The perception of the end of history corresponds to the the perception of a transition from a life based on a stable identity and the institutional safeguards of the life course regime and organized according to a life-plan to one that is open playful, open and unpredictable, that is experienced as a game or is endless drifting, depending on individual or cultural temperament….. In this way the situational politics of late modernity is reflected in a new form of situational identity. In concrete contexts. both prove very capable of acting, making choices, and finding some kind of orientation, but in virtue of a contraction of the present defined by an intragenerational pace of social change. they are trans-situationally directionless. Decisions no longer unfold a morally binding effect or radiate into the future or the past. The events they bring about remain episodic in both individual and collective experience and no longer solidify into (life-)historically embedded and narratively connectable experiences… (Rosa 2005/13)
…our era, writes Agamben is one in which all reality has been turned into its image. Glamorous and alienating the spectacle has totalized itself and forever seperated human life from possibility of a common good… The word, has acquired its own materiality and has become a commodity. With the result that Language has been taken from us and and revealed only the nothingness of all things
We live in exceedingly dark times, the accusations made by Marx in the 19th century against capitalism, its sheer wastefulness and moral iniquity has lost none of its truthfulness…(Truth). Only the scope and the level of injustice has changed, both have now become planetary or arguably even greater in size. The days when we could speak meaningfully of a first, second or third world have long passed, the world has changed in this moment of globalization, issues of how peoples are produced through nations, ethnicities, races, genders, even species look like trivial identities in the face of capital, and so do concepts like ideological state apparatus, at least if by state you mean your local national state… In this sense then the scale of the task of human emancipation has become greater than the size of the planet itself, the urgency grows.. ’… to avoid possible misunderstandings I have not painted a rosy picture of either capitalism or the landowner, but here we are not dealing with people insofar as they are the personification of economic groups and the support of class interests and specific class relationships….’ To say that ideology as a system of representations is indistinguishable from experience as lived by individuals, is to say that for the vast majority this experience is lived without the foundations of the system surfacing to the conscious level. It is the state which these individuals experience as the social reality, which is imposed on them by the mode of production which impregnates all social relationships. It is the living process of an axiom. Human beings experience a system and representation, an ideology not at all as a form of consciousness but as an object of their world. Representations are experienced without seeing the organising principles behind them, without being able to comprehend the system as a coherent whole. The problematic of ideology is consequently different from one of a conscious subject, ideology is inscribed into the very fabric of social reality. This is as true for the dominant classes as for the dominated classes… Let us consider a current example, it is highly probable that anyone having revealed the structures of the social media aspects of the spectacle, their relations to the dominant ideologies, ownership, still the framework of ideology and myths will still have to confront the refusal of the Readers to accept the meanings of the analysis… They will refuse to accept that the structures that are being spoken of appear on the surface (meaning is on the surface). That in the social media, identies are continuously invented, that struggling binary systems are invented and presented as real.
We used to live in the shadow of the call ”thinking globally and acting locally”. This closely aligned as it was with forms of identity, socialism and Marxism failed in the face of the neoliberal counter-reformation and we imagined that there must be something better to construct an adequate response to neoliberalism. As the years passed and globalisation and the network society grew ever stronger we began to think that Bauman’s transcendent axiom “… thinking and acting globally…” might supply a means of resistance and change. But we forgot the meaning of the modern (liquid, post or not - ’ all that is solid melts into air’) and most importantly the practical problem that identity politics and its relative lack of meaning in relation to emancipation, for in the search for identity, to legitimate an identity, there is no class, no necessity for place (as PHd students follow the flows of liquid modernity, the flows of capital, places are left.) If you live in the arena of the global - then your identity, whatever the hybrid identity is not going to remain local founded on a territory, it will be reterritorialized by capital as the network demonstrates as the social media constructs a vast array of fetishistic behaviour… tribes, groups, identities squabbling over nothing but their hybrid identities … for an identity is a fetish, commodified… So here we are in the midst of the axiom ”… thinking and acting globally…” and yet nothing has changed for the global it turns out is more fetishised than anyone imagined. Why the endless construction of identities which within capitalism are merely commodity forms, good for the generation of exchange value. Why the endless belief that your identity resists or is oppressed by capital when in truth it only cares about exchange value?
"The bourgeoisie, during the rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all the preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground - what earlier presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour…" (Marx and Engels - quoted in Hartmut Rosa - Social Acceleration… 2013)
"… about identity, the knowledge classes, who nowadays also happen to form the articulated and self-reflexive core of the emerging global extra-territorial elite, tend to wax lyrical. Their members are busy composing , decomposing and recomposing their identities and cannot but be pleasantly impressed by the facility and relative cheapness with which the job is being done daily. Writers on culture tend to call such activity hybridisation, and its practitioners cultural hybrids….freed from their local ties and travelling easily through the networks of cyber connections, the knowledge classes wonder why others don’t follow their example…”
“…Against whom can we revolt if power is vacant and values corrupt? Or, to put it more gravely, who can revolt if man has become a simple conglomeration of organs, who can revolt if man has become a patrimonial person, a person belonging to the patrimony, financially, genetically, and physiologically, a person barely free enough to use a remore control to choose his channel. I am oversimplifying and darkening this depiction of our current state in order to highlight what we all sense: not only that political revolt is being mired in compromise between parties whose differences are less and less obvious to us but especially that an essential component of European culture – a culture fashioned by doubt and critique – is losing its moral and aesthetic impact. This moral and aesthetic dimension finds itself marginalized and exists only as a decorative alibi tolerated buy the society of the spectacle, when it is not simply submerged, made impossible by entertainment culture, performance culture and show culture…” Julia Kristeva’s - Intimate Revolt.