(Extra)ordinary Temporalizations: Heroic Endurance, Retro-Futurism, and Failing Forward in the Greek Economic Crisis
Temporality is a key concept of social and cultural science for understanding subjectivity and normative orders in contemporary society. Various literary articles on economic crises reveal the combination of temporal structuration and productive regimes. The article argues that temporality as a concept needs to be challenged by questioning how concepts like “crisis” implicitly or explicitly temporalize, often masking how interlocutors structure and approach time as an object of knowledge in certain configurations of social reproduction. The article analyses three modalities of temporalizations in the Greek economic crisis: heroic endurance, a way to make it into the near future by surviving the present; retro-futurism, an attempt to return to a pre-past in which progressive futures still seemed possible; and failing forward, prefigurative action in the present to effect another kind of future. All three derive from the author's fieldwork in Volos, Greece. All three modalities analyse political orientations and when, how, and who is addressed to deal with (extra) ordinary times. Finally, the article proposes understanding temporalization as a localized practice of creating order, specifically during capitalist crises.