How intelligent are postmodern intellectuals

19 The loss of utopia in postmodernism "if ... utopia itself is actually the color of the concrete" 1 In 1977, Herbert Marcuse, acting as the representative of the late Adorno, presented a weighty essay on modern art in order to do justice to two goals On the one hand, in the name of the permanence of autonomous art, he criticizes the appropriation of the historical avant-garde by a hasty, "vulgar" 3 Marxist-revolutionary theoretical view; on the other hand, he specifies the utopian-messianic approach of his philosophy in the light of the experiences of his time. The choice of words is already indicative: "Distinction between serious and popular art ... objective criteria ... which make it possible to speak of" good "and" bad "" .4 - "The aesthetic form is a form of truth. ... Aesthetic form, the autonomy and truth of art are mutually dependent. "5 -" Transhistorical permanence of great art ".6 - The writer" must first create (his) place for himself that awaits him, and this is a process in to whom he is very much obliged to stand against the people in whom he cannot speak their language. In this sense, the term elite has a radical content today. «7 -» In authentic works of art there is a necessity, under whose dictation no word, no line, no sound can be replaced by others «.8» Art has cognitive appearances Salary, cognitive function. ... the falseness of that pseudo-avant-garde, which has its substance only in the smashing of the form. "9 -" Work as a self-contained form "10 - the question" whether the work in question is good, beautiful, true - whether it is authentic art is. «11 All this is not said by the supposedly ivory tower Adorno with his» old bourgeois «musical taste, but rather the 1 Theodor W. Adorno, On the Teaching of History and of Freedom (= Nachgelassene Schriften, Vol. IV, 13) , Frankfurt a. M. 2001, p. 352. 2 Herbert Marcuse, Die Permanenz der Kunst. Against a certain Marxist aesthetic. An essay, Munich / Vienna 1977. 3 A. a. Cit., P. 59. 4 A. a. Cit., P. 10. 5 A. a. Cit., P. 17 f. 6 A. a. Cit., P. 24. 7 A. a. Cit., P. 42. 8 A. a. Cit., P. 49. 9 A. a. Cit., P. 55. 10 A. a. Cit., P. 73. 11 A. a. Cit., P. 24. of messianic freedom 20 figurehead of the new left at the end of the 1960s! Or to put it another way: Marcuse confirms Adorno's aesthetic in other, in simpler terms, but avoids its principle of negativity by making it politically, as it were, class-theoretical concrete. Here, too, the quotations speak for themselves. »A classless society would be one of real and decisive solidarity after the abolition of [capitalist and state socialist] exploitation. ... Aspect of emancipation "12," liberated society "13 - Art must" (be) a factor in changing the world ... liberated world "14 -" Art is also a promise of liberation. "15" Non-repressive Order "16," a better society in which people can experience more freedom, but also more happiness. ... The vision will remain in practice in the future. … Art reflects (the antagonisms) in its insistence on the truth of a world it has created, which is not that of social reality and yet has this as its ground. It is a different reality and truth ... The autonomy of art reflects the lack of freedom of individuals in a society that is not free. If people were free, then art would be the expression and form of their freedom. ... The utopia that appears in great art is never the mere negation of the reality principle, but its abolition, in which its shadow still falls on happiness. ... The permanent revolution does not want the ever-improving productivity, the ever-increasing effort, the ever-more effective exploitation of nature. This revolution seeks the immobilization of the will to power, pacification in the enjoyment of what exists, the abolition of inhumane work, beauty as the world in which we live. ... a qualitative leap into the realm of freedom. «17 Alone, for both art and politics, Marcuse today reads like from another, a bygone world. His self-evident features are not ours. Have not the truth of art, art work and art autonomy been overcome in the meantime (and was this not rightly done)? Are we still allowed to distinguish between "U" and "E" today? Who today still wants to know anything about a "liberated humanity"? Isn't it said that we have made progress in leaving the "philosophical of reconciliation" enthusiasm behind us? Between the philosophical and political self-image of the Frankfurt School, of which Habermas is the last witness, and today's discourse in the 21st century, there is indeed a 12 A. a. Cit., Pp. 24 f. 13 A. a. Cit., P. 36. 14 A. a. Cit., P. 43 f. 15 A. a. Cit., P. 52. 16 A. a. Cit., P. 70. 17 A. a. Cit., Pp. 75 ff. 21 THE UTOPIE LOSS OF THE POST MODERN A break that cannot be thought hard enough. The reasons are fundamental. The fact that the 1968 movement failed at least as a world revolution, that the Jewish intelligentsia in Europe broke away and is breaking away, to which messianic thinking is essential, certainly plays a role, but cannot explain such a fundamental cultural change in social self-understanding . This change has a name: postmodernism, which, roughly speaking, three decades, the last three of the 20th century, determined the discussion and continues to shape the zeitgeist to this day. What a contrast to Marcuse at Lyotard, the philosophical protagonist of postmodernism. While his first relevant publication, La condition postmoderne, could still be understood as a kind of inventory, a description that seeks to explain a certain contemporary tendency, it becomes clearer in a later published collection of letters, at least in the articulation of views , Opinions, beliefs, assessments, resentments and defensive reactions.18 The reasons are usually weak if they are not completely absent. Lyotard is not necessarily a theoretical head, rather a multiplier of moods. From a historical distance, however, the theory counts less than the new worldview that has been proclaimed. So it is said: The project of modernity, which consisted of the meta-narrative of a universal emancipation of humanity in the form of a generally applicable future perspective, has failed. This meta-narrative has been destroyed, delegitimized, and implausible, namely by modernity itself. The "battle cry (is) clear: Enlightenment is the problem, postmodernism is the solution." 19 According to Lyotard, the 200 years since the French Revolution are one It was an era of terror and not of freedom, culminating in Auschwitz, which modernity has finally disavowed. After the destruction of this and other meta-narratives, nothing remains but "a war on the whole, we witness for the unrepresentable, we activate the differences, we save the honor of the name." 20 Now, as a history defeatist, one could lament the failure of the Enlightenment which, however, even Horkheimer and Adorno did not simply affirm in their blackest book; then Lyotard would be a pessimist far beyond that. Lyotard, however, throws out the baby with the bath and explains the two centuries since the 18 Jean-François Lyotard, postmodernism for children. Letters from the years 1982-1985, Vienna 1987. 19 Michael Hardt / Antonio Negri, Empire. The new world order, Frankfurt a. M./New York 2002, p. 153. 