2018 ~ Sunday January 21: Roaming Assembly #18 ~ UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD AND BACK: 'Modernity and the Messianic' ~ by Savas Michael-Matsas

21.01.18 | tag: Thessaloniki

Modernity and the Messianic

by Savas Michael-Matsas

The Biblical concept of the Messianic is neither an obsolete relic of the past in our secularized world of capital globalization, nor does it just represent an archaism exclusive to certain sectarian groups in the global North and the global South, a political agenda disguised by religion.

Although its source is situated in pre-modern times, the Messianic as a concept of history, breaking from any linear gradualist conception of historical development as well as with all myths of a cyclical Eternal Return of the Same, is crucial to understand modernity, its contradictions, its social struggles, and the opening of an horizon of a universal human emancipation.

The collapse of a so-called “actually existing Socialism” in 1989-1991 had be considered by mainstream ideology as the ultimate proof of the failure of Marxism and, simultaneously, of every emancipatory project. “Messianic utopias” were thought to be condemned to fail. A quarter of century later, all the celebrations of a liberal “end of history” and the “final and complete victory” of capitalist globalization ended with the implosion of this same globalization and the eruption of an unprecedented global systemic crisis, still unresolved. All conceptions of linear or cyclical development of history are in and reflect the impasse. The rediscovery, rethinking, and re-invention of the concept of Messianic break of historical continuity are vital for a theory of the Present as History and of a praxis to change it.