Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? What are we waiting for? What awaits us?
Many only feel confused. The ground shakes, they do not know why and with what. Theirs is a state of anxiety; if it becomes more definite, then it is fear.
Once a man travelled far and wide to learn fear. In the time that has just passed, it came easier and closer, the art was mastered in a terrible fashion. But now that the creators of fear have been dealt with, a feeling that suits us better is overdue.
It is a question of learning hope. Its work does not renounce, it is in love with success rather than failure. Hope, superior to fear, is neither passive like the latter, nor locked into nothingness. The emotion of hope goes out of itself, makes people broad instead of confining them, cannot know nearly enough of what it is that makes them inwardly aimed, of what may be allied to them outwardly. The work of this emotion requires people who throw themselves actively into what is becoming, to which they themselves belong. It will not tolerate a dog’s life which feels itself only passively thrown into What Is, which is not seen through, even wretchedly recognized. The work against anxiety about life and the machinations of fear is that against its creators, who are for the most part easy to identify, and it looks in the world itself for what can help the world; this can be found. How richly people have always dreamed of this, dreamed of the better life that might be possible. Everybody’s life is pervaded by daydreams: one part of this is just stale, even enervating escapism, even booty for swindlers, but another part is provocative, is not content just to accept the bad which exists, does not accept renunciation. This other part has hoping at its core, and is teachable. It can be extricated from the unregulated daydream and from its sly misuse, can be activated undimmed. Nobody has ever lived without daydreams, but it is a question of knowing them deeper and deeper and in this way keeping them trained unerringly, usefully, on what is right. Let the daydreams grow even fuller, since this means they are enriching themselves around the sober glance; not in the sense of clogging, but of becoming clear. Not in the sense of merely contemplative reason which takes things as they are and as they stand, but of participating reason which takes them as they go, and therefore also as they could go better. Then let the daydreams grow really fuller, that is, clearer, less random, more familiar, more clearly understood and more mediated with the course of things. So that the wheat which is trying to ripen can be encouraged to grow and be harvested.
Thinking means venturing beyond. But in such a way that what already exists is not kept under or skated over. Not in its deprivation, let alone in moving out of it. Not in the causes of deprivation, let alone in the first signs of the change which is ripening within it. That is why real venturing beyond never goes into the mere vacuum of an In-Front-of-Us, merely fanatically, merely visualizing abstractions. Instead, it grasps the New as something that is mediated in what exists and is in motion, although to be revealed the New demands the most extreme effort of will. Real venturing beyond knows and activates the tendency which is inherent in history and which proceeds dialectically. Primarily, everybody lives in the future, because they strive, past things only come later, and as yet genuine present is almost never there at all. The future dimension contains what is feared or what is hoped for; as regards human intention, that is, when it is not thwarted, it contains only what is hoped for. Function and content of hope are experienced continuously, and in times of rising societies they have been continuously activated and extended. Only in times of a declining old society, like modern Western society, does a certain partial and transitory intention run exclusively downwards. Then those who cannot find their way out of the decline are confronted with fear of hope and against it. Then fear presents itself as the subjectivist, nihilism as the objectivist mask of the crisis phenomenon: which is tolerated but not seen through, which is lamented but not changed. On bourgeois ground, especially in the abyss which has opened and into which the bourgeoisie has moved, change is impossible anyway even if it were desired, which is by no means the case. In fact, bourgeois interest would like to draw every other interest opposed to it into its own failure; so, in order to drain the new life, it makes its own agony apparently fundamental, apparently ontological. The futility of bourgeois existence is extended to be that of the human situation in general, of existence per se. Without success in the long run, of course: the bourgeois emptiness that has developed is as ephemeral as the class which alone still expresses itself within it, and as spineless as the illusory existence of its own bad immediacy with which it is in league. Hopelessness is itself, in a temporal and factual sense, the most insupportable thing, downright intolerable to human needs. Which is why even deception, if it is to be effective, must work with flatteringly and corruptly aroused hope. Which is also why hope is preached from every pulpit, but is confined to mere inwardness or to empty promises of the other world. Which is why even the latest miseries of Western philosophy are no longer able to present their philosophy of misery without loaning the idea of transcendence, venturing beyond, from the bank. All this means is that man is essentially determined by the future, but with the cynically self-interested inference, hypostasized from its own class position, that the future is the sign outside the No Future night club, and the destiny of man nothingness. Well: let the dead bury their dead; even in the hesitation which the outstaying night draws over it, the beginning day is listening to something other than the putridly stifling, hollowly nihilistic death-knell. As long as man is in a bad way, both private and public existence are pervaded by daydreams; dreams of a better life than that which has so far been given him. In what is false, and all the more so in what is genuine, every human intention is applied on to this ground. And even where the ground, as so often before, may deceive us, full of sandbanks one moment, full of chimeras the next, it can only be condemned and possibly cleared up through combined research into objective tendency and subjective intention. Corruptio optimi pessima: fraudulent hope is one of the greatest malefactors, even enervators, of the human race, concretely genuine hope its most dedicated benefactor. Thus, knowing-concrete hope subjectively breaks most powerfully into fear, objectively leads most efficiently towards the radical termination of the contents of fear. Together with informed discontent which belongs to hope, because they both arise out of the No to deprivation.
