Reinhart Koselleck’s reflection on the stratifications of political concepts shows the “temporalization of history” which has occurred within the modern epoch. Modernity, Koselleck affirms, has experienced an acceleration of historical time combined with the creation of a philosophy of history oriented towards the progress and improvement of the human condition. Nowadays, this is no longer a current perspective. The idea of a better future has been replaced by the perception of a “downfall” and the feeling of “uncertainty”: a philosophy of history which conceives the acceleration as a kind of race towards the depths, rather than the greatness of humankind.
This exhaustion of a progressive philosophy of history has been considered by some scholars as one of the symptoms of the so-called “crisis of modernity”. The concept of “crisis” is, in fact, one of the most used in order to describe global contemporaneity, whether this means underlining the existence of a “dark side” of globalization (The Dark Side of Globalization: And How to Cope with It) or the persistence of an international chaos (L’età del disordine. Storia del mondo attuale 1968-2017) and its asymmetry (Globalizzazione, governance, asimmetria. L’instabilità e le sfide della postmodernità). The global extension of this crisis (Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis) has resulted in a real “architecture of collapse” (The Architecture of Collapse), in which the critical ecological condition of the globe intensifies the feeling of living in the End Times.
Both from a theoretical and a political point of view, the traditional and consolidated solutions seem to be inadequate, and the existing institutions seem to be unable to handle the challenges we are facing (The Politics of the Anthropocene). Nevertheless, following Koselleck we could try to find some of the answers we need by rethinking the way in which we conceive our relationship with the past (Reconciling with the Past) as well as the future (Gemeinschaft und Differenz: Wege in die Zukunft).
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