Does history advance? It may, but we know that it also goes backward. The age of law enhances its importance, but the antiquity of tradition suggests that it it out of date. The appeal of the modern pulls against the veneration of the old. We tend to think that ideas, like law or religion, depend on the mode of production of a given society; we are not used to considering them as invariables against the midst of technological changes and material production. We need a philosophy of history. Neither neoliberalism nor postmodernism can provide it, as they are so attached to the new with its attendant forgetting.
Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto, p. 19.