The Ends of History
Questioning the Stakes of Historical Reason
Edited by Amy Swiffen, Joshua Nichols
Routledge – 2012 – 10 pages
Over two decades ago we were confronted by the end of the Soviet Union and collapse of the geo-political divisions that had defined much of the twentieth century. From this particular end, the ‘end of history’was proclaimed. But is it still possible to argue that liberal democracy and free market capitalism are the final form of law and mode of production in human history? Recent events have called this into question: the Arab Spring, the War on Terror, global economic crises, and looming ecological crises. It seems that history is far from over. Yet, the idea of ‘the end’ remains, for example, in the question of the future of the American empire, the establishment of a new era of international law, and the resurgence of religion as a dominant source of political identification. This collection of essays explores ‘the end’ in various contexts, including art, politics, and the philosophy of time and existence. In different ways, all of the essays address emerging horizons of meaning and reality.
1.Communist Desire, Jodi Dean; 2.Uneven Developments and the End to the history of Modernity’s Social Democratic Orientation: Madison’s Pro-Union Demonstrations; 3.Imperial Ends, Peter Fitzpatrick; 4. Of First and Last Men: Contract and Colonial Historicity in Foucault,Robert Nichols; 5.A Presence of a Constant End: Contemporary Art and Popular Culture in Japan, Yoke-Sum Wong; 6.Frank’s Motel: Frank’s Motel: Horizontal and Vertical in the Big Other, Mark Kingwell; 7.Hegel and Plasticity, Catherine Kellogg; 8. Hegel’s Last Words: Mourning and Melancholia at the end of the Phenomenology, Rebecca Comay; 9. 'If you could take just two books . . .’: Jacques Derrida at the Ends of the World with Heidegger and Robinson Crusoe, Michael Naas; 10. What Happened? What Is Going to Happen? An Essay on the Experience of the Event, Leonard Lawlor; 11. History Drift, Arthur Kroker.