Posthistoire:Has History Come to an End?
Whether its ultimate resting-place is deemed to be Fukuyama’s liberal democracy or Baudrillard’s hyperreality, history, according to a number of pundits, has reached the end of the line. In the inflated debates that have ensued, it is precisely history which has been ignored, for the conception of posthistoire is far from new. Here, Lutz Niethammer, Germany’s leading practitioner of ‘history from below’, explores in fascinating detail the forms the conception has taken in the twentieth century and assembles what amounts to an intellectual history of disillusion and resignation. In his survey of thinkers as diverse as Kojeve, Heidegger and Junger, he finds adherents to the idea of the end of history on the Right and Left. But whether they pinned all their hopes on the nation or the proletariat, in different ways they have all conflated the apparent collapse of a particular historical project with the collapse of history itself.