamous phrase.

"Finally it appears defeat has sobered some of them up, forcing a rift between those willing to engage with the world as it is and others who prefer dystopian visions, woven from whole cloth."

the nub is "the word as it is", which is  capitalist realism / managerialism / incrementalism / pragmatism / "the end of history / "centuries of boredom"* 1

yes, paranoid-conspiracy, dystopian-apocalyptic  -isms are the reactionary version of "is and ought", but there are plenty of utopian versions of this kind of wishful politics -- not based in restorative nostalgia, but in fictive futurism

* 1 The end of history will be a very sad time. The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands. In the post-historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history. I can feel in myself, and see in others around me, a powerful nostalgia for the time when history existed. Such nostalgia, in fact, will continue to fuel competition and conflict even in the post-historical world for some time to come. Even though I recognize its inevitability, I have the most ambivalent feelings for the civilization that has been created in Europe since 1945, with its north Atlantic and Asian offshoots. Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again.”--Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?

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