It seems to me so recently that many of my friends were telling me that violent politics are the result of too-confident a belief in social engineering. It was the Enlightenment, wasn't it, with its Hobbesian rage for order, that precipitated the Holocaust? Theories of decentralization were all the rage, and government power (whether left/Clinton or right/Bush) was looked upon with suspicion. "Let us wage war on totality" (Lyotard). That rhetoric is so fresh in my memory.
When that was what I was hearing, I was generally dissatisfied because I felt that that history was oversimple; I felt that blaming the violence of the 20th century on "modernism" was an irresponsible evasion that reflected an underlying unwillingness on the part of academics to admit their own participation in such orders as fascism (Vilfredo Pareto), nazism (Heidegger), and communism (from Fourier to Sartre). Rather than own up for the way those academic theories turned into human rights disasters, academics muddied the waters by changing the terminology. In those days, I just wanted to hear a spade called a spade. To hear someone say that Stalin's acts were brutal because they were based on brutal theory.
Now I see that I will never hear this kind of rectification of names. Because it's not about truth. It is about power, just as the Foucault-lovers admitted a decade ago. Power doesn't own up; it ducks; it dodges. The libertarian theorists are as guilty on the "right" as the now-they-call-themselves-progressives-again are on the left. No more will capitalism solve the world's problems than socialism will.
The only revolution worth discussing is inward--the only plausible utopia, inward. It is why Plato's Republic called for liberally educated philosophers, why Jesus located the kingdom of heaven within, and why The Upanishads tell you, "Thou art That." In every generation in every culture this voice remains, and it has never been responsible for anything but peace.
So anyway, I'm returning to my wheelhouse, reminded by something vast that there's nothing new under the sun. I know it's a conversation killer, but...