Thinking means venturing beyond. Admittedly, venturing beyond has not been all that adept at finding its thinking until now. Or even if it was found, there were too many bad eyes around which did not see the matter clearly. Lazy substitution, current copying representation, the pig’s bladder of a reactionary, but also schematizing Zeitgeist, these repressed what had been discovered. Marx’s work marks the turning-point in the process of concrete venturing beyond becoming conscious. But around this point deeply ingrained habits of thinking cling to a world without Front. Not only man is in a bad way here, but so is the insight into his hope. Intending is not heard in its characteristic anticipating tone, objective tendency is not recognized in its characteristic anticipatory powerfulness. The desiderium, the only honest attribute of all men, is unexplored. The Not-Yet-Conscious, Not-Yet-Become, although it fulfils the meaning of all men and the horizon of all being, has not even broken through as a word, let alone as a concept. This blossoming field of questions lies almost speechless in previous philosophy. Forward dreaming, as Lenin says, was not reflected on, was only touched on sporadically, did not attain the concept appropriate to it. Until Marx, expectation and what is expected, the former in the subject, the latter in the object, the oncoming as a whole did not take on a global dimension, in which it could find a place, let alone a central one. The huge occurrence of utopia in the world is almost unilluminated explicitly. Of all the strange features of ignorance, this is one of the most conspicuous. In his first attempt at a Latin grammar, M. Terentius Varro is said to have forgotten the future tense; philosophically, it has still not been adequately considered to this day. This means: an overwhelmingly static thinking did not name or even understand this condition, and it repeatedly closes off as something finished what has become its lot. As contemplative knowledge it is by definition solely knowledge of what can be contemplated, namely of the past, and it bends an arch of closed form-contents out of Becomeness over the Unbecome. Consequently, even where it is grasped historically, this world is a world of repetition or of the great Time-and-Again; it is a palace of fateful events, as Leibniz called it without breaking out of it. Occurrence becomes history, knowledge re-remembering, celebration the observance of something that has been. This is how all previous philosophers went about it, with their form, idea or substance posited as being finished, even postulating Kant, even dialectical Hegel. In this way physical and metaphysical need spoiled its appetite, in particular its paths to outstanding satisfaction, certainly not just that achieved in books, were blocked. Hope, with its positive correlate: the still unclosed determinateness of existence, superior to any res finita, does not therefore occur in the history of the sciences, either as psychological or as cosmic entity and least of all as functionary of what has never been, of the possible New. Therefore: a particularly extensive attempt is made in this book to bring philosophy to hope, as to a place in the world which is as inhabited as the best civilized land and as unexplored as the Antarctic. In critical and further elaborated connection with the contents of the author’s previous books, ‘Traces’, especially ‘The Spirit of Utopia’, ‘Thomas Münzer’, ‘Legacy of this Time’, ‘Subject-Object’. Longing, expectation, hope therefore need their hermeneutics, the dawning of the In-Front-of-Us demands its specific concept, the Novum demands its concept of the Front. And all this so that ultimately the royal road through the mediated realm of possibility to the necessarily Intended can be critically laid, and can remain orientated, without being broken off. Docta spes, comprehended hope, thus illuminates the concept of a principle