The contemporary world in a mythological paradox.

Probably the single most important paper in Philosophy today in terms of the content of the conception it expresses. “The contemporary world is caught in a mythological paradox. On the one hand, the dominant (Western) milieu is one that continuously recycles its themes of individual expression, free choice, infinite possibility and so on. On the other hand, this milieu is organized around a deeply fatalist core: capitalist fundamentalism. Everything can be subverted and/or overcome except the basic principles of capitalism. Interfering with the spontaneous movements of capital is strictly taboo and, when markets do collapse, we should rather sacrifice ourselves through austerity measures in order to appease the Gods of finance. What is manifested here is a kind of twisted Kantian logic: not only is it impossible to penetrate to the in-itself or absolute, we should not even try. We should restrict ourselves to the subjective universe and not try to disturb the transcendental structures. This is at the root of today’s forms of new age spirituality. In the West this is reflected in a montage of Buddhism, Taoism and various paganistic ideas about nature, balance, harmony and so on. In China, the rapid advance of capitalist development has been accompanied by the (state-
sponsored) expansion of Confucianism with its similarly pacifying refrain that we should accept our social/objective position and seek happiness and contentment within. In these ways, the future (as in new possibility) is being held hostage by a modern sense of fate.
In order to break out of the new medievalism of the modern age, Žižek
argues that we need to accomplish fully the move from Kant to Hegel.”

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