Friday, 5 October 2012

We are all of us "conservatives," "liberals," and "socialists"...

"Conservatives romanticize the past, liberals romanticize the present, socialists romanticize the future."

Nicely said. But it is missing a fourth phase: "...and we all of us romanticize nihilism."

Our society has put to work all of the modes of romanticizing named by Auerbach: total dearth of meaning goes hand in hand with a sentimentalizing, feminizing, nostalgia for an invented yet generic past, as we look out the most momentary of salvational teloi for our otherwise forsaken lives; lack of engagement with and commitment to anything finds its mode of being in an "it could always be otherwise" openness to countless alternative, "minority," principles and practices; and the fact that there is nothing satisfying to be had for us here and now is smoothed over by an infantilizing orientation towards the future...next time, at Christmas, when I retire, when the economy picks up...

We are all of us "conservatives," "liberals," and "socialists"; for, "conservatism," "liberalism" and "socialism" are the ways in which we find the utter nihilism of our lives to be, not just bearable, but meaningful, comforting, lovely...

These are the days "when nihilism speaks of happiness..." (Tiqqun).

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