Instead of crisis as a punctual event the contemporary experience is one of overlapping forms and modes of crisis resulting in a complex rhythm. While attempting to respond to this situation contemporary theory has often struggled to focus on the present moment of crisis. Instead, it has turned to a fundamental rift in the past or to the need to invent a utopian future as ways of escaping the present crisis. This is due to the influence of Heidegger and, especially, Nietzsche. The result is a tendency to abandon the present as destitute and to treat the current situation as an epochal crisis of civilization, which can only be resolved through subjective will. In contrast, the work of Mario Tronti is used to grasp the rhythm of crisis as one of scattered struggles that disperse knowledge and understanding. The result is a crisis in understanding, particularly a crisis of historical sense and the capacity to grasp a temporality that connects past, present, and future. While contemporary theory risks mythic or even imaginary solutions to the rhythm of crisis, instead we must pursue the critical potentials of the present grasped as connected to the past and future.

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