ABSTRACT

This chapter lays out the case of the weakening of the future in contemporary political imaginations. The future here is understood as collectively determined and qualitatively distinct from the present. This waning of the future is connected to the end of the progressive and linear view of time stemming from twentieth-century modernity, and in the place of this is the dominance of the continual present of continual change without meaningful transformation. Countering this end of the future, the chapter then posits a move from ‘The Future’ to futurity, that is, of exploring foundational aspects of our relation to time and social possibility which might form a precondition of the future. This lies in a diversity of temporal engagements (heterochronia) rather than just linear forward orientation, and the book is based on an exploration of these through banal sites and eerie atmospheres. A section of the chapter examines Mark Fisher and Franco Berardi’s accounts of the cancellation of the future, and while accepting the basic tenants, rejects the attachment to a fixed, generationally specific idea of the future. The strategy of the book is framed as an expansion of the terrain of politics beyond the limits of technocratic realism.