“Like Weber, Derrida recognized that his therapies of disenchantment can bring sadness. There is a ‘Rousseaustic side’ of our era that longs for a return to unity based upon sacred authorities. Faced with ‘decentering,’ ‘the absent origin,’ and the ‘disruption of presence,’ we can feel ‘saddened, negative, nostalgic, guilty,’ as if we are losing noble truths and betraying higher duties. Derrida recommends what he takes to be a better way. We need a society that is open all the way down. That can be found when we view disenchantment as opening the way for the ‘Nietzschean affirmation, that is the joyous affirmation of a world of signs without fault, without truth, and without origin which is offered to an active interpretation.’ These words of consolation amount to a sophisticated, now politically confident restatement of Popper’s urgent, almost panicked assertion some two decades earlier: ‘Although history has no meaning, we can give it meaning.’
R. R. Reno
Return of the Strong Gods; Nationalism, Populism & The Return Of The West — p. 66-67
1.) The idea that we can have a society that is open all the way down is just another way of saying, “Hath God really said?”
2.) ‘A world of signs’ where active interpretation can take place is oxymoronic, if only because a “sign” is something that stands in the place of a higher reality and yet we are being told that there is no higher reality. As such Derrida following Nietzsche is talking about actively interpreting a world of signs where the sign has no real reality behind it. As such it, by definition, cannot be a sign because it points to nothing and by definition there can be no interpretation since interpretation presupposes that something exists that can be interpreted. However, disenchantment denies all off this. This ends up being one huge mass of contradiction.
3.) One wonders who is the “we” who are going to give history meaning? There are 7 billion people on the planet. Are each and all going to impart their own personal meaning? Anarchy anyone? Or, is it the case that underlying this statement is the assumption that some elite can arise to assign meaning to meaningless history? An assigned meaning the rest of us plebes will be required to adopt?