When in 1989 Francis Fukuyama launched his thesis about the “end of history,” it rhymed perfectly with another fashionable suggestion about the “end of ideology.” This paper attempts to examine what could be called the ideology of the end, of which both of these trendy phrases partake. It looks particularly into the predominant modality both of these so-called “ends” display whereby the end is paired with its apparent opposite: repetition or continuation of what it is supposed to end. Taking its cue from a couple of comedic examples in film and literature (Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Italo Svevo’s Zeno’s Conscience), this essay attempts to make some philosophical and political points that could help us orientate today when thinking about ideology and its alleged end.
The End of Ideology, the Ideology of the End
Alenka Zupančič is a Slovene philosopher and social theorist. She works as research advisor at the Institute of Philosophy, Scientific Research Center of the Slovene Academy of Sciences. She is also professor at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. Notable for her work on the intersection of philosophy and psychoanalysis, she is the author of numerous articles and books, including Ethics of the Real: Kant and Lacan; The Shortest Shadow: Nietzsche’s Philosophy of the Two; Why Psychoanalysis: Three Interventions; The Odd One In: On Comedy; and, most recently, What is Sex?
Alenka Zupančič; The End of Ideology, the Ideology of the End. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2020; 119 (4): 833–844. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8663735
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