Space and Time


Man lives in inhuman time and in inhuman space. His attitude towards time and space is given by the ruling order. In the contemporary world capital is the master of both time and space. This goes for the capitalist determination of time, in a context of the capitalist totalizing of the world by repressive and destructive commercialization (“Time is money!”), which turns the world into a labour-consumer concentration camp. An “objectification” of time has taken place: time as a virtual or abstract phenomenon becomes a power of destiny (“It’s a matter of time!”, “Time will tell!”…). The speed of capitalist reproduction conditions the dynamics of social life. Using science and technique as means for acceleration of the profit-making process, capital increasingly “diminishes” human existential and spiritual space and at the same time creates a growing gap between people, one that is not measurable in meters, but in a feeling of loneliness and despair that has reached epidemic proportions. Acceleration of capitalist reproduction makes human time, which represents the duration of life, run out more and more quickly.

“Measuring of time” in sports is a typical example of the instrumentalization of “physical” time and space in order to overmaster man. In sport, space and time are given dimensions, independent from man. This relates to closed space and to definitive time: upon this ground, and within this framework, basic relationships and basic values of the existing world are being reproduced. Sport is an area where quantitative and mechanical “mastering” of time and space are most perceptible, one of the major features of “technical civilization” used by capital to turn natural forces into a vehicle for the destruction of human time and space. In sport, man exists outside of biological and historical (cultural) time and finds himself in an area of mechanical time. “Sport time” is a phenomenal form in which the process of capitalist reproduction pulsates: development of capitalism conditions the “openness” of sport time and of sport space. This is the essence of record-mania. In sports where “competing against the chronometer” dominates, results are not being measured only in minutes, but in seconds, tenths and hundredths of a second. From the point of view of the development of human powers, such improvements are nonsensical and of an abstract value for man. There is an endeavour to preserve the dominant principle citius, altius, fortius at any cost, and, along with it, the belief in the “progressive” nature of the ruling order. Consequently, the “history of sport” is being reduced to a sequence of numbers that increase in a linear manner, and to which names of un-personalized “champions” are adjoined. Sport “progress” does not represent a moving forward, but is reduced to limitless and increasingly intensive circular movement that occurs on the sport track, which is supposed to halt history and hinder man’s striding away from the existing world. The record is not an expression of the development of human powers but represents a quantum of destruction of man as a biological and cultural being. The “quality of play” is being measured by the quantity of occurrences per time unit (points, passes, rebounds…). Spaces of some future time are not being developed in sports. Instead, the ruling relations are being reproduced, at a higher quantitative level. A sports spectacle represents a symbolic form of complete integration of man into capitalist time and space. The Olympiads (the “holy” four-year period ending with the Olympic Games) represent a mythological time that annuls historical time in order to attain “eternity” for capitalism: modern Olympic Games are a reincarnation of the “immortal spirit of antiquity”.

Motion through space is the basis of the (existential, libertarian, visionary) relation of man to space, from whence a notion of space derives, as well as the creation of the concept of space which surpasses the directly perceived and experienced living space, and represents the ground for creation of the notion of “world” and of the existence of us, humans, in it. It represents the basis of man’s uniqueness and of his libertarian self-conscious. What differentiates human motion from mechanical and animal motion is the fact that it requires a change-aspiring relation towards the existing world and a moving towards new worlds, which means that it possesses a creative, libertarian and visionary dimension. It is a historical motion – the essence of which represents freedom measured by development (accomplishment) of man’s playing being and by an increased certainty of human survival. Space is not a given fact that defines the framework of playing, neither is it an emptiness in which the world exists. It represents a possibility of creation of a new world and is, as such, a symbol of man’s openness towards the future. The creation of life and life itself become inseparable contents of time, the “measure” of its “duration”, of the “boundaries” and of the “dimensions” of space.

Through playing, man ceases his existence in the given time and space and creates his own (human) time and space. “Expansion of space” results from man’s creative practice, opening possibilities for the development of humanness. In authentic play, space is limitless and time is endless. The challenge shifts from the variety of outer world forms towards the richness of the inner, creative, interpersonal… Through playing, the duality of the “outer” and the “inner” is abolished: genuine creativity represents a “transformation” of the world into an experience of humanness. The real world is what man carries inside and what he creates together with other men. In this sense play becomes “fascination”, a sense of life taken to the extreme – through experience based on the creation of life – instead of evasion as a compensation for a deprived humanness. The “duration” of playing time and the “dimensions” of the space are conditioned by a flourishing of the senses and emotions, by human closeness and creative life… “Comprehension” of humanness is the basic and the sole authentic “dimension” of human time and space. It requires the annulment of all forms that mediate between man and world, forms that transform the world into “otherness”. Attainment of man’s playing being becomes the “source” of playing time and space. Playing, which is the most authentic human mode for totalizing the world, becomes a “metamorphosis” of historical time and space into “purely” human time and space, and, in that sense, a specifically human universe. Fantasy represents an essential aspect of human time and space, not as an escape from the existing world and daydreaming, but as a projection of a future world and the creation of novum. It is, anyhow, a sort of time that has no quantitative dimensions, no comparison that annuls all humanness. Man’s becoming a human being is the authentic content and the authentic measure of human time.

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