in the world, a concept which will no longer leave it. For the very reason that this principle has always been in the process of the world, but philosophically excluded for so long. Since there is absolutely no conscious production of history along whose path of informed tendency the goal would not likewise be all, the concept of the utopian (in the positive sense of the word) principle, that of hope and its contents worthy of human beings, is an absolutely central one here. Indeed, what is designated by this concept lies in the horizon of the consciousness that is becoming adequate of any given thing, in the risen horizon that is rising even higher. Expectation, hope, intention towards possibility that has still not become: this is not only a basic feature of human consciousness, but, concretely corrected and grasped, a basic determination within objective reality as a whole. Since Marx, no research into truth and no realistic judgement is possible at all which will be able to avoid the subjective and objective hope-contents of the world without paying the penalty of triviality or reaching a dead-end. Philosophy will have conscience of tomorrow, commitment to the future, knowledge of hope, or it will have no more knowledge. And the new philosophy, as it was initiated by Marx, is the same thing as the philosophy of the New, this entity which expects, destroys or fulfils us all. Its consciousness is the openness of danger and of the victory which is to be brought about in those conditions. Its space is the objectively real possibility within process, along the path of the Object [Objekt] itself, in which what is radically intended by man is not delivered anywhere but not thwarted anywhere either. Its concern, to which all its energies must be devoted, remains what is truly hoping in the subject, truly hoped for in the object [Gegenstand]: our task is to research the function and content of this central Thing For Us.
The good New is never that completely new. It acts far beyond the daydreams by which life is pervaded and of which the figurative arts are full. All freedom movements are guided by utopian aspirations, and all Christians know them after their own fashion too, with sleeping conscience or with consternation, from the exodus and messianic parts of the Bible. In addition, the merging of have and have-not constituted by longing and hope, and by the drive to reach home again, has in any case been burrowing in great philosophy. Not only in Plato’s Eros, but also in the far-reaching Aristotelian concept of matter as that of possibility towards essence, and in Leibniz’s concept of tendency. Hope acts unmediatedly in the Kantian postulates of moral consciousness, it acts in a world-based, mediated way in Hegel’s historical dialectic. However, despite all these Enlightenment patrols and even expeditions into terram utopicam, there is something broken off about them all, broken off by contemplation. Most obviously perhaps in Hegel, who ventured out furthest: What Has Been overwhelms what is approaching, the collection of things that have become totally obstructs the categories Future, Front, Novum. Thus the utopian principle could not achieve a breakthrough, either in the archaic-mythical world, despite exodus from this, or in the urbane-rationalistic one, despite explosive dialectics. The reason for this is invariably that both the archaic-mythical and the urbane-rationalistic cast of mind are contemplative-idealistic, consequently, being merely passive-contemplative, they presuppose a closed world that has already become, including the projected over-world in which What Has Become is reflected. The gods of perfection in the former, the ideas or ideals in the latter are in their illusory being just as much res finitae as the so-called facts of this world in their empirical being. Future of the genuine, processively open kind is therefore sealed off from and alien to any mere contemplation.
