A tale told by an idiot.

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Fred
A tale told by an idiot.
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We've already had the end of history once, so we can't have that again.  And although we've had a brief history of time, it can't surely be time for time to end - though there is global warming. Yet I get the feeling occasionally that we are kind of at the end of an era. You could put that down to age, but I'm not having that!  So what might it be?

The TV this morning is over bloated with information about the incredibly boring and utterly pointless election in the US. The pundits make no attempt to hide their excitement.  But is anybody truly interested?  Does anyone care any more?  Some women were interviewed in Texas and said they weren't interested at all. It didn't matter anymore. Is this a first for TV? I mean to actually show people who said it didn't matter whether the Senate  changed hands or not. 

Then there was a poll on British TV that showed the race to the bottom of the unpopularity stakes of the various political leaders as the next election looms. All the party leaders are in negative territory and are more or less all equally despised or even resented. Poor little Ed Milliband - once the fiery and feared "Red Ed" the commie - who never says anything at all these days,  is even more unpopular than David Cameron who favours a dominant profile of huffing and puffing.  

And then there's ISIS: the acronym that once spread  fear.  Now it seems they've chopped off one too many heads and are becoming unpopular with those who were previously on their side: the lost and lonely youth of decomposing capital. The wars in Syria and Iraq, the machinations of the oil Giants of the Middle East  have all suffered such massive news coverage of the death and destruction they sponsor and  are involved in as to be rendered clearly and unequivocally loathsome, crazed and idiotic in their bourgeois obsessions to all but the most sleepy of TV  viewers.     

Things fall apart: capitalism cannot hold no more.

Ah! Capitalism. A tale told by an idiot.  The way to dusty death!  The bourgeoisie has become "...the poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more...Out, out brief candle!"   (with apologies to Shakespeare's Macbeth.) 

 

baboon
Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow...

I think that the reference to Macbeth and the bloody feudal warlord's lust for power is appropriate to the capitalist class of another time. Macbeth is no banality of evil but an expression of a single-minded and ruthless bid for Kingship within that society that entails treachery and the foulest deeds. Shakespeare, in my opinion, very much links the murder, mayhem and decomposition of the era to the passage of time from "what's done is done", "what's done cannot be undone" to "the last syllable of recorded time" in the passage quoted by Fred. The  prophecies are almost incidental to the base actions of Macbeth and his Lady as both have already made up their minds about what they need and must do in order to sieze power. And from the beginning, it seems that Macbeth knows that it will end in doom. Only once does he show the slightest glimpse of humanity and that's towards the end when confronted by Macduff, whose wife and children he has mercilessly slaughtered. The best cinematic versions of Macbeth are, I think, Kurosawa's "Throne of Blood" and the attempt by Orsen Welles whose Gothic representations are expressive of the seat of power of Glamis castle and it wider baleful influence, which is entirely consistent with Shakespeare.

I've just started to re-read Twelfth Night and this too is concerned with the passage of time but from a much more positive perspective. Time here is opportunity, possibilities and play, adjusting to new situations that can along with the time can be positively figured "O time, thou must untangle this not I".

Thanks for raising this Fred.

Demogorgon
"I don't know what the ICC

"I don't know what the ICC thinks about Slavoj Zizek, but he claims that we are living in the end times. He says that we must recognise that utter ruin is indeed the destiny of humanity, and that in recognising that, we can take action right now to, as it were, change the past. That is, if we are to let history take it's course then it will end in apocolypse, and smug little histories will be written talking about how humanity was always going to end up this way, we are a barbarous species etc. But if we intervene like many are trying and will do, we can change this future ontologising retrospectively."

I'm not at all sure what any of this means. Are you saying we should somehow rewrite history to have a more "positive" view of humanity? Obviously, to a certain extent Marxists do this anyway - by pointing out the capacity for solidarity and community that has existed in all stages of human existence but is concealed in the atomisation of bourgeois ideology. Is that what you're getting at?

"Obviously a humanity unleashed from class society can do incredible unthinkable things, we could solve climate change in a second I have no doubt, but we can't rely on the inevitable victory of the proletariat etc. as was optimistically believed in the past."

The victory of the proletariat has never been inevitable. And it's certainly true that we are now in a historic phase where time is against us. So no, we can't rely on it. But there is no alternative. Without a proletarian victory, the ultimate fate of this civilisation is a collapse of far more profundity than that of the Roman Empire. This or that reformist movement may slow the tide of dissolution here and there, but only at the price of further grinding down the only force that can actually change the end result.

jk1921
I've never been able to

I've never been able to understand Zizek much. I think that's what he aims for. I know he hates liberal multiculturalism and sees himself as attempting to construct some sort of alternative to both liberal democracy and post-modernism nihilism, but he also makes provacative references to the "greatness of Stalinism" and such. Some people think he is a total fraud. I don't know if I'd go that far, but generally speaking, I don't think he helps clarify a whole lot. I mostly agree with Demo's take on the substantive stuff; although I am increasingly weary of collapse metaphors.

Demogorgon
"I mostly agree with Demo's

"I mostly agree with Demo's take on the substantive stuff; although I am increasingly weary of collapse metaphors."

Collapse does imply some sudden implosion and it's more likely, in the current trajectory, to be a slow drawn-out process. Perhaps I'm slipping back into old habits using that term. Hence the alternative metaphor of decomposition ... One might also call it a slow motion car crash.