Derrida and the End of History by Stuart Sim

By Stuart Sim

What does it suggest to proclaim 'the finish of history', as a number of thinkers have performed lately? Francis Fukuyama, the yankee political theorist, created a substantial stir finally of background and the final guy (1992) by way of claiming that the autumn of communism and the triumph of unfastened marketplace liberalism introduced an 'end of heritage' as we all know it. fashionable between his critics has been the French thinker Jacques Derrida, whose Specters of Marx (1993) deconstructed the idea that of 'the finish of heritage' as an ideological self belief trick, as a way to salvage the incomplete and ongoing undertaking of democracy.

''Derrida and the top of History'' areas Derrida's rejection of Fukuyama's declare inside of a much wider culture of 'endist' inspiration. Derrida's critique of endism is highlighted as certainly one of his most precious contributions to the postmodern debate - in addition to being the main available access to 'deconstruction', the debatable philosophical flow based by means of him.

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Discourse in the West is, in fact, founded on that illusion. We believe that the meanings of words can be pinned down, and that, as long as we strive for precision in our language use, we can communicate those meanings to others in a relatively unproblematical fashion. Philosophy most certainly works on that principle. To believe in the metaphysics of presence in this way is to be committed to what Derrida calls ‘logocentricity’ – another of the besetting illusions of Western culture that deconstruction is determined to unmask.

Derrida even refers to Marx’s ‘spectropolitics’ and ‘genealogy of ghosts’40 at one point in his argument, to draw attention to what he feels is something of an obsession in the work of the earlier thinker. Communism, it would seem, was a spectre even before it began – precisely the kind of paradox that Derrida delights in dangling before us. The suggestion is that communism is something that will resist expulsion from the Western consciousness, that its message will continue to haunt us, because in a way it always has haunted us (it is no accident that Derrida somewhat jauntily refers to his inquiry as a ‘hauntology’41).

Derrida, Specters, p. 68. 7. Bernd Magnus and Stephen Cullenberg, ‘Editors’ Introduction’ to Derrida, Specters, pp. vii, viii. 8. : Global Crises in International Perspective, New York and London: Routledge, 1995. 9. Derrida, Specters, p. 15. 10. Christopher Norris, Derrida, London: Fontana, 1987, p. 79.

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