Only thinking directed towards changing the world and informing the desire to change it does not confront the future (the unclosed space for new development in front of us) as embarrassment and the past as spell. Hence the crucial point is: only knowledge as conscious theory-practice confronts Becoming and what can be decided within it, conversely, contemplative knowledge can only refer by definition to What Has Become. In myth, the direct expression of this pull towards What Has Been, this relation to What Has Become is self-absorption, is the urge towards the immemorial, also the continual predominance of what is truly pagan, namely astral-mythic, the fixed dome arching over all occurrence. The methodical expression of the same connection to the past, estrangement from the future in rationalism is Plato’s anamnesis, or the doctrine that all knowledge is simply re-remembering. Re-remembering of the ideas perceived before birth, of totally primal past or what is ahistorically eternal. Whereby Beingness simply coincides with Been-ness, and the owl of Minerva always begins its flight only after dusk has fallen, when a form of life has already become old. Even Hegel’s dialectic, in its ultimate ‘circle of circles’, is similarly inhibited by the phantom of anamnesis and banished into the antiquarium. Marx was the first to posit the pathos of change instead of this, as the beginning of a theory which does not resign itself to contemplation and interpretation. The rigid divisions between future and past thus themselves collapse, unbecome future becomes visible in the past, avenged and inherited, mediated and fulfilled past in the future. Past that is grasped in isolation and clung to in this way is a mere commodity category, that is, a reified Factum without consciousness of its Fieri and of its continuing process. But true action in the present itself occurs solely in the totality of this process which is unclosed both backwards and forwards, materialistic dialectics becomes the instrument to control this process, the instrument of the mediated, controlled Novum. The Ratio of the bourgeois epoch which remained progressive is the next inheritance for this (minus ideology which is tied to its location and the increasing emptying of contents). But this Ratio is not the sole inheritance, on the contrary, preceding societies and even many myths in them (again minus mere ideology and particularly minus pre-scientifically preserved superstition) may also provide a philosophy which has surmounted the bourgeois barrier of knowledge with possibly progressive inherited material, even though, as is obvious, this material particularly requires elucidation, critical acquisition, functional change. Consider for example the role of purpose (Where To, What For) in pre- capitalist world-pictures or even the meaning of quality in their non-.mechanical concept of nature. Consider the myth of Prometheus, whom Marx calls the most distinguished saint in the philosophical calendar. Consider the myth of the Golden Age and its transposition into the future in the messianic consciousness of so many oppressed classes and peoples. Marxist philosophy, as that which at last adequately addresses what is becoming and what is approaching, also knows the whole of the past in creative breadth, because it knows no past other than the still living, not yet discharged past. Marxist philosophy is that of the future, therefore also of the future in the past; thus, in this collected consciousness of Front, it is living theory-practice of comprehended tendency, familiar with occurrence, in league with the Novum. And the crucial point remains: the light, in whose appearance the processive- unclosed Totum is depicted and promoted, is called docta spes, dialectical-materialistically comprehended hope. The basic theme of philosophy which remains and is, in that it becomes, is the still unbecome, still unachieved homeland, as it develops outwards and upwards in the dialectical-materialistic struggle of the New with the old.
Furthermore a signal is set for this. A forward signal which enables us to overtake, not to trot behind. Its meaning is Not-Yet, and the task is to grasp it thoroughly. In line with what Lenin meant in a passage which has come to be very much praised over the years, but not so eagerly taken to heart: ‘’What must we dream of?” I have written these words down and am shocked. I imagine I am sitting in a ‘coordination conference’ and opposite me are sitting the editors and staff of the ‘Rabocheye Dyelo’. And then Comrade Martinov stands up and turns to me menacingly: “May I be permitted to ask if an autonomous editorial staff still has the right to dream without previously consulting the Party committee?” And after him Comrade Kritschevski stands up and (philosophically expanding the ideas of Comrade Martinov who has long been expanding those of Comrade Plekhanov) continues even more menacingly: “I’ll go further than that. I’m asking whether a Marxist has the right to dream at all, unless he forgets that according to Marx humanity only sets itself tasks that it can solve, and that tactics are a process of growth of these tasks, which grow together with the Party?”
I shudder at the mere thought of these menacing questions, and I wonder where I can hide. I will try and hide behind Pissarev.
“One gulf is different to another,” wrote Pissarev concerning the gulf between dream and reality. “My dreams can overtake the natural course of events, or they can go off at complete tangents, down paths that the natural course of events can never tread. In the first case dreaming is totally harmless; it can even encourage and strengthen the working man’s power to act … There is nothing about such dreams which impairs or cripples creativity. In fact, quite the contrary. If a person were completely devoid of all capability of dreaming in this way, if he were not able to hasten ahead now and again to view in his imagination as a unified and completed picture the work which is only now beginning to take shape in his hands, then I find it absolutely impossible to imagine what would motivate the person to tackle and to complete extensive and strenuous pieces of work in the fields of art, science, and practical life … The gulf between dream and reality is not harmful if only the dreamer seriously believes in his dream, if he observes life attentively, compares his observations with his castles in the air and generally works towards the realization of his dream-construct conscientiously. There only has to be some point of contact between dream and life for everything to be in the best order.”
