Sunday, April 10, 2022

For Fukuyama it is this double demonstration, of the magnetism of representative institutions and of competitive markets, that has sealed the victory of liberal capitalism.”

One of the images above is an image of stability. The other illustrates the quote. Markets are only as liberal as the people who control them. The end of history is the end of time.

It would be simpler if Fukuyama tried to make the case that what's ended for now is the fantasy of the politics of utopia. But that would require him to face those who would argue that this is a return of history as the word is understood by historians as opposed to millenarians, to secularism and materialism as practiced, and the fading of the authority of philosophy as such. But his definition of liberalism is founded on ideas, to which acts are made to fit. Idealists are first idealists about themselves. And Anderson can't call bullshit on fantasies without calling bullshit on his own.
It still amazes me how so much self-defined "intellectual" debate reduces to theology, the relations of ideas coded as words woven into a web that's then labeled, without a wink or a smile, "True Map of the World".  It annoyed me when Arendt referred to "authority","power", "force",  "strength", as if they were elements in the periodic table. And Shklar refers to "radical" in the same way.

Tooze says Anderson's essay was a revelation. I don't fucking understand these people. His review works best as philology, but that's now it was intended. A Zone of Engagement includes a piece on Marshall Berman, another romantic liberal individualist. This shit is tiresome.

One of humanity’s recurring hopes has been that through history we might escape war. Since World War II Western Europe in particular has been invested in the idea of consigning war to the past. That is a hope that is based not just on a humanitarian impulse, but also on the sense that the basic questions of international politics were resolved and that for the settlement of whatever remained, the modern instruments of war – most notably nuclear weapons – were likely counterproductive. The era of military history was thus consigned to an earlier developmental phase.

He quotes Hochuli and Hoare’s The End of the End of History 

In Hegel’s view, the specific historic gain of the French Revolution was to reveal the universal character of human freedom, that is, the claim that freedom is in fact part of being human. Freedom was thus not merely an abstract philosophical proposition, but a political proposition that could be realized in concrete institutions. This was Hegel’s original meaning of the End of History – that whatever followed the French Revolution had to be based on the universal claims of human freedom. This in turn meant that no social or political order could ever be fully stable. The significance of this insight is that freedom cannot be limited or appended to one specific regime or order, as it is precisely the expansiveness and restlessness of human freedom that exceeds any one specific set of political and social institutions.

I've said it for 40 years: modern philosophy is the product of theologians struggling to come to terms with the absence of god, and therefore of purpose. And Nietzsche's anti-Christianity is predicated on the existence of what it struggles to oppose: Nietzsche's is a slave mentality in rebellion against itself. It's all so boring. 

I wrote somewhere recently that post-humanism describes the situation in Europe for the past 2000 years. Hegel's "insight" is important only in marking the fading of Christian teleology.

The end of history was the end of the age of Europeans fighting with each other; history returned when they began fighting each other again. It only makes sense that Hochuli and Hoare (and Cunliffe) would be useless on Israel. Liberals throw up their hands and walk away when conflicts make them uncomfortable. They lose the ability to analyze. There's more, but it's not worth it. He's a fan of Timothy Brennan. And I've mocked Lee Fang enough that he almost deserves his own tag.

Gordon Brown is calling for a new Nuremberg-style trial for Putin. Liberalism does make nihilism attractive.

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