20 Lyotard, Postmoderne für Kinder (note 18), p. 31. of messianic freedom 22 French revolution as a whole as a wrong path, especially because of the so-called techno-sciences, which are nothing but Would have control of nature in the sense. If "human history ... as a general history of emancipation is no longer credible" 21 then the question must be asked what should take its place. In addition, credibility depends on the number of believers and the intensity with which they are. Especially the upheaval in Eastern Europe, the possibility of which Lyotard did not even think about in the 1980s, the emerging countries India and China, the self-confidence of Islam, which is justified for all rebelliousness, the worldwide increasing skepticism about American imperialism, not least the overcoming of the Apartheid in South Africa are indications that the history of emancipation continues and that this legitimizes itself through it. Lyotard is also imprecise when it comes to assessing terror in modern times. Terror is not a modern phenomenon, think of the Mongol storms, the Thirty Years War or the Inquisition. Certainly the destruction has increased in the modern age, as the technological and logistical means made it possible. The crucial question, however, is why this of all things is attributed to the meta-narrative of emancipation and not rather thought of as setbacks within an overall process that is to be welcomed. Hitler, to name the worst, certainly did not start World War II in the name of universal liberation. And what Stalin and Mao did was a lack (or a perversion, an abuse) of an emancipatory meta-narrative rather than an escalation. If Lyotard rejects the modern logos, he would have to name the entire European logos tradition, including Christianity aimed at proselytizing. But that's exactly what he doesn't want. He sees himself in the tradition of an avant-garde self-image, which he draws from art, and in that of a fundamental critique of society. Lyotard keeps referring to Adorno. But what differences are it that he ignores: Adorno practiced solidarity with the falling metaphysics; conducted empirical social research; claimed a strong background philosophy in an enlightened Marxism; had no affirmative relationship to the artistic avant-garde, but a critical and a messianic project. None of that at Lyotard. One can read it benevolently; then postmodernism would be the cure of modernity, which failed because of the dialectic of the Enlightenment.Or else you look at the consequences of postmodern thinking. Because whoever gives up the project of liberation deprives himself of exactly those means that would be needed to maintain society, thus 21 A. a. Cit., P. 42. 23 THE UTOPIE LOSS OF THE POST MODERN to criticize modernity. One no longer has an intellectual corrective: "Many of the terms that are dear to postmodernism and postcolonialism correspond perfectly with today's ideology of corporate capital and the world market." 22 Postmodernism is also "a new phase of capitalist accumulation and commodity production." «.23 Lyotard is more of a tragic case, because his thoughts become reactionary when thought through to the end. He gives up the idea of ​​universal freedom and takes refuge in certain Benjamin-Adorno figureheads of the salvation of the non-identical, without even beginning to explain what this means socially and, above all, in global politics. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri must have recognized this fundamental mistake: They combine a heterogeneity with the project of liberation. That this is possible shows that what is called postmodernism can also be thought differently from that suggested by Lyotard. Derrida, too, never joined the talk of the end of the emancipation narrative.24 Finally, it is irritating that Lyotard unified the diagnosis of the dialectic of the Enlightenment thirty years later, after fascism was smashed and western, democratic civil society developed. As if everything had turned for the worse. Modernity is contradicting itself, and his reductionist reasoning fails to see that. Especially in the age of postmodernism, a plural, and therefore a complex, differentiated, i.e. a division of labor and an integrating division of labor, thinking is necessary. And this is exactly where Adorno is a role model, because he combined three components: philosophical reflection, aesthetic experience and scientific knowledge. In order to understand postmodernism, one must recognize its two faces. Because two main trends can be distinguished. One declares the meta-narratives over, but still wants to promote a certain project, that of plurality. The other declares the story to be over and abandons itself to thinking about events in a way that is destined to be. Lyotard wants to save the criticism of modernity of itself as postmodernism and the project of multiplicity and the 22 Hardt / Negri, Empire (note 19), p. 163. 23 A. a. Cit., P. 166. 24 “Instead of celebrating the arrival of the ideal of liberal democracy and the capitalist market in the euphoria of the end of history, instead of celebrating the 'end of ideologies' and the end of the great emancipatory discourses, we should never ... neglect ... that in absolute numbers never, never before on earth have so many men, women and children been subjugated, starved or wiped out. "(Jacques Derrida, Marx's Ghosts. The State of Guilt, the Mourning work and the new international, Frankfurt a. M. 2004, p. 121) continue from messianic freedom 24 non-identical. In this respect, it sees itself as a solution to the problem that the (unit-fixated) modernity represents. Ganni Vattimo, on the other hand, combines Nietzsche's diagnosis of nihilism with Heidegger's destruction of humanism in order to renounce a logic of (historical) development as a whole.25 Postmodernism is the dissolution of the category of the new, an experience of the end of history. This post-historicity, borne by a “weakening of being”, is also expressed in the death of man, in the “death of art”, in the death of modernity, the “end of metaphysics” is the “event that causes that historical-ontological constellation in which we move ".26 He uses assertoric sentences and formulations such as" Nihilism is reality "27 and" Overcoming the concept of the subject "28, as if there had never been a discussion about them. Vattimo says goodbye to more than Lyotard: the project of modernity, the project of the European Enlightenment and the project of a Greek-occidental civilization. Obviously, in today's world he sees only one of changes without change, of possible mutation without real mutation, and must therefore resort to the sharpest means: the exit from European history as a whole. Vattimo of course received Nietzsche and Heidegger affirmatively, without any hint of criticism. The diagnosis of nihilism is so old that nihilism, if it still exists, is no longer perceived as nihilism. With this, the exaggerations adopted by Nietzsche - such as the fact that with the end of metaphysics, truth also disappeared - lose their validity. Nor does he see what is dangerous in Nietzsche's superman concept29, of which 25 Cf. Gianni Vattimo, Das Ende der Moderne, Stuttgart 1990. 26 A. a. Cit., P. 56. 27 A. a. Cit., P. 23. 28 A. a. Cit., P. 52. 29 Two examples out of the will to power: "I am writing for a species of people that does not yet exist: for the 'Lords of the Earth'." (§ 958) - "From now on it will be favorable To give preconditions for more extensive domination structures, the like of which has not yet existed. And this is not yet the most important thing; the emergence of international sex associations has been made possible, which set themselves the task of breeding a master race, the future 'masters of the earth'; - a new, immense aristocracy built on the harshest self-legislation, in which the will of philosophical violent people and artist-tyrants is given duration over millennia: - a higher kind of people who, thanks to their preponderance of will, knowledge, wealth and Influence, used by democratic Europe as its most docile and flexible tool, to guide the fate of the earth in 25 DER UtoPIEVERLUSt DER PostMoDERNE a way to the extreme right-wing death metal scene (right-wing rock). 