In our movement there are unfortunately precious few dreams of this kind. And those people are chiefly responsible for this who boast how sober they are and how “close” they stand to the “concrete,” and those are the representatives of legitimate criticism and the illegitimate politics of trotting behind’ (Lenin, What is to be Done?).
So let a further signal be set for forward dreaming. This book deals with nothing other than hoping beyond the day which has become. The theme of the five parts of this work (written between 1938 and 1947, revised in 1953 and 1959) is the dreams of a better life. Their unmediated, but principally their mediatable features and contents are broadly taken up, explored and tested. And the path leads via the little waking dreams to the strong ones, via the wavering dreams that can be abused to the rigorous ones, via the shifting castles in the air to the One Thing that is outstanding and needful. So the book begins with daydreams of an average kind, lightly and freely selected from youth to old age. They fill the first part: report, concerning the man in the street and unregulated wishes. This is immediately followed, founding and supporting everything else, by the second and fundamental part: the examination of anticipatory consciousness. For reasons founded in the subject itself, the foundation makes many sections of this part no easy reading, but of gradually increasing difficulty. But, to the reader who is being informed by it and being led deeper into it, it equally becomes of decreasing difficulty. The interesting nature of the subject also relieves the effort of assimilating it, just as the light above is part of climbing a mountain, and climbing a mountain is part of the inspiring view at the top. Hunger, the main drive, must be worked out here, and the way it proceeds to the rejection of deprivation, that is, to the most important expectant emotion: hope. A central task in this part is the discovery and unmistakable notation of the ‘Not-Yet-Conscious’. That is: a relatively still Unconscious disposed towards its other side, forwards rather than backwards. Towards the side of something new that is dawning up, that has never been conscious before, not, for example, something forgotten, something rememberable that has been, something that has sunk into the subconscious in repressed or archaic fashion. From Leibniz’s discovery of the subconscious via the Romantic psychology of night and primeval past to the psychoanalysis of Freud, essentially only ‘backward dawning’ has previously been described and investigated. People thought they had discovered that everything present is loaded with memory, with past in the cellar of the No-Longer-Conscious. What they had not discovered was that there is in present material, indeed in what is remembered itself, an impetus and a sense of being broken off, a brooding quality and an anticipation of Not-Yet-Become; and this broken-off and broached material does not take place in the cellar of consciousness, but on its Front. So it is a question here of the psychological processes of approaching, which are so characteristic above all for youth, for times of change, for the adventures of productivity, for all phenomena therefore in which Unbecome is located and seeks to articulate itself. The anticipatory thus operates in the field of hope; so this hope is not taken only as emotion, as the opposite of fear (because fear too can of course anticipate), but more essentially as a directing act of a cognitive kind(and here the opposite is then not fear, but memory). The imagination and the thoughts of future intention described in this way are utopian, this again not in a narrow sense of the word which only defines what is bad (emotively reckless picturing, playful form of an abstract kind), but rather in fact in the newly tenable sense of the forward dream, of anticipation in general. And so the category of the Utopian, beside the usual, justifiably pejorative sense, possesses the other, in no way necessarily abstract or unworldly sense, much more centrally turned towards the world: of overtaking the natural course of events. Thus understood, the theme of the second part is the utopian function and its contents. The exposition examines the relationship of this function to ideology, to archetypes, to ideals, to symbols, to the categories Front and Novum, Nothing and Homeland, to the fundamental problem of the Here and Now. Here, against all stale and static nihilism, it must be borne in mind: even the Nothing is a utopian category, though an extremely anti-utopian one. Far from forming a nullifying basis or being a background of this kind (so that the day of being lies between two absolute nights), the Nothing is – exactly like the positive Utopicum: Homeland or the All – simply ‘existing’ as objective possibility. It circulates in the process of the world, but does not ride on it; both: Nothing and All – are still in no way decided as utopian characters, as threatening or fulfilling result-definitions in the world. And likewise the Here and Now, what is repeatedly beginning in nearness, is a utopian category, in fact the most central one; even though, in contrast to the annihilating circulation of a Nothing, to the illuminating circulation of an All, it has not yet even entered time and space. Instead, the contents of this most immediate nearness still ferment entirely in the darkness of the lived moment as the real world-knot, world-riddle. Utopian consciousness wants to look far into the distance, but ultimately only in order to penetrate the darkness so near it of the just lived moment, in which everything that is both drives and is hidden from itself. In other words: we need the most powerful telescope, that of polished utopian consciousness, in order to penetrate precisely the nearest nearness. Namely, the most immediate immediacy, in which the core of self-location and being-here still lies, in which at the same time the whole knot of the world-secret is to be found. This is no secret which exists only for insufficient intellect, for example, while the matter [Sache] itself is content which is totally clear or reposing in itself, but it is that real secret which the world-matter is to itself and towards the solution of which it is in fact in process and on the way. Thus the Not-Yet-Conscious in man belongs completely to the Not-Yet-Become, Not-Yet-Brought-Out, Manifested-Out in the world. Not-Yet-Conscious interacts and reciprocates with Not-Yet-Become, more specifically with what is approaching in history and in the world. And the examination of anticipatory consciousness must fundamentally serve to make comprehensible the actual reflections which now follow, in fact depictions of the wished-for, the anticipated better life, in psychological and material terms. From the anticipatory, therefore, knowledge is to be gained on the basis of an ontology of the Not-Yet. So much for the second part here, and for the subject-based and object-based function analysis of hope begun within it.
