Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Illusions. O Bummer.

My cousin N sent me the article titled, "Obamania: The factory of illusions," in an attempt to temper my Obama euphoria. It makes a fair enough request, although much of it (and this could simply be the the effect of translation) seemed unconvincingly and ploddingly argued and is frequently fallacious. The gist of the essay being that this recent election is not "the most relevant single event in 2 (sic) million years of human existence."

I take the view from my sometimes favorite philosopher, who incisively argues that 
[the] reason Obama's victory generated such enthusiasm is not only that, against all odds, it really happened: it demonstrated the possibility of such a  thing happening. The same goes for all great historical ruptures--think of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although we all knew about the rotten inefficiency of the Communist regimes, we didn't really believe that they would disintegrate--like Kissinger, we were all victims of cynical pragmatism. Obama's victory was clearly predictable for at least two weeks before the election, but it was still experienced as a surprise.

Full text from LRB here. Arguably, there is a translation lag in the latter quote as well, but it's one that is swept away by the sheer energetic conviction of SZ.

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