The illusion of modernity and the uncertainty of the future.

03 Oct

Taking as its premise that modernity has not overcome its contradictions and neither used the same to build a new paradigm in the construction of a new historical cycle. We remain as modern as was the last century as a liberal, capitalist, secular, democratic, bourgeois, individualistic, divided and deceived by a supposed individual autonomy and not less Freudian. When I refer to modernity, I refer to modern Western society, and that the eastern society I possess very little knowledge to refer about her, to us, these societies have a conception of foreign. Having modernity as a reference and tool for the transcendence of thought in an analysis of time “before,” I can see that our future would not be very different from what is already present today. In a semantic analysis and verbal, I can say that the future that was before some time in the past, referring to the tense of the Future perfect, impregnated amazements apocalyptic and revolutions, giving rise to the hope of renewal, revolution and redemption. Today, the future of the past, has proved a repetition time it promises more of the same to all, in a cyclical process of facts already witnessed and old.


In Freudian psychoanalysis, repetition has a value associated with the eternal recurrence of symptomatic neurosis, which can be interpreted as the processing of a traumatic experience, incorporated the dynamics of mental processes. In psychoanalysis, the repetition reveals the resistance of the individual to the return of repression. The pleasure principle leads the individual to repeat, this being, the basic mechanism of pleasure and enjoyment which is situated beyond the vital functioning of the human mind. But Freud indicates that the existence of the instinct of pleasure and enjoyment is necessary to the death drive, because both drives do not act in isolation, are always working together, according to the principle of preserving life. If the distance in time reveals how modernity is far from overcoming its contradictions, the fantasy of a different future can be seen hampered by repeating the existing, indicating the attempt to construct a future based on the experiences of the generations that preceded us, even if these experiments are based on reminiscences of the forms of social organization and subjective concepts that the cycle of capitalism has tried to bury permanently. With the end of the narrative, which is a traditional form of transmission experiments, dictated by the condition of life in large cities, there is a great chance to repeat the past, not the exercise of knowledge, ie, for wisdom, but as a symptom a neurosis.

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The projection of the future in these conditions would be like to recover the memory of the original paradise and with it develop a revolutionary future. Would unable to create that sees beyond the repetition of lack of hope, poverty, inequality, wrapped in a feeling of closeness of a time in our perception goes more and more rapidly. The modern sentiment points to a future as more of the same, in spite of technological innovations, which by itself does not make the future, she only collaborates human emancipation in the primacy of their primary needs.


The quote made ​​by Walter Benjamin said in 1933 that the “monstrous technical development” overlaid the man working to promote, not peace and universal harmony, but the war. Melancholy is not like a individual pathology, but a cultural problem, realizing that one of the origins of the provision would be melancholy fatalism, feelings of worthlessness of the subject that is not seen able to transform the world and, therefore, faced with a opportunity as more of the same. The melancholic individual is not always is recognized yourself as sad. The melancholy fatalism affects precisely those who seek to forget the historic defeats of their ancestors and following, fascinated, “the triumphal procession of the victors.” The melancholic is one who renounced his transforming power of the present in exchange for affective identification with the “powerful on duty.” If there is no transformation, we care about the future? If we add today that the future is proposed as an endless succession of “more of the same,” we do not think he gets more and more rapidly? It would seem that, instead of representing a distant time wish fulfillment and achievements, he is always before us, waiting for us to demand our openness, does not seem today, the future, a time that awaits us urgently and robs us of the opportunity to wait for it?


When yearn for a future that “is no longer what it was,” would not this be the fantasy of the far future, the future of renewed hope, there’s still a child aspires one day to achieve? There are times, however, when the future is approaching with speed and frightens us, as a barbarian horde to destroy everything we hold dear, all the delicacy of the world, all the complex web of relationships that sustains us. This future is not desired, ever. For fear that future individual melancholic tries, futilely, to settle yourself a time stagnant, inactive: the time it does not pass that characterizes contemporary depression. In this future was referring Walter Benjamin in 1933, the year of the triumphant rise of Hitler in Germany, as the time of arrival of a new barbarism, time dominated by the void of experience, characteristic of a generation that, therefore, was available to accept and absorb all without resistance presented to them as new. This is the indigence that you mentioned in the title of Benjamin brief essay “Experience and Poverty”. The impossibility of transmitting experiences between generations, pressed for time accelerated the economic crisis in the interwar period, coupled with the unbridled development of technology, would have produced, for the author, a “new form of misery”: “for which the value of our cultural heritage, the experience no longer binds us? ” Not always the new barbarians are ignorant or inexperienced: what they aspire, Benjamin writes, is to get rid of the whole experience. “They aspire to a world that can boast so pure and clear their poverty external and internal, that something decent can result from it?”


Benjamin could not obviously have read Lacan, who decades later stood ignorance, and hatred and love, as “passions of Being.” Passions of those who do not tolerate the confrontation with his subjective division. “I do not want to know anything,” clinging to ignorance that characterizes the new barbarism diagnosed by Walter Benjamin on the eve of World War II, would be precisely the subjective disposition be able to promote both the amorous passion, individual, as passionate hatreds that can ignite crowds and authorize any kind of violence in the name of ideals of segregation and purity. Thus, when we say, with a certain nostalgia, the future today is no longer what it was before, always worth asking what time “before” we are referring. The past, even as barbarian, always seems a safe place before our eyes. The past has been lived, contains no more uncertainty, so think of it as a time of tranquility. But the past has been the expectation of terror. It is preferable that the future today, not in the present as it was before: the period between the two world wars, for example. Or years of lead Brazilians. When we feel nostalgia for what has been, it is always good to pay attention melancholy fatalism that makes us want to change the uncertain future that requires our participation, for a sweet past before which no longer have anything to do.



Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Philosophy


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