something persistent like an odour that circulates through the luminous immobility of this world without time

But the end of history is also the final form of the temporal paradoxes we have tried to dramatize here: namely that a rhetoric of absolute change (or 'permanent revolution' in some trendy and meretricious new sense) is, for the postmodern, no more satisfactory (but not less so) than the language of absolute identity and unchanging standardization cooked up by the great corporations, whose concept of innovation is best illustrated by the neologism and the logo and their equivalents in the realm of built space, 'life­ style' corporate culture, and psychic programming. The persist­ence of the Same through absolute Difference - the same street with different buildings, the same culture through momentous new sheddings of skin - discredits change, since henceforth the only conceivable radical change would consist in putting an end to change itself. But here the antinomy really does result in the blocking or paralysis of thought, since the impossibility of thinking another system except by way of the cancellation of this one ends up discrediting the utopian imagination itself, which is fantasized as the loss of everything we know experien­tially, from our libidinal investments to our psychic habits, and in particular the artificial excitements of consumption and fashion.

Parmenidean stasis or Being, to be sure, knows at least one irrevocable event, namely death and the passage of the gener­ations: insofar as the system of Parmenidean simulacrum or illusion is a very recent one, constituted in what we call postmodernity, the temporality of the generations in all their mortal discontinuity is not yet visible in results, except retro­ actively and as a materialist historiographic imperative. But death itself, as the very violence of absolute change, in the form of the nonimage - not even bodies rotting off stage but rather something persistent like an odour that circulates through the luminous immobility of this world without time - is inescapable and meaningless, since any historical framework that would serve to interpret and position individual deaths (at least for their survivors) has been destroyed. A kind of absolute violence, then, the abstraction of violent death, is something like the dialectical correlative to this world without time or history.

Fredric Jameson - Antimonies of the Postmodern