Samuel Earle: “Mourn, and organise!”

A review of Left-Wing Melancholia by Enzo Traverso on ‘the left’s loss of telos.  History is not the ally it was thought to be. Telos is the opiate of revolutionaries; without it hope is hollow and defeats have a different ring. Even Traverso, who diagnoses this problem so well, cannot resist prescribing it too. “We can always take comfort,” he tells us, “that revolutions are never ‘on time’, that they come when nobody expects them.” This is false comfort: sometimes revolutions never come at all.’