Brave New Europe
Choosing one or the other ideology or in the communist case, one or the other subgroup led most of the time directly into illegality, jail, or for many ultimately to death. The intensity of ideology is not measured only in the space of ideas, but in the space of risks people are willing to take to defend them. The dreamlike enthusiasm and envy for those years were of course tempered by the knowledge that young people like my father lived then in the shadow of a great war.
But perhaps the very life on the edge of the precipice added to the excitement. Perhaps that the belief that if you defeated fascism now, and it would not engulf the world into destruction and extermination, gave an extra zest to the life composed of equal measures of ideology and action. I compared in my mind the excitement of that period with what I regarded as an intellectually sterile age of the confrontation between the two immobile blocs of US capitalism and Soviet communism.
On the one hand, stood US with its simulacre of ideology that could best be explained as utilitarianism-cum-pragmatism hardly something that would move you , defended by people in boring suits, wearing funny glasses, and living in suburban homes. On the other had there was a crumbling edifice of state socialism that has not produced a single new idea since , defended by dreary bureaucrats in fedora hats wearing light grey socks and shoes.
Only the Third World offered some hope, novelty or excitement. We know that these things ended mostly badly; but they did not look like in the late s or early s.
This stalemate between two decrepit ideologies ended with the victory of liberal capitalism. And that ushered the most ideologically deadening period of all. Like in Soviet regimes, all contradictions were supposedly solved; once for ever. There were no new questions, and answers to all previous questions were provided. The whole world was just hurrying to become another Denmark where nothing of interest would ever happen. But that stultifying intellectual world was exploded by the crisis, the rise of political Islam, and the rise of China. It exploded because it was i unable to address real issues and contradictions and supplied only ready-made formulaic bromides, and ii it wrongly assumed that people desire to be free of ideological choices.
In other words, it is not only unlikely that the world will ever become Denmark the Middle East has been in turmoil for the past 4, years and is likely to be so in the next , but the world does not want to live in a society devoid of major ideological choices, cleavages and battles. Now, the exciting times are back again.
It is especially exciting for the young people because the richness of ideological choices they have before them is immense: liberalism, new socialism, nationalism, political Islam, Chinese political capitalism, probably more. During the Cold War, the offer was reduced to two, rather bland, types.
Then in the original Fukuyama moment we had only one brand of rather tasteless cereals on offer. But today, we are thriving with numerous cereals, some with potent taste, others very spicy, some sugary. The choice is great and it is all yours. Antonio Pedrero Esp, Movistar Team Jai Hindley Aus, Team Sunweb Andrea Vendrame Ita, Androni Giocattoli Christopher Juul Jensen Den, Mitchelton Tobias Ludvigsson Swe, Groupama Enrico Battaglin Ita, Katusha Luke Durbridge Aus, Mitchelton Cesare Benedetti Ita, Bora Salvatore Puccio Ita, Team Ineos Fabio Sabatini Ita, Deceuninck Florian Senechal Fra, Deceuninck Victor Campenaerts Bel, Lotto Soudal Jacopo Guarnieri Ita, Groupama Arnaud Demare Fra, Groupama 2.
Pascal Ackermann Ger, Bora 3.
Arrest of Carles Puigdemont closes another chapter in Catalonia's bid for independence
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