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34 There is the pessimistic inversion of this position in the posthistoire literature examined by Niethammer, towards which Fukuyama's analysis is seen by some increasingly to be driven (Fukuyama the ironist), where the end of history appears as the annihilation rather than the realization of reason on a world-historical scale. 36 The end of history is thus here still an unachieved goal (te/os) or future end-state, rather than an achieved historical condition (finis), albeit one that is, allegedly, demonstrably immanent to the present.
Something similar can be detected in the evolution of the last of our three versions of this structure of argument: the Marxist-Hegelian conception of the 'end' which projects it forward beyond historical actuality, into a politically contingent but socially immanent future. For once the credibility of the attribution of world-historical agency to a particular social subject begins to be undermined empirically (the revolutionary character of the European working classes in advanced ONE TIME, ONE HISTORY?
64 The central problem faced by all theories of modernity, in any substantive socio-historical sense, is not that they cannot think decline, but, rather, the reverse: the fact that modernity/modernities grow old. It is to deal with this problem that, in strict accordance with the temporal logic of modernity, the idea of the 'postmodern' has appeared, along with (at least in its more sophisticated versions) its own distinctive temporal paradoxes. 65 Yet this only works if we accept the familiar idealist premise that epochs may be periodized by their structures of recognition alone.
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