30 Vattimo transmits nihilism as it was formulated in the 19th century , one-to-one for today, without asking about the historical changes and, above all, addressing the achievements that chronologically follow that nihilism: democracy, human rights, the rule of law, long life, medical care, freedom of movement, prosperity, women's emancipation, culture not just for a few. It seems as if Vattimo does not want to see these "advances", as if he were positively infected by a thought of death. So he takes over the conception of the Ge-Stells and the Er-event from the philosopher of death, without even once accounting for why Heidegger did not publicly be critical of National Socialism until his death, without considering that a The skill of being and event thinking with the "inner truth and greatness" of a "movement" like National Socialism31 has an affinity that is politically disastrous because pretty much anything can be justified in the name of arbitrarily preferred events.32 Heidegger developed his turn in the 1930s, just at a time when the cultural break offered itself as a skill of being - a philosopher who after 1945 saw no reason to change his philosophy or even to respond to what was happening is said to be the ancestor of a new - postmodern - era ! What time would it be? Vattimo advocates a »pensiero debole« that consciously and voluntarily withdraws. The weakness of weak thinking is, of course, that in the absence of alternative theories of modernity, in view of its negative phenomena, one takes refuge in a dubious religiosity called later Heidegger, but in doing so accepts what is inevitable with this: the lack of a social theory, in general of empirical evidence. Vattimo also does not see the obscurantism in which he is entangled, with denunciation of all modern times that is hostile to civilization and culture-contemptuous, in order to create on 'people' himself as an artist. «(§ 960) - What Nietzsche designs here is truly post-historical, but not in the sense of an eternal return of the same, but as a utopia, downright messianic - in its own way. 30 Cf. Christian Dornbusch / Hans-Peter Killguss, Unheilige Alliances. Black Metal between Satanism, Paganism and Neo-Nazism, Hamburg / Münster 2005. 31 Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, Tübingen 19875, p. 152. 32 Cf. Victor Farías, Heidegger and National Socialism, Frankfurt a. M. 1989. Cf. Heidegger's Black Hefts, now in: Gesamtausgabe, Vol. 94-97, Frankfurt a. M. 2014/2015. In addition: Peter Trawny, Heidegger and the myth of the Jewish world conspiracy, Frankfurt a. M. 20153. of messianic freedom 26 achievements, which Heidegger formulated as follows: »The spiritual decay of the earth has progressed so far that the peoples threaten to lose the last strength that makes it possible to even see the ... decay ... the darkening of the world, the flight of the gods, the destruction of the earth, the masses of man, the hating suspicion of everything creative and free. "33 All this unworldly and obsolete hatred of the world as it has become is supposed to be the foundation of a veritable postmodernism? One must therefore clearly distinguish between the great French philosophical project of plural thinking and such practice, as with Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari - which, without confusion of names, can be interpreted as a continuation of the Frankfurt School, as long as one clearly distinguishes between (unintentionally) regressive and veritably distinguishes between socio-critical political implications; and, on the other hand, post-historical thinking following Nietzsche and Heidegger, which fortunately and justly has hardly found serious followers.34 Postmodern ideology plays Hegel and Nietzsche off against each other. Here the "authoritarian" philosophy of history, there pure contingency. This sheer opposition played an eminent role in postmodern discourse, without it becoming clear how "pure contingency" was actually to be thought and why Hegel was still a kind of villain 33 Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics (note 31), p. 29. Even in his most resigned moments, Adorno would never have spoken so one-dimensionally and undialectically.Heidegger represents a gloomy, life-denying, sometimes grouchy philosophy, at least one that despises modern culture and that has never been developed outside of the "German language". (See on this German "bad habit": Klaus Uwe Adam. The psyche of the Germans. How we think, feel and act, Düsseldorf 2007) In this spirit leads a line by Oswald Spengler, who called the downfall of Western culture for the "first Centuries of the next millennium ”(Downfall of the Occident. Outlines of a Morphology of World History, Munich 19795, p. 144) up to Botho Strauss' Swelling Bocksgesang. George Steiner offers a non-Teutonic way of dealing with the pessimisms of the modern age, especially in Why Thinking Makes You Sad. Ten (possible) reasons for Frankfurt a. M. 2006. 34 Later on, authors such as Byung-Chul Han appear who claim a hyperculturality in which the diversity of art is only there to delight people with pleasure (cf. Byung-Chul Han, Hyperculturality. Culture and Globalization , Berlin 2005). That postmodern art aims at pleasure and enjoyment is undisputed and, by the way, completely legitimate. Not all art has to be sad or serious. Mannerist art never was. But is it the last word? (Cf. Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Theory of Musical Postmodernism, in: Musik & Ästhetik 46 [2008]) 27 THE UTOPIE LOSS OF THE POSTCODE OF Modernism is as if there had been no further philosophy since then. The postmodern discourse was also unable to offer an answer to the fact that with Nietzsche's death of God the basis of monotheism falls with its legal force, to what is actually to be welcomed in concrete terms with Heidegger's turn. Postmodern philosophy can only articulate itself through apodictic assertions - "the" event took place - or through performative self-contradictions. These include the fact that although it heralds the end of the meta-narrative of emancipation, it does so in a society that is also the result of emancipation processes; that it concedes truth claims of a radical contingency, but defends that as truth; that it characterizes society as totally plural, but offers a general interpretation for it; that she has declared the story over, but cannot identify the "post" in her name; that it proclaims the end of the meta-narrative, but at the same time offers a new meta-narrative. The postmodern philosophy is therefore not really possible, but rather convinces as a substitute for lost world views. To put it bluntly, one could say that it was and is the last self-declared meta-narrative, which admittedly cleverly conceals its own normative implications.35 As those who identify with it get older, it loses its attractiveness and is delegitimized. Individual insights and thought figures may be useful in individual cultural sciences, but their real gain, but their becoming reality, took place in art, in which paradoxes and self-contradictions can indeed become believable. In this respect, the postmodern philosophy was little more than the superstructure for a certain artistic (and partly lifeworld) practice. From a perspective that Heidegger does not follow, the question arises why Heidegger is so attractive to authors like Vattimo, Dieter Mersch36 or Byung-Chul Han. Because his thinking is much more lacking in tradition than that of the French "postmodernists", so that there must be special reasons why one chooses him. It seems to me that Heidegger's use of a postmodern or posthistorical position does not result from an immanent argumentation, but rather follows a world view that is ultimately partisan. This is particularly evident when postmodern premises are made absolute. In this way being is viewed "as telos, as a" 35 Ultimately, it becomes fundamentalist (hence the opposite of the declared intention), because it prohibits the question of unity (be it philosophical [unity of reason], be it social [common values] , be it artistic [unity of style]). 