chapter  10
19 Pages

Living with discrepancies: sociological self-understanding with Communistic and ethno-nationalistic collectivisms

According to Cicero's famous saying, "Historia est testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis"; to Hegel's philosophema that wisdom-namely, philosophy-always comes retrospectively (i.e., "Minerva's owl takes off at sundown"}; and finally to the so-called commonsense belief {8o~a = doxa) that the older and more experienced we are the more we know {and so on and so forth}, we all should be much more clever, and smart, and wise ... afterwards.' In other words, as Hegel puts it, "when reality accomplishes its development and comes to an end.'? But, is it so? The answer is, it is not so any more! Because what we ultimately can learn from both general and our own individual (life) histories nowadays, in a world of radical compression of time and space on the one hand, and congruent to that, of an incredible acceleration of (historical) time on the other, and in a world the main attributes of which are contingency, uncertainty, insecurity, ambivalence, and risk ..., is almost nothing! Or, formulated in a more succinct manner, not all generations at earlier stages of human history could have learned from their general and their individual pasts.