24 January 2009

Conditions I: the time of contingency

A materialist critique is necessarily an account of conditions. The materialist will never accept the contingency of the present—this person was born a “natural leader” while that one simply lacked the requisite training; that person had all the talent in the world but never got a break; “fortune is when opportunity meets preparation”. But from this point two alternatives are open: the pessimist, suspicious of (r)evolution, sublimates the burden of time into enjoyment; the revolutionary affirms the possibility of contingency as a mode of time and not of existence, viz., of the future, i.e., that the past is, the future is not, while the present is simply that which does not concern us—the pessimist refuses to look toward the future and the revolutionary is always looking at the past.