Going back now to individual wishes, the first to surface again are the dubious ones. Instead of the unregulated little wishful images of the report, those harnessed and manipulated by the bourgeoisie now become visible. Thus manipulated, these images can be held down and misused, coloured pink and with blood. The third part: transition shows wishful images in the mirror, in a beautifying mirror which often only reflects how the ruling class wishes the wishes of the weak to be. But the picture clears completely as soon as the mirror comes from the people, as occurs quite visibly and wonderfully in fairytales. The mirrored, so often standardized wishes comprise this part of the book; common to all of them is a drive towards the colourful, representing what is supposedly or genuinely better. The appeal of dressing-up, illuminated display belong here, but then the world of fairytale, brightened distance in travel, the dance, the dream-factory of film, the example of theatre. Such things either present a better life, as in the entertainment industry, or sketch out in real terms a life shown to be essential. However, if this sketching out turns into a free and considered blueprint, then we find ourselves for the first time among the actual, that is, planned or outlined utopias. They comprise the fourth part: construction, with historically rich content which does not merely remain historical. It develops in the medical and social, the technological, architectural and geographical utopias, in the wishful landscapes of painting and literature. Thus the wishful images of health emerge, the fundamental ones of society without deprivation, the marvels of technology and the castles in the air in so many of the existing wishful images of architecture. Eldorado-Eden appears in the geographical voyages of discovery, the landscapes of an environment formed more adequately for us in painting and poetry, the perspectives of an Absolute in wisdom. All this is full of overhauling, builds implicitly or explicitly on to the road and the goal-image of a more perfect world, on to more thoroughly formed and more essential appearances than have empirically already become. There is also a lot of random and abstract escapism here, but great works of art essentially show a realistically related pre-appearance of their completely developed subject-matter. The glance towards prefigured, aesthetically and religiously experimental being is variable within them, but every attempt of this kind is experimenting with something that overhauls, something perfect which the world has not yet seen. The glance towards this is concrete in various ways depending on the respective class barrier, but the basic utopian goals of the respective so-called artistic aspiration in so-called styles, these ‘excesses’ over and above ideology, do not always perish with their society. Egyptian architecture is the aspiration to become like stone, with the crystal of death as intended perfection; Gothic architecture is the aspiration to become like the vine of Christ, with the tree of life as intended perfection. And in this way the whole of art shows itself to be full of appearances which are driven to become symbols of perfection, to a utopianly essential end. Of course, until now it has only been self-evident in the case of the social utopias that they are – utopian: firstly, because that is what they are called, and secondly, because the word cloud-cuckoo-land has mostly been used in association with them, and not only with the abstract ones among them. Because of which, as noted, the concept utopia has been both unduly restricted, namely confined to novels of an ideal state, and also above all, through the predominant abstractness of these novels of an ideal state, it has preserved that abstract playful form which only the progress of socialism from these utopias towards science has moved out of the way and removed. Nevertheless, despite all these dubious aspects, the word utopia emerged here coined by Thomas More, though not the philosophically far more comprehensive concept of utopia. On the other hand, little utopian material worthy of consideration was noticed in other, for example, technological wishful images and plans. Despite Francis Bacon’s ‘New Atlantis ‘ no frontier-land with its own pioneer status and its own hope-contents introduced into nature was distinguished in technology. This was seen even less in architecture, in buildings which form, re-form or pre-form a more beautiful space. And similarly, utopian material astonishingly remained undiscovered in the situations and landscapes of painting and poetry, in their extravagances and especially in their deeply inward – and outward-looking realisms of possibility. And yet, in all these spheres, utopian function is at work, with modified content, fanatical in the lesser creations, precise and realistic sui generis in the great ones. The very profusion of human imagination, together with its correlate in the world (once imagination becomes informed and concrete), cannot possibly be explored and inventoried other than through utopian function; any more than it can be tested without dialectical materialism. The specific pre-appearance which art shows is like a laboratory where events, figures and characters are driven to their typical, characteristic end, to an abysmal or a blissful end; this essential vision of characters and situations, inscribed in every work of art, which in its most striking form we may call Shakespearean, in its most terminalized form Dantean, presupposes