36 Cf. the chapter "The Performativity of Music". of messianic freedom 28 goal in itself. The fascisms of postmodernism all cling to the idea of ​​such a teleology. ”37 Then postmodernism, at least in principle, becomes messianic, although the goals are politically reactionary. One can also deal with the "postmodern insights" differently. In this way, plurality can be viewed as an increase in complexity (also with regard to the complexity of solution approaches) and differentiation in modern society; the decline in values ​​is met with tolerance in the sense of Lessing's Nathan the Wise; respond to the question of guilt (World War II, Holocaust) through exemplary behavior in questions of human rights, civil society, peace politics, democracy and ecology. In short: continue the project of modernity and learn from the mistakes in the process. Both faces of postmodernism - the pluralistic and the posthistorical - are indifferent, if not hostile, to utopian thinking. They just don't know it anymore, or only as an opposing caricature. Pluralism is welcomed as that condition for the sake of which it was spoken of "world improvement" in ultra-modern times; post-history does not need a reference to the future anyway. The repressive spirit of postmodernism forbids even thinking about unity, history and the future. Habermas is, it seems, the last great philosopher who has a vision for the future: the ideal of a communication situation free of domination, in which everyone can communicate on an equal footing. Already in the generation of his students there is hardly any trace of this. In contrast to Derrida, Habermasen's counterpart in France.38 Peter Sloterdijk is an eloquent description of all possible phenomena of the postmodern age, but he has not presented a theory or even a counterprogram. What a difference to the age group of Erich Fromm or Joseph Beuys. When asked whether the French Revolution had been a success, a Chinese politician is said to have replied that it was still too early to make a definitive statement. As for postmodernism, we can see its failures earlier. Even ardent followers of yore are cautious.39 She was hardly any good as 37 Antonio Negri, return. Alphabet of an eventful life, Frankfurt a. M. 2003, p. 97. 38 "Jacques Derrida is by no means simply an opponent of the Enlightenment, and neither is the later Michel Foucault." (Terry Eagleton, Die Illusionen der Postmoderne. An essay, Stuttgart / Weimar 1997, p. 160) 39 One Wolfgang Welsch asks what postmodernism was: »Postmodernism was a manifestation of modernity. ... Postmodernism remained a variety of modernity. «(Wolfgang Welsch, What was postmodernism - and what could become of it ?, in: Ingeborg Flagge / Romana Schneider 29 THE UTOPIE LOSS OF THE POST MODERN DESCRIPTION of her time. She can be blamed for several mix-ups On the one hand, she confused plurality with consumerism. "A considerable part of postmodernism with its preference for plurality, multiplicity, provisionality, anti-totality, openness, etc. comes across as a gentle liberalism in wolf's clothing." 40 On the other hand, she confused this consumerism with true one plural culture, which will only belong to the messianic days, because: "The opinion that plurality is a good in itself is purely formalistic and frighteningly unhistorical." 41 And it is politically naive about its own philosophical literacy in that it addresses the social contradictions It is a surprising quality of advanced capitalist law It seems that they are at the same time libertarian and authoritarian, hedonistic and repressive, diverse and monolithic. ”42 And she pinches the question of the questions, the political economy. "Behind the refusal to search for totality hides the refusal to look at capitalism." 43 Postmodernism is responsible for a twofold loss of utopia, on the one hand a utopia as the determination of humanity and, on the other hand, a utopia as the answer to pressing ones Future issues. A sentence like "we have dreams of a better future together" 44 must be more recent. Not from one of those intellectuals who think they have to distance themselves from Adorno. At the same time, utopian thinking is not only, as Bloch said, a universalism, an anthropological constant as it were, but empirically by no means has disappeared. It just shifted during the postmodern era. This was an epoch of emptying, and after its end there is indeed a great emptiness. The loss of so-called orientation can be felt everywhere, such as their compensation in the form of real-time and permanent reports from insignificant celebrities such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton; in the form of mass hysteria in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Ring or in any follow-up book to Harry Potter; the re-religiousization, the spread of fundamentalisms (in [ed.], Revision der Postmoderne. Post-modernism revisited, Frankfurt a. M. 2004, p. 36) Now that a post-postmodern era is heralding in the 21st century , as far as postmodernism is concerned, nobody wants it to be one. It is as if we were after an orgy (cf. Jean Baudrillard, Transparency of Evil. An essay on extreme phenomena, Berlin 1992, p. 9 ff.), Which triggered amnestic effects on those involved. 40 Eagleton, The Illusions of Postmodernism (note 38), p. 160. 41 A. a. Cit., P. 169 42 A. a. Cit., P. 175. 43 A. a. Cit., P. 14. 44 Michael Hardt / Antonio Negri, Multitude. War and Democracy in the Empire, Frankfurt a. M./New York 2004, p. 149. of messianic freedom 30 in the USA and also in Central Europe); Scientology45, that strange mixture of mammon and spirituality. This can also be felt in the inflated discourse about body, voice and performance, the hedonistic-narcissistic fetishes of postmodernism that want to escape real politics. Perhaps this is the real reason for the tremendous boom that postmodern thinking has found among post-1968 intellectuals.As is well known, this date could not achieve its own intention: the world revolution, the overcoming of capitalism. And ten years later at the latest, necessity was turned into a virtue. The present, as it is, was suddenly no longer what should be fought, but a redemption of modernity, a higher, better modernity, a modernity that has overcome its orthodoxy. Accordingly, instead of advancing the Marxist analysis (and modifying the theory), attention was drawn to art and art-like things, at least culture in all its brightly colored to flashy shades. This split affected Habermas, although he did not criticize culture, while the old and pseudo-left operated without social theory. The left regressed after 1968: “In fact, all the social bodies that once formed 'the people of the left' have apparently disintegrated. Much more decisive, however, is the lack of a clear idea of ​​what the left is and what it can become. "46 This explains not only the famous triumph of the neoconservatives in the new century, but also the weakness of the intellectuals' guild, as if that was what it was all about still to confirm the "end of the intellectual." 