Blog Post

This Is Not the End of History

I recently posted on fragility, chunks of Greenland, the movie Avatar and the rock group Yes here. It struck me while I was editing the post that it's worth reiterating here a major conclusion of The Ecological Thought: this is not the end of history. 

Francis Fukuyama's  The End of History and the Last Man proclaimed the end of history (and ideology) while others have gone on to assert an endless “clash of civilizations” in perpetuity. 

This meme connects rather disturbingly with the apocalyptic rhetoric coming out of environmentalism. 

I argue instead that this is precisely the moment at which we realize who we are: human beings living on planet Earth. 

A brief quotation from my post will suffice: 

Little did we want to know how this posturing was actually a symptom of our own fragility. The good news is that we are at the beginning of history, like an exhausted newborn, stunned and breathing heavily outside the womb of concepts such as Nature and Progress.
Timothy Morton's picture
Timothy Morton is Professor of English (Literature and Environment) at the University of California, Davis. Professor Morton's interests include literature and the environment, ecotheory, philosophy, biology, physical sciences, literary theory, food studies, sound and music, materialism, poetics, Romanticism, Buddhism, and the eighteenth century. He teaches literature and ecology, Romantic-period literature, and literary theory. He has published nine books and sixty essays, including The Ecological Thought (Harvard UP, 2010) and Ecology without Nature (Harvard UP, 2007).