Individuals #6

Another defining characteristic of this mentality is the war on time. Individuals have to be shorn asunder not only from nature but also of the vision of themselves as rooted in time. Instead, people are mired in presentism that doesn’t allow for the existence of either the past or the future.

I’ll just give one example and you can think of many others. Remember when Bernie Sanders was excoriated for saying something back in 1972 that didn’t completely jive with today’s sensibilities? One would think that it’s pretty unfair to blame Bernie for not anticipating how the speech codes would develop half a century later, right? But the people who denounced him didn’t seem to notice that a lot of time passed.

Or this whole argument of let’s not read Aristotle because he was sexist-racist-classist. It comes from the same incapacity to accept the passage of time.

And then these same people seem completely unperturbed by the possibility that whatever they say today might look as out of step with the new speech codes fifty years from now. Because the future doesn’t exist either. It’s all endless, rootless, unchanging present.


3 thoughts on “Individuals #6”

  1. I think this has a lot to do with the individual’s inability to accept one’s own mortality – if time doesn’t pass (and as you have pointed out, it really doesn’t seem to have passed to people), then they don’t change, age, or die, they simply stay in the state they are in forever.


  2. This seems linked to “flow” as an idealized mental state – focused on the activity you’re engaged in, and entirely unmoored from the passage of time.

    Also, reaction to the atomization imposed by fluidity, really. If one lives in the eternal now, one won’t conceive human relationships as something built in time, built from time, and will thus lose another anchor that might interfere with the process of self reinvention.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.