Even before Francis Fukuyama pronounced his “end of history”, the sociologist Daniel Bell had forecast “the end of ideology”. It’s not just street-corner preachers waylaying us pedestrians with prophecies of the end times.
But like Mr. Fukuyama, Mr. Bell probably misconstrued the meaning of the end of ideology, and in what way it, like “the end of history”, pertained to the growing impotence of reason in the breakdown of the mental-rational consciousness structure. In this case, “end of ideology” would refer to what Jacques Ellul called “the political illusion” — the impotence of reason, reflected in policy-making, to amend or alter the logical dynamics of Late Modernity, which had become quasi-autonomous.
Enantiodromia: Modernity in extremis
I’ve heard the name Paul Verhaeghe before. I can’t recall where I heard the name, but Mr. Verhaeghe has an article in today’s Guardian about the psychological ravages of neo-liberalism entitled “Neo-liberalism has brought out the worst in us”. It seems appropriate to bring it to your attention as it follows closely on what I wrote a few days ago on “Late Modern Schizophrenia”, or earlier in “The Ravages of the New Normal“.
This kind of medical model approach to the social phenomena of Late Modernity recalls the Canadian made documentary The Corporation. It is actually a good development when we start to think in terms of health and illness rather than moralising in terms of “good and evil” matters that are actually issues of well-being or sickness, or of wounding and healing, or dis-integrative and integrative.
Mirror of Confusion
Or, the bigot meets the fanatic.