Francis Fukuyama fretted that the end of ‘history’ as envisioned by German Idealism, and Hegel in particular, was essentially ‘wimpy.’ We would Homer Simpson on a grand scale: educated, we can all operate a nuclear powerplant, but so clearly incomplete we resemble a 2-D idiot (if essentially kind and lovable) rather than an actual human being.
I always thought that was a bridge too far, as it were. Arnhem, his conclusion, would have to be captured, proven, by other writers. Or not at all. Who would think that he would be proven right by, of all things, our lifetimes?
You know there is a problem with our culture when The Weekly Standard and Slate are walking in lock-step. The arbiters of our culture have, in the immortal words of Kristol, “lost” and those who are still around are left to salvage plausibility from such sentences as “the aspirational paradigm of the new worker: creative, unconventional, flexible, nomadic, creating value, and endlessly travelling. In a post-Fordist work paradigm defined by immaterial labor, artists are the perfect entrepreneurs and incarnate the new faux bohemianization of the workplace.” Ah, of course, I was worried that we were talking about a pre-Fordist work paradigm! Dodged a bullet there. Or was it a missile of feces wrapped around the Virgin Mary that’s supposed to represent the white, over-caffinated, single-child’s conception of inner-city youth’s oppression? So much to groupthink about in graduate seminars.
Every successive year of duly and dully taught graduates seem in equal parts apathetic and ignorant. We’re all a bunch of ‘Business’ majors who do not yet realize that it’s an euphemism for ‘faceless middle-manager.’ There will be a man at our grave who intones, boldly and emptily, ‘he was a company man’ (or woman?).
Of course, at least we have WordPress where we will be endlessly congratulated on our posts: no matter how trite, contrived, precious and precocious the content is.