47 In a world that is more and more changeable, intellectuals in particular have not just a function, but simply a lot to do. The emancipation discourse discredited by postmodernism, which we strive to revitalize and update, is about nothing less than freedom, the big issue from Kant to Derrida. By pretending to be a reality (or no longer an actual issue), postmodernism has not only displaced the messianic perspective implicit in those Marcus quotes, it has condemned it from philosophical consciousness. Even the most gifted of the younger generation see something religious in the messianic, which has no place in the discourse on society, politics and the future. This is of course a popular idea, especially in the Christian and Islamic culture. Messianic / 45 Cf. Ursula Caberta, Schwarzbuch Scientology, Gütersloh 2007. 46 Hardt / Negri, Multitude (note 44), p. 246. 47 Cf. Ulrich Schödlbauer / Joachim Vahland, Das Ende der Demokratie, Berlin 1997. 31 THE UtoPIEVERlUSt THE POST MODERN messianism / messianicity can also be understood politically - and in this sense Horkheimer, Benjamin, Adorno, Fromm and most recently Derrida did it - in the sense of a Jewish way of thinking that extends from the Talmud to Maimonides to Spinoza and the bourgeois Enlightenment, Marx and leads the philosophical discourse of the 20th century. After that, the messianic moment is the break-in of freedom into real history, which is experienced as an absolute surprise, as an overwhelming, as an irreducible basic experience of a collective, for example the French Revolution, which triggered an earthquake in Europe, the vibrations of which we still remember with Kant study and be able to hear in Beethoven. Derrida is the youngest philosopher to present his own conception of messianicism. The questions about the future and the utopian have long been asked. And not just from financial experts, military strategists, religious leaders and politicians. A quick look at the mass media reveals at least four main genres: crime (crime thriller), love (telenovela / daily soap), the collective unconscious / archetypes (fantasy) and the future (science fiction). Science fiction has played through everything imaginable in literature and film, the entire range of speculative possibilities, Star Trek is a place of our future fantasies. The future is therefore a big issue, perhaps not among intellectuals, but very much among the general public. And it is precisely this that ensures that this also applies on a global political scale: “Despite the constant threat of violence and war, despite the poor condition of the planet and its political systems, the restless pursuit of freedom and democracy has never been around the world as common as it is today. ”48 The end of the emancipation tale was a bad fairy tale. The future is also a topic of negative utopias, and therefore of scenarios to be avoided. Three authors should be mentioned. The natural scientist Martin Rees49, after all one of the leading astronomers of our time, is seriously concerned about the future viability of mankind in the 21st century, for which he gives the same probability of survival as in the 20th: namely 50:50. Through malicious intent or a mere mishap, innovative technologies that are therefore uncontrollable in their consequences (such as the nuclear weapon not too long ago) could lead to catastrophic, even suicidal consequences. In this context, Rees mentions designer viruses, malicious nanomachines, superintelligent computers and humanoids. 48 Hardt / Negri, Multitude (note 44), p. 388. Cf. Nelson Mandela, Der lange Weg zur Freiheit, Frankfurt a. M. 200610. 49 Martin Rees, Our Last Hour. Why modern science threatens the survival of mankind, Munich 2005. From messianic freedom 32 robots. Indeed, he does not even want to rule out the implosion of space-time through an uncontrollable experiment in particle physics. In the medium term, microbiology and genetics allow interventions in evolution that are tantamount to playing god. For some, by the way, this is not a negative utopia. Francis Fukuyama50, once made famous with the book The End of History (in the sense of a triumphant march of liberal democracy after the collapse of the Soviet Union), worries about people, fears its end, a posthuman age in which natural evolution through one of the artificial intelligence is replaced, which makes humans superfluous or hierarchically subordinated. Through neuropharmacology and genetic manipulation, evolution becomes the object of technical manipulation, the object of what Heidegger called the "rule of the frame". Finally, Al Gore draws attention to a negative utopia that could cynically destroy these two future scenarios: the climate catastrophe. And that brings us to the crucial point: Can a society today, even a western one, even allow itself to be postmodern - in the sense of doing without meta-narratives, binding values ​​and any reference to a unified idea? Aren't the real problems of the world, as mentioned by Rees, Fukuyama and Gore, so overwhelming that they cannot be solved without a perspective for the future? For in the most urgent tasks - environmental crisis, water supply, 51 poverty reduction, terrorism, drug war, epidemics - a policy of "conflict" cannot bring about a solution; Certain, namely global problems must be dealt with consensually, and this requires a world conscience. Al Gore calls it: "It is time we changed the way people live together on earth." 52 For in fact we are experiencing competition today, one could also say: a world war of different meta-narratives: the European one of freedom, democracy and civil society; the American empire called pax americana; that of the Prophet Muhammad; the one from the Middle Kingdom. If one of these meta-narratives, namely the European one, begins to deny its own existence, then its society moves into a dangerous position of indifference and defenselessness. Europe cannot afford a postmodern »pensiero debole« - given the hard facts: imperialist USA, rebellious Islam, a self-confident China, a prosperous India, an Africa whose population is growing steadily. While in China the Confucian 50 Francis Fukuyama, Das Ende des Menschen, Munich 2004. 51 Cf. Fred Pearce, When the rivers dry up, Munich 2007. 52 Al Gore, attack on reason, Munich 2007, p. 219. 