"History is the subject of a construction whose setting is not homogenous, empty time, rather a setting filled by the presence of nowtime. So for Robespierre ancient Rome was a past charged with nowtime. The French Revolution understood itself as the recurrence of Rome. It cited ancient Rome the way fashion cites the dress of the past. Fashion has a sense for the actual present, no matter where it moves in the thickets of the past. It is a tigers leap into the past. Only to find itself in an arena where the ruling class gives the commands."
Thesis XIV, Walter Benjamin