Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

The nation.  §

Fukuyama was largely right about the “end of history.” I’ve just read his work again, now with the benefits of age and experience.

The collapse of the Soviet Union marked a harbinger for the end of the nation. Not of the nation-state, but of the nation itself. Of meaningful and rooted, rather than tactical and transient, collectivity itself. The “cult” at the core of culture, the shared conceptions of history that have since time immemorial been generative of identity are taking their last breaths in this century.

There is a rear-guard action to try to preserve such things, but it is hopelessly outnumbered and engaged in futile, flailing shots at random targets. The strongest impulses in this direction are probably Isis and, surprisingly, Brexit. Trump, Putin, and other aggregates of political positions that operate within the confines of extant anti-frameworks are weak ones.

But in the end, the nation and history will end, and there will be no collective stories left to tell—only individual biographies that can be told only subjectively, and are subject to revision in retrospect and changes in practical terms at any time.

This, the loss of our elders, of our families, and of our stories (as opposed merely to our narratives) is the final disenchantment of the world.