Closed Futures and Open Hopes

We are often tormented by a sense of lost past, dislocated present and closed futures . Mark Fishers opines that neoliberal economy is haunted by lost futures. The fact that we are haunted by no alternative syndrome indicates to the haunting times that we live . Francis Fukuyama’s celebration of the end of history with the coming of Democracy was the triggering moment for Jacques Derrida to contest the closure of futures in his discourse. It resulted in the assertion of Democracy to come. The end of history discourse brings about cancellation of futures as a result it leads to the cancellation of Hope. Yet we have the challenge to Hope against Hope. Future is open . But several ideologies close it and we have to open it with our vistas of Hope.

Derrida’ s hauntology deals with the sense of disappearance of future and sense of helplessness of having no alternative. Derrida uses the term to manifest how dead futures can haunt the present. Hauntology teaches us that living present has a Hope. Future is not fully dead . Although, we have a sense that time is out of joint, we call still Hope in these dislocated times. Our times are dislocated by the past that never came to be or futures that are cancelled by some ideologies propagated by prophets of doom. This does not mean we have nothing to Hope for. We cannot also disappear and become ghostly. This hope is not simply a waiting for the return of a lost past . It is not also a waiting for a Messiah who will heal our broken time. It is a radical hope. It is this radical Hope that propels us into a future. It opens the horizons of possilities of the future.

Everything that we hope for is a distant other. It is a spectral other. We hope that this other future becomes our living present. The other future is complete other and remains in the coming. It is unpredictable. It does not belong to the order of the possible. The order of the possible belongs to the order of the Market or exchangable. The other future belongs to the order of impossible. Hope, therefore, is the other in the coming. It is impulse of the hope that opens us to this other who is always in the coming . This where are pulled. It is the spectre of the unknown, other future that feel attracted. We are called to responsibility by this unknown other in the Levinasian sense .This is why we have imperative to move towards this ever close yet never reachable otger future . It is always deferred and thus stays in the coming. But it is not simply fully exterior. It does not belong to the order of exchange. It belongs to the order of gift where one gives without giving. It belongs to the order of excess ( George Bataille) and not exchange.

This is why there are no limits to our Hope. We can Hope against Hope. Hope ever opens new futures that are yet to come. There is no closed or deterministic Hope. The limits of Hope are limits of its growth. When Hope siezes to grow , it hits a limit. It is where Hope become impotent. This is actually letting hope bloom only at the order of the Market that is ruled by exchange and not excess. Exchange belongs to thd order of the possible. It tames the future. The future is know and comes within its framed limits. It is an eschatology. History to it can come to an End. Once that future arrives , Hope dies or it has to shift to new destinations. This is because Hope suffers what Benjamin Walter may call messianic arrest of thought. Hope then has nothing to Hope for . It has reached its destination and hence cannot Hope against Hope . Hence, Hope that opens us to the coming of an unclosed future gives us energy to live in every condition without losing our Hope.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao