So Much the Worse for the Facts
German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel once summed up his philosophical project with the words ‘So much the worse for the facts’. It was an audacious argument in favour of theory and against the journalistic concerns of the day. In his book of that name, Anton Jäger, an up-and-coming philosophy talent, collects five years’ worth of essays that take an approach based on political philosophy. The essays address subjects such as the banking crisis, the Covid crisis and the malaise in which democracy currently finds itself. Jäger takes a bird’s eye view of the immense shifts in the political establishment that have taken place since 2008, in Belgium and beyond. Is populism pushing aside party democracy? Has the post-politics of the 1990s tipped over into hyper-politics? And has the time of monsters dawned, or are we witnessing the daybreak of progressivism?
He writes beautifully about an ugly time.De Groene Amsterdammer
‘History of the present’ is how in his introduction, casually embracing the paradox, Jäger describes the aim of his activities as a commentator, which focus on the question: in what kind of time are we living? For him, this means that to comment is the same as to contextualize; broader interpretation is impossible if the subject is not firmly situated historically. He sees what is happening now, the developments that are commanding our full attention, as symptomatic of social tendencies that have been churning up the ground beneath our feet for several decades already.
‘So Much the Worse for the Facts’ provides context for an endlessly confusing era.
Each of the essays documenting our time in ‘So Much the Worse for the Facts’ is extremely well contextualized and thought through, far surpassing mere reporting – and the level of today’s press coverage.De WereldMorgen