33 THE UtoPIEVERLUSt THE POST MODERN discipline and paramilitary pressure prevail in the USA, a dispute over postmodernism in Europe would be a luxury problem, or a decadence problem, depending on the situation. Europe also needs a utopian dimension to regulate all strategic decisions and orientations relating to the future. With a strict sense of the word, philosophy would have a lot to do today: to offer theories and interpretations for the pressing questions of the present that arise from global change: religious dialogue, the so-called clash of cultures, setting values ​​("What does human dignity mean?"), Peace / War, civil society perspectives. All of these questions, unless they are viewed formally, are oriented towards the future. The spell of prohibition imposed by postmodernism, however, continues to have a crippling effect on intellectuals. The questions about the future, the utopian perspectives remain even without them and shift to journalists, experts and NGOs. The women's rights activist Alice Schwarzer postulates the utopia of a society without pornography and prostitution, even in its voluntary forms (because it is incompatible with human dignity) - in the case of the oldest trade, it is indeed U-topical.53 And Al Gore brings up in all simplicity the point of what it would actually be the task of the intellectuals to carry out: »We as a global community urgently need to develop further psychologically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually in order to look beyond the spiritual dividing walls that previously served their purpose but have now become obstacles, because they obstruct our view of the new path to be taken. «54 Utopian thinking, once the core of left-wing intelligentsia, has changed its place, it has become more pragmatic. Perhaps this is even a step forward.55 The future plans are formulated by pragmatic experts in their field and are therefore not utopias (in the bad sense of the word), but scientifically based concepts for the realization of reasonable goals. This is exemplified by four authors: Jeffrey D. Sachs (poverty reduction), Jeremy Rifkin (politics), Götz W. Werner (economics) and Al Gore (environment) .56 Jeffrey D. Sachs is a happy example of professional competence without ideology . Academically successful at a young age, he quickly advanced to one of the most influential economists in the world, solving 53 Alice Schwarzer in 1985, Die Antwort, Cologne 2007.54 Gore, attack on reason (note 52), p. 222. 55 Nonetheless, these questions also remain philosophical. 56 Elmar Altvater's macroeconomic draft is dealt with in the chapter "The Revolution of the Empire - An Answer to Antonio Negri". From messianic freedom 34 the currency crisis in Bolivia, helped Poland in 1989 to build a financial system, is director of the UN Millennium Project for global poverty reduction and heads the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. Based on the simple idea that no one should be poor, let alone starve, he drafts programs with which extreme poverty could be banished from the earth by 2025. This applies above all to the lower sixth of the world's population, who are stuck in a poverty trap that they would not find out on their own, even with the required debt relief. According to Sachs, the economic expertise is available, but one has to provide the capital for start-up financing of investments, and that would have to be politically wanted. Not every country has such favorable starting conditions as England once did (comparatively open society, institutions of political freedom, scientific revolutions, geographical advantages) when the industrial revolution began there. And yet Sachs is confident: »Economic development works. As a rule, it is self-sustaining. But it has to be set in motion. "57 The market economy thus proves to be a successful model for Eastern Europe, China and even Russia, after it has historically been shown that the planned economy is a modern one, and that means: unable to organize complex economy. We urgently need a meaningful differential diagnosis "for the countries south of the Sahara" 58, therefore on a scientific basis, which covers the various dimensions of capital - human, operational, knowledge, natural and institutional capital (law, security, administration) and infrastructure - such as coordinate in a medical therapy. Only rich countries can do that. And we are morally obliged to do so (even after our announcements and UN declarations). »Our generation is enjoying the fruits of 250 years of economic progress. We have a realistic chance of eradicating extreme poverty by the year 2025 because, thanks to technical progress, we can meet the basic needs of all people on earth and achieve an “additional supply” beyond basic needs that is unprecedented in history. «59 Precisely because we can do more have more than we need, we also have the surplus resources to help others. Imagine if the US would spend a third of its military budget in Marshall Plans 57 Jeffrey D. Sachs, The End of Poverty. An economic program for a fairer world, Munich 2005, p. 70. (See also the same, Prosperity for many. Global economic policy in times of ecological and social crisis, Munich 2008) 58 Sachs, Das Ende der Armut (note 57 ), P. 237. 59 A. a. Cit., P. 419. 35 THE UTOPY LOSS OF POST MODERN INVESTMENTS; One would soon find peace not only in the Middle East. The third Iraq war and its aftermath cost as much every two weeks as all US economic aid to Africa in one year.60 “In 2004 the US spent 30 times more on defense than on foreign aid, $ 450 billion versus $ 15 billion. 61 With Sachs, the utopia of the abolition of poverty is not expressed as a program of a capitalism-critical, even socialist-communist worldview, but conversely, the professional knowledge and experience of capitalism are used to solve the problems - in a true Anglo-Saxon, that is pragmatic way. And yet Sachs appears like a utopian: »We have the unique opportunity to realize the vision of the great enlighteners Jefferson, Smith, Kant and Condorcet. And the tasks of our generation can be formulated in the conceptual categories of the Enlightenment: - Promotion of political systems that benefit social welfare based on the consent of the governed - Promotion of economic systems that take advantage of science, technology and division of labor in all regions of the Expanding the earth - promoting international cooperation for the security of perpetual peace - promoting science and technology according to rational criteria in order to further improve people's living conditions. «62 There is a dream and an American has one: He calls it the European:» The European dream is seductive, but also a little utopian. It is difficult to imagine hundreds of millions of people gathering around such a gigantic vision. But after all, the idea of ​​people rallying behind democratic values ​​and the ideology of the nation-state would have seemed just as fanciful towards the end of the Middle Ages. The question is what kind of new bonds could lead people to overcome their old loyalties and let the European dream become a common one. To put it simply, even if it is by no means an easy task: We would have to expand our ties to property and territory in favor of universal human rights and collective responsibility for our earth. «63 60 Cf. A. a. Cit., P. 373. 61 A. a. Cit., P. 399. 62 A. a. Cit., P. 424. 63 Jeremy Rifkin, The European Dream. The vision of a quiet superpower, Frankfurt / New York 2004, p. 288. of messianic freedom 36 Rifkin, American economist and former advisor to the European Commission, grows up in the American dream of unlimited possibilities and learns in the encounter with the European that it is better, fairer, more sensible, more efficient and, above all, more sustainable. This is noteworthy insofar as this view does not come from a European intellectual suspected of arrogance, but from an American. Rifkin sees the European Union as a project of utopian, even messianic proportions, which is not only an alternative to the USA (and therefore within the West), but a model for the entire world. The "European dream (is) the attempt to create a new historical frame of reference ... (and) is so attractive because it dares to propose a new story that focuses on quality of life, sustainability, peace and harmony." 64 "The American and European Dreams essentially have two diametrically opposed ideas of freedom and security." 