time + history
  ---- by Richard G. Smith
  A voluble account of the w(h)ithering of history, The Illusion of the End or Events on Strike (1994b [1992]) is Baudrillard's major meditation on the shape and trajectory of time and history under conditions of hyper-reality. The essence of Baudrillard's argument is that, as a simulacrum, history cannot end with a final destination and purpose (telos). The time of hyperreality, the 'end of history', is one of eternal return - not of no return as modernity supposes with its belief in linear and continuous time - and consequently has no 'end' precisely because its topology and logic is one that is curved and cyclical (and therefore endless):
  The whole problem of speaking about the end (particularly the end of history) is that you have to speak of what lies beyond the end and also, at the same time, of the impossibility of ending. This paradox is produced by the fact that in a nonlinear, non-Euclidean space of history the end cannot be located. The end is, in fact, only conceivable in a logical order of causality and continuity. (IE, 110)
  Thus it is not that history has ended as such, but rather that, because the march of history has broken from its forward path, 'we have to get used to the idea that there is no end any longer, there will no longer be any end, that history itself has become interminable' (IE, 116). That is to say that history 'will continue to unfold slowly, tediously, recurrently, in that hysteresis of everything which, like nails and hair, continue to grow after death' (IE, 116). History is still moving - just like the grande machine in Alfred Jarry's novel Le Surmâle (1945) which was only granted motion through the cadaveric rigour of its cyclists - but it only does so as a simulacrum.
  The 'end of history' for Baudrillard is not, then, Fukuyama's (1992) dream, but is rather a recognition of 'the radical failure of the whole Hegelian perspective which was the idea of the realisation of the Idea' (Baudrillard, 1992a: 236). That is to say that 'the Idea of history has vanished' and, therefore, to speak of the 'end of history' is an illusion, a mirage, because that end (qua goal) has already been lost in the endlessness of simulation - that is why Baudrillard could say in 1985 that 'The Year 2000 has already happened'.
  History remains a journey that never ends because, as a simulation model, it is cyclical, caught in a loop so that it is always retracing its steps and raking over the past so that 'things are being replayed ad infinitum' (Baudrillard, 1987: 69). A movement that is evidenced by the way in which history, both before the fin de millénium and nowadays, is reduced to countless commemorations to the disappearance of the Idea of history as 'progress': 'The great ideological, historical or political events are on the wane. They are on their way to oblivion deep in memory and they re-emerge under another form - as commemoration' (Baudrillard, 1992a: 233). Thus history is never gone for good precisely because it is recycled and emptied of its substance to become nothing more than a play of images:
  None of the 'retro' scenarios [commemorations] that are being got up has any historical significance: they are occurring wholly on the surface of our age, as though all images were being superimposed one upon another, but with no change to the actual course of the film. (IE, 117)
  The 'end of history' is not its negation as Hegel supposed, but rather its recycling as a perpetual 'contemporaneity'. However, that said, just because the train of history has been derailed does not mean that nothing is happening, or will happen. Indeed, now history has no project, goal or end, anything can happen, be it good or bad: 'We can't live with the past, but neither do we have a project. Every day is rich with unpredictable happenings: terrorism, AIDS, electronic viruses . . . The course is uncharted' (Baudrillard, 1997: 220).
   § hyper-reality
   § hysteresis
   § modernity
   § the end

The Baudrillard dictionary. . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • History of London — Roman London Anglo Saxon London Norman and Medieval London Tudor London Stuart London 18th century London 19th centur …   Wikipedia

  • Time from NPL — Map showing the location of the Anthorn VLF transmitter within Cumbria …   Wikipedia

  • Time Squad — From left to right, Buck Tuddrussel, Otto Osworth, and Larry 3000 Genre Science fiction Comedy Format Animated se …   Wikipedia

  • History of Burma — Prehistory 11,000–200 BCE Pyu city states 200 BCE–835 CE Mon kingdoms 825?–1057 Arakanese kingdoms 788?–1406 …   Wikipedia

  • Time Air — was an airline in Canada founded in 1966 by businessman Walter “Stubb” Ross from Lethbridge in Alberta. It was originally called Lethbridge Air Service before becoming Time Air.HistoryTime Air (ICAO Code: TAF; IATA Code: KI; Call Sign:Time Air)… …   Wikipedia

  • history — UK US /ˈhɪstəri/ noun [C, usually singular] ► a record of past events relating to a particular person or company: »This is the 50th consecutive month of uninterrupted job growth, the longest in the nation s history. »No one else in the Bank s… …   Financial and business terms

  • History — This article is about the academic discipline. For a general history of human beings, see History of the world. For other uses, see History (disambiguation). Historia (Allegory of History) By Nikolaos Gysis (1892) …   Wikipedia

  • Time — This article is about the measurement. For the magazine, see Time (magazine). For other uses, see Time (disambiguation). The flow of sand in an hourglass can be used to keep track of elapsed time. It also concretely represents the present as… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Washington Redskins — This article details the history of the Washington Redskins a professional American football franchise. The Washington Redskins have played over one thousand games. In those games, the club has won five professional American football… …   Wikipedia

  • History of timekeeping devices — For thousands of years, devices have been used to measure and keep track of time. The current sexagesimal system of time measurement dates to approximately 2000 BC, in Sumer. The Ancient Egyptians divided the day into two 12 hour periods, and… …   Wikipedia

  • History of Russia — The history of Russia begins with that of the East Slavs. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus , adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, [cite web|title=Kievan Rus and Mongol Periods|url=http://www.shsu.edu/ his… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”