What we need most are temporal structures that stabilize life. When everything is short-term, life loses all stability. Stability comes over long stretches of time: faithfulness, bonds, integrity, commitment, promises, trust. These are the social practices that hold a community together. They all have a ritual character. They all require a lot of time. Today’s terror of short-termism — which, with fatal consequences, we mistake for freedom — destroys the practices that require time. To combat this terror, we need a very different temporal politics.
I strongly suspect that we simply happen in segments and intervals, we are composed of frames flickering like frames of a film strip in a projector, emerging and collapsing into snake like loops on the floor, called the just-elapsed past.
And since we live permanently convinced that the past is past and it will be amended, and the future, even the immediate future, will certainly be even better and with fewer errors, since we live permanently removed from and critical of our own past, permanently removed from and in the hope of our oncoming future, the present-time frame of several seconds is the only unconditional manifestation of our ego. In this sense, our ego lasts three seconds. Everything else is either hope or an embarrassing incident. Usually both.
10 blocks • about 1 year ago