65 European civil society, for which there is no counterpart in the USA, is "more in line with the socialist idea of ​​collective responsibility for the well-being of the community «66 While the USA is based on Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (the" Americans are the purest capitalists in the world. "67) and Calvin is the determining religious orientation, Europe has inherited Marx and modern criticism of religion. The social transfers, the aid for the poor, the material shifts are considerable in this country. "Civil society is the antidote to a world that is increasingly defining itself purely commercially." 68 In this respect, quality of life with solid education, good health care, the well-being of children and safe residential areas are paramount. By setting cultural, social and ethical standards such as equal rights for women and the abolition of the death penalty, the unity of the constitutional, social and cultural state is emerging in Europe. Europe has drawn the consequences of the internal, armed conflict between the Thirty Years' War and the Second World War and designed a confederation of states into which as many European countries as possible are integrated. Thus "the European Union is the most advanced example of new, transnational models of government." 69 With 87 languages ​​and dialects, Europe is "the 64 A. a. Cit., Pp. 13 f. 65 A. a. Cit., P. 21. 66 A. a. Cit., P. 45. 67 A. a. Cit., P. 179. 68 A. a. Cit., P. 257. 69 A. a. Cit., P. 215. 37 THE UTOPY LOSS OF THE POST MODERN Culturally most differentiated area of ​​the world. «70 It is thus the model for the integration of heterogeneity. "The European dream is a sensitive Aristotelian balancing act between more differentiation and more integration." 71 Europe has also learned that diplomatic conflict resolution strategies and negotiations on legitimate interests are more efficient (and sensible) than power politics (based on military presence). »The legitimacy of the EU is not based on the control of territory or the taxation of citizens or on the police or the military, but in a code of conduct based on universal human rights, through statutes, regulations and directives and, most importantly, through constant engagement, discussions and multiple negotiations with actors at local, regional, national, transnational and global levels are put into practice. "72 Rifkin thinks of Europe as a political avant-garde:" The real difference is that Europe is eagerly preparing for a new era, while America is desperate Tries to hold onto the old one. "73 Since it is" much more cosmopolitan "74," the European dream ... leads us into the global age. "75 In stark opposition to the postmodern meta-narrative of the end of history and the end of the emancipation paradigm, Rifkin postulates visionarily:" With it the European dream to which the world can become, it must have a new goal for d he define humanity - find a new meta-story that unites the human race on a common journey and at the same time allows each person or group to go their own way. «76 If Rifkin and Sachs are scientists who hold high political positions, Götz is W. Werner a despite or because of 70 A. a. Cit., P. 267. 71 A. a. Cit., P. 303. 72 A. a. Cit., P. 227. 73 A. a. Cit., P. 97. 74 A. a. Cit., P. 317. 75 A. a. Cit., P. 98. Cf.: “The European Union is the most successful model of globalization today. The continent has managed to bring countries to real cooperation that have repeatedly been at war with one another throughout their history.These countries have voluntarily delegated part of their sovereignty to a higher, supranational level, with good reason smaller countries receiving a disproportionate amount of influence relative to their population size, for example in the cantonal structure of Switzerland. This is the exact opposite of world governance as it is being pursued by the USA. «(Franz Josef Rademacher / Bert Beyers, World with a Future. Surviving in the 21st Century, Munich 20084, p. 159 f.) 76 Rifkin, Der Europäische Traum (note 63), p. 393. of the messianic freedom 38 of his quasi-cooperative model of successful entrepreneurs, who presented a concept for overcoming unemployment, the bold consequences of which are almost reminiscent of old Marxist days. The basic idea is: Every citizen receives an unconditional, living wage, regardless of whether he works or not. This initiates a "total paradigm shift" 77 which does nothing other than a restructuring of society as a whole, a "restructuring of a workers' society with a high proportion of unemployed to a community of freelancers with an unconditional basic income" .78 The background is as follows: There is unemployment structural to capitalism, with gainful employment decreasing while unpaid work (raising children, care, cultural work, social engagement, youth work, sport, customs etc.) increases. At the same time, the progressive rationalization leads to a shortening of the time for the production work. In view of this necessary development (and after decades of politicians' protests that we are on the verge of overcoming unemployment) Werner declares that only a radical solution can solve the problem of today's economy. There are now various models for an unconditional basic income across all political camps, but Werner's seems to be the most visionary and radical. Werner justifies the claim to this unconditional income with human dignity and the fact that the division of labor in the modern economy is so advanced that everyone is socialized anyway and thus participates in general consumption, even if they do not have any (full-time, instruction-bound and social security-liable) gainful employment investigates what statistically less and less are doing anyway, so that the question of who is paid for his work (and who is not) becomes a question of political morality. In addition, the increasingly automated production of goods means that "work on people" - health, well-being, nutrition, knowledge, education, culture, spirituality, travel - is becoming more and more important. This has to be integrated into a new concept of work. The basic income is financed through taxes. And here, too, Werner proposes a radical solution: the abolition of all taxes except for one of the value added tax, because this is "the adequate tax for a society based on the division of labor and a globalized world" (and continues to maintain its steering function) Labor is cheaper and consumption is more expensive. Under strict (capitalist) 77 Götz W. Werner, income for all, Cologne 2007, p. 123. 78 A. a. Cit., P. 149. 79 A. a. Cit., P. 207. 39 THE UTOPIE LOSS OF THE POST MODERN economic principles it makes sense to place the tax burden at the end of the value chain if possible. Ironically, this frees up capital, but that's what is needed in a tech economy to create work at all. “With the basic income, we let people work in peace, namely free from existential fear. With consumption taxation we let capital work in peace, namely free from access, before the added value in consumable services for society has come to an end. «80 The unconditional basic income and the conversion to the consumption tax have the consequence that the financial and social administration will be largely abolished. The former makes useless work superfluous, the latter the repressive and humiliating control over social performance claims. Nobody will feel unemployed anymore. Because everyone is a self-confident member of the labor market, which so far, according to Werner's criticism, has not been a real market because the employees cannot freely "negotiate" about the conditions under which they will work for the employer. Interesting who rejects this - at least in Germany -: the Social Democrats, with their 19th century understanding of work and wages, as well as the liberals, for whom the idea that someone