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The future's messianic power to disrupt the present

Wallter Benjamin once remarked that what drove men and women to revolt was not dreams of liberated grandchildren(the future)  but memories of oppressed ancestors.(the past)

 Visions of future happiness are all very well; but happiness is a feeble, holiday-camp kind of word, resonant of manic grins and multicoloured jackets, not least when compared with the kind of past which, as Marx commented, weighs like a nightmare (the world wars of 1914-18 and 194--45 Nazism, the Holocaust,  on the brains of the living

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