End of times?

One of the great regrets of my life has been that history ended too soon. I was not even out of college when Soviet Union collapsed, and all ideology seemed to end. Everyone, right and left, agreed that there is no point arguing about how to build a good society and all difference is about the difference in emphasis. But I was already past twenty and arrived in this post-ideology world rather stuck in old-fashioned cocktail of idealism, values etc. 

Worse still, I found my nirvana in Internet. That became my place to run away from life. My Indian suburban life, all its expectations, restrictions and pre-conceptions, could be left behind at the first crack of modem handshake. After that, I was transported to the world where people spoke my language, a different type of friendship, dream of an unmoored life. I could be ideological again, at least for those connection minutes I could afford to pay for. 

But then it became more user-friendly. The browser was the start of the framing of my experience but soon, it was everything. The lure of e-commerce, the advertised ideal of life, those beautiful friends - drove and shaped what I do everyday. I surrendered to post-History, frowned at those fanatics who were looking to re-invent religion to anchor themselves into something familiar. For me, the loss of ideology appeared imperceptible - I did not notice when my life submerged into the edgelessness.

Except now, when that ideal is ending. The American Presidential debates are good drama, though I stopped expecting anything substantial from them. But this year's sorry spectacle may be the starting gun of a new history: That range of choice - befuddled patrician and lying corruptor - is what is truly left. This is history as farce, and in comparison, the dissolution of USSR looks like a tragedy. I am older, more sceptical after my dreams of digital commons came to nought. But I am scared too - the breaking of empires is never a good moment to live through. How many times does history have to die on my watch?



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