The economic collapse points up how little our literary world has to say about social inequality.
Walter Benn Michaels
When, in 1989, Francis Fukuyama announced the end of history, he did so with mixed feelings. The good news, he thought, was that the ideological supremacy of free markets and of the political arrangement most suited to them (liberal democracy) had been established—even communists were talking about the importance of being competitive in the marketplace. The bad news was that without “the worldwide ideological struggle” between capitalism and socialism to inspire us, we were in for “a very sad time.” “In the post-historical period,” he wrote, “there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history.” The end of history would be good for markets, bad for art.
Right now, of course, it’s not so clear how the good-for-markets thing is working out. But it’s still true
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