Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Quote II


"This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angle would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress."


Benjamin of the Frankfurt School, cited in Perry Anderson (1979) Considerations on Western Marxism. Redwood Burn Ltd,: London, p 90. For a discussion on Anderson’s book, see Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.