Berardi: The Risk of Reactionary Nostalgia

“The consciousness of living in a condition of abstract domination, the consciousness of the increasing control that technical automatisms are exerting on the social and cultural life of populations, has led me to develop a sense of aversion towards the potency of technology, and a sentiment of nostalgia for political freedom and for the authenticity of life. But I don’t like these sentiments, I don’t recognise them as a part of me. They have successfully conquered some part of my mind because I fear my own impotence. But this fear is the impotence: there is no impotence except in the fear of it.

My philosophical formation, my political experience and my personal character do conflict with these sentiments of reactionary nostalgia, and of fear of the process of post-human development.

. . .

These sentiments . . . are also linked with the process of decline of my mind, of my body and my sexuality. I must consciously come to terms with impending senility, in order not to mistake this personal condition as universal.

I ask myself: how deeply have I been influenced by the reactionary philosophy that descends from the humanist critique of technique and from the nostalgia for authenticity? My intention is to disjoin the understanding of the crisis of humanism from the reactionary nostalgia conveyed by this understanding.”

—Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Futurability.

Byung-Chul Han’s elegant critique sent me back to this Berardi that I’ve not read properly. I discovered Berardi from Federico Campagna’s The Last Night. I think often of this passage.

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Anthony

Time's Flow Stemmed is a notebook of my wild readings.

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