The persistence of the 'end of ideology' thesis can no longer be dismissed as an oddity of the mid-twentieth century, or the later twentieth century – even though it is an oddity. There is something far more fundamental lurking behind it, something epistemological, something psychological. The fact is that, just as in the 1950s and 1960s, new ideological positions have emerged exactly where their impossibility has been announced, thus nullifying the case for the second kind of utopianism. Ironically, if liberalism is now misrecognized as the dominant ideology, its paradoxical impact on the world of ideologies has been to reduce its own dominance. Fragmentation, however, is not merely the consequence of flippant consumerism. Another of its causes lies in the fact that mass democratization, as Antonio Gramsci already pointed out, brought about a change in the social distribution of ideological producers.