receives money for doing nothing is disgusting. The liberals reject this because only those who work get an income; the socialists because everyone should work to get an income. Both groups do not share Werner's view of man. This is consistently positive and assumes that most people want to work (and the lazy stay lazy forever) and will also be more creative and productive under freer conditions. In principle, modern democracy also assumes a positive image of human beings, which means that people can exercise power over themselves and are capable of self-organization. This also works with progressive historical learning processes. Why shouldn't that also be economically feasible? The pessimistic view of human beings, according to which people have to be forced because they are "naturally" stupid, lazy, lacking in solidarity, may apply to alienated and physically cattle work, but also to today's modern, "enlightened" civil society? The numerous opponents may feel the explosiveness of Werner's approach. The combination of basic income and consumption tax represents "at the same time the most radical possible form of socialism and that of capitalism." 81 Labor and capital are set free through their consequent structural decoupling. As if he had Beuys, 80 A. a. Cit., P. 178. 81 A. a. O., p. 168. shaped and read by messianic freedom 40 like Werner by anthroposophy, he postulates: "Labor and capital are spiritual phenomena." 82 Whatever orthodox Marxists will say, this approach leads to the abolition of class society, because the class of the unemployed would be eliminated. He reconciles capitalism with a free capital market, which does not burden labor pecuniary, and socialism, since no one has to sell themselves (since the basic security applies equally to everyone), even liberalism, because the initiative of the individual is expressly honored. To many this conception seems too simple, but simplicity is not a counter-argument, fundamental thoughts can also be simple. So the idea of ​​the separation of powers is basically a simple one. At this point it is not a question of forecasting realistic chances, especially since a conversion period of ten to twenty years is allowed, which means less a revolutionary cut than social evolution. Werner is fascinating because he overcomes thinking habits that are so deeply rooted that even a large part of the left cannot recognize the revolutionary potential. Just imagine: the population can no longer be blackmailed economically, is free of fear and to that extent self-confident, sovereign in the democratic sense. Only then can true democracy and civil society begin. "As long as there is still a beggar, there is still a myth." 83 Furthermore, working hours would be drastically reduced, which is, as is well known, the precondition for Marx's entry into the realm of freedom. Unproductive, because bureaucratic, redundant work would be restricted, production work would be pushed back by further rationalization, and anyone who had previously done nonsensical work (like shining shoes in a hotel, which a machine can do) just to avoid being unemployed, can now free all of his willingness to work unfold. The elimination of nonsensical work would not be the slightest advance in this approach. Labor and capital would also no longer be opposites, and the payment of unpleasant or satisfactory work would be fairer than it is today. There are heroes in history, such as John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Willy Brandt, Michael Gorbatschow, Nelson Mandela. Perhaps one day Al Gore will also be added to the equation, who, after eight years of vice-presidency of the only superpower on earth, was deprived of the presidency under dubious circumstances. Cit., P. 179. 83 Walter Benjamin, Das Passagen-Werk (= Collected Writings, Vol. V.1), Frankfurt a. M. 1982, p. 505. 41 THE UTOPY LOSS OF THE POST MODERNS would have steered a different direction than, fatally, did his rival George W. Bush. What does a man who is one of the most intelligent politicians in the United States and who truly knows how power works at the top after the office expires? Unlike so many others, he does not allow himself to be bought by the establishment as a so-called advisor, but begins with an alternative, oppositional project of the protest movement, takes the side of the NGOs and supports the worldwide network of initiatives that focus on the climate and draw attention to other environmental disasters. He appears with the authority of what was once the second strong man to whom many doors are open on the political and, above all, the economic stage. He lobbies, but not for partial interests, but for humanity, the planet, the future viability of the earth in the undivided sense. He recognizes that global warming is the problem of the problems, for the solution of which there is little time if mankind does not want to have to adjust to irreversible changes, possibly apocalyptic. He realizes that a persistent and effective campaign is necessary, begins a tireless travel activity - education in the elementary sense of the word - and enters the public stage with a film and the accompanying book.84 Gore is not only an environmental activist, but also a tough one An analyst in his country, which was darkening more and more, especially during the years of the "war on terror "85, and a visionary for a fairer world without poverty86, he even founds a grassroots, interactive television station whose concept, according to his own admission,goes back to the thoughts of Adorno and Habermas. (What a message in a bottle when it arrives at an ex-US Vice President!) Like almost all politicians, Gore is not a scientific specialist like Rifkin or Sachs - that's what he has his advisors and employees for - but more of a mediator, a doer, one charismatic personality. And precisely because of this, he succeeds in something that no intellectual, no philosopher, no scholar, not even an artist or a pop star can do: he alarms the world public, he shakes them up in a way that perhaps only a Pope would be able to do. Gore has the authority of the hero who failed (in the 2000 elections), the persuasiveness of a left-wing intellectual, the presence of an activist and the powers of a wealthy, influential man - most recently the dignity of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He represents, so to speak, the 84 Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth. The impending climate catastrophe and what we can do about it, Munich 20062. 85 Cf. Gore, attack on reason (note 52). 86 Cf. Al Gore, Paths to Balance: A Marshall Plan for the Earth, Frankfurt a. M. 1992. of the messianic freedom 42 good side of the USA, which are the worst climate sinners and at the same time only reluctantly join internationally cooperating politics. Countering this mentality with something powerful makes him credible. And it is because it has a future perspective: a rationally acting humanity, because only this can secure the conditions for a prosperous coexistence on the one planet. "This is our time to rise up and fight for our future." 87 87 Gore, Eine Uncomforteme Truth (note 84), p. 300. Shortly afterwards, a second American politician received the Nobel Peace Prize: Barack Obama, the democratic one President who was felt like a liberation, a worldwide sigh of relief after the Bush era. It would be inconceivable if a neo-conservative hardliner had come to power again and refused the most urgent reforms for health, climate protection and financial market regulation. Obama's historical impact will only be understood after his term in office.