possibility beyond already existing reality. At all points here prospective acts and imaginations aim, subjective, but possibly even objective dream-roads run out of the Become towards the Achieved, towards symbolically encircled achievement. Thus the concept of the Not-Yet and of the intention towards it that is thoroughly forming itself out no longer has its only, indeed exhaustive example in the social utopias; important though the social utopias, leaving all others aside, have become for the critical awareness of elaborated anticipating. But to limit the utopian to the Thomas More variety, or simply to orientate it in that direction, would be like trying to reduce electricity to the amber from which it gets its Greek name and in which it was first noticed. Indeed, the utopian coincides so little with the novel of an ideal state that the whole totality of philosophy becomes necessary (a sometimes almost forgotten totality) to do justice to the content of that designated by utopia. Hence the breadth of the anticipations, wishful images, hope-contents collected in the part called: construction. Hence – in front of as well as behind the fairytales of an ideal state – the aforementioned notation and interpretation of medical, technological, architectural, geographical utopias, also of the actual wishful landscapes in painting, opera, literature. Hence, finally, this is the place for the portrayal of the multifarious hope-landscape and the specific perspectives on it in the collective thinking of philosophical wisdom. Despite the predominant pathos of What Has Been in previous philosophies; – the almost continually intended direction: appearance – essence nevertheless clearly shows a utopian pole. The sequence of all these formations, socially, aesthetically, philosophically relevant to culture of ‘true being’, accordingly ends, coming down to always decisive earth, in questions of a life of fulfilling work free of exploitation, but also of a life beyond work, i.e. in the wishful problem of leisure.
The final will is that to be truly present. So that the lived moment belongs to us and we to it and ‘Stay awhile’ could be said to it. Man wants at last to enter into the Here and Now as himself, wants to enter his full life without postponement and distance. The genuine utopian will is definitely not endless striving, rather: it wants to see the merely immediate and thus so unpossessed nature of self-location and being-here finally mediated, illuminated and fulfilled, fulfilled happily and adequately. This is the utopian frontier-content which is implied in the ‘Stay awhile, you are so fair’ of the Faust scheme. The objective hope-images of the construction thus press inevitably towards those of fulfilled human beings themselves and their environment fully mediated with these images, that is, towards homeland. The fifth and final part: identity attempts to take up these intentions. As attempts to become like proper human beings, the various moral guiding images appear, and the so often antithetical guiding panels of the right life. The fictional figures of human venturing beyond the limits then appear: Don Giovanni, Odysseus, Faust, the last precisely on the way to the perfect moment, in utopia which thoroughly experiences the world; Don Quixote warns and demands, in dream-monomania, dream-depth. As call and pull of very immediate, very far-striking lines of expression, music emerges, the art of strongest intensity distilled into song and sound, of the utopian Humanum in the world. And then: the images of hope against death are gathered, against this hardest counterblow to utopia; death is therefore its unforgettable awakener. It is especially a circulation of that Nothing which is devoured into being by the utopian pull; there is no becoming and no victory into which the annihilation of what is bad is not actively devoured. All the glad tidings which constitute the imagination of religion culminate mythically, against death and fate, both the completely illusory tidings and those with a humane core, ultimately related to deliverance from evil, to freedom towards the ‘kingdom’. There follows, precisely concerning this-worldly intention towards this becoming homeland, the future problem in the bearing, encompassing space of homeland: of nature. The problem of what is worth wishing for in general, or of the highest good, always remains the central point here. Its utopia of the One Thing Necessary, although it in fact still stands completely in premonition, like the being-in-the-present of men themselves, governs all the rest. If only the less high goods were attained and accessible of course, on the road to the abolition of base deprivation. On the road which first leads to the treasures where moth and rust doth corrupt, and only then to those which stay awhile. This road is and remains that of socialism, it is the practice of concrete utopia. Everything that is non-illusory, real-possible about the hope-images leads to Marx, works – as always, in different ways, rationed according to the situation – as part of socialist changing of the world. The architecture of hope thus really becomes one on to man, who had previously only seen it as dream and as high, all too high preappearance, and one on to the new earth. Becoming happy was always what was sought after in the dreams of a better life, and only Marxism can initiate it. This provides fresh access to creative Marxism, even pedagogically and in terms of content, and from new premises, of a subjective and objective kind.
