Friday, October 11, 2019

The Final Solution: Politics and Mortality

Politics is often associated with morality and ethics, at least if one is talking about Plato’s Republic, the Ur political manifesto, or say the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence. But what about politics and mortality? Human beings are capable of doing great harm in relatively short periods of time. Could it be that tyrants like Stalin and Hitler were under the delusion that by perpetuating their atrocities they’d never die? It may seem odd, but how can one plan mass annihilation with the grim reaper right around the corner? One answer is to treat a political system as if were a church with an intrinsicly millenarian premise. When you consider a political ideology as a religious calling then it allows you to forswear the notion of yours and its obsolescence, as result of death. A Third Reich or a dictatorship of the proletariat both have the quality of being more than just states. You had the l000 years of Rome and there are those who still believe in the notion of  Imperial America. Democracy would certainly be part of the litany, along with a kind of leveling technology that would replace tribalism and ethnicity. Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man (1992) was an expression of this hope. His latest tome is Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018). Did Fukuyama simply became older and wiser?

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