Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Walter Benjamin: A Man After My Own Heart

"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism. One reason why Fascism has a chance is that in the name of progress its opponents treat it as a historical norm. The current amazement that the things we are experiencing are 'still' possible in the twentieth century is not philosophical. This amazement is not the beginning of knowledge--unless it is the knowledge that the view of history which gives rise to it is untenable."
--Walter Benjamin, "Theses on the Philosophy of History," (Spring, 1940) trans. Harry Zohn.


Blogger smokey spice said...

Damn.. and that was 1940? I've been saying that nowadays.
It's like a dream crashing in on you when you realize that these ideals we've been fed are nothing but a mirage, and that the reality is little more than a sand dune with the heat of the sun beating down on us.
I've given up on spiritual evolution.

6:15 AM  
Blogger Larry D. Lyons II said...

My sentiments exactly. While I've discarded the notion of historical progress, I'm still very much a believer in the spiritual evolution of the individual. Why have you given up?

9:48 AM  

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