What is thus intended needs to be broadly delineated here. On a small and large scale, tested if possible, with the will to set free what is real within it. So that by the yardstick of real possibility, What Is in real possibility, what is really still outstanding (everything else is chaff of mere opinionizing and fools’ paradise) achieves positive being. This is ultimately a great simplicity or the One Thing Needful. An encyclopaedia of hopes often contains repetitions, but never overlappings, and so far as the former is concerned, Voltaire’s statement is valid here that he would repeat himself as often as was necessary until he was understood. The statement is even more valid since the repetitions of the book ideally always occur on a new level, have therefore both learnt something in the meantime and may allow the identical thing they are aiming at to be learned anew. The direction towards the One Thing Needful was also alive in previous philosophies; how else could they have been a love of wisdom? And how else could there have been great philosophy, that is, ceaselessly and totally related to the Authentic, the Essential? Let alone materialistically great philosophy with the capability for the real depiction of what is coherently essential? With the basic pull towards explaining the world in terms of itself (and with the certain confidence of being able to explain it in these terms), towards this-worldly happiness (and with the certain confidence of finding it)? But, until Marx, the previous lovers of wisdom, even the materialist ones, posited the Authentic as already ontically existing, in fact statically closed: from the water of the simple Thales to the In-and-For-Itself of the absolute Hegel. Time and again, it was ultimately the ceiling of Plato’s anamnesis above dialectically open Eros which kept out and, in a contemplative antiquarian fashion, closed off previous philosophy, including Hegel, from the seriousness of the Front and the Novum. Thus the perspective was broken off, thus remembering defused hope. Thus hope did not in fact arise in remembering either (in the future in the past). Thus remembering did not arise in hope either (in concrete utopia which is historically mediated, but which pours forth history). Thus we appeared to have already got behind the tendency of being, that is, to have arrived behind it. Thus the real process of the world appeared to have got behind itself, to have arrived and to have been brought to a standstill. But the forming-depicting aspect of the true, of the real, is never so easily broken off, as if the process pending in the world were already decided. Only with the farewell to the closed, static concept of being does the real dimension of hope open. Instead, the world is full of propensity towards something, tendency towards something, latency of something, and this intended something means fulfilment of the intending. It means a world which is more adequate for us, without degrading suffering, anxiety, self-alienation, nothingness. However, this tendency is in flux, as one that has precisely the Novum in front of it. The Where To of the real only shows in the Novum its most basic Objective determinateness, and it appeals to man who is the arms of the Novum. Marxist knowledge means: the difficult processes of what is approaching enter into concept and practice. In the problem area of the Novum inherently lies the profusion of even whiter fields of knowledge where worldly wisdom becomes young and original again. If being is understood out of its Where From, then it is so only as an equally tendential, still unclosed Where To. The being that conditions consciousness, and the consciousness that processes being, is understood ultimately only out of that and in that from which and towards which it tends. Essential being is not Been-ness; on the contrary: the essential being of the world lies itself on the Front.