Monday, May 22, 2006

The Reaction

Back to the issue of postmodernity.

In saying that we are in a postmodern predicament we are discussing both reaction against as well as development from the modern. It is not a return to the medieval or a rejection of all things modern. Too often we use the analogy of a pendulum, implying that over time, things swing back to where they were before. Basic social changes such as the ones we are living through work differently – we react against some aspects of our lives while clinging to others, in particular economically driven changes. For example, some (inaccurately in my opinion) from time to time will assert that there is or will be a reaction against, and rollback of, the changes that came out of the feminist movement of the 1960’s-70’s. Various social phenomena are pointed to in support of that – but the percentage of women who work full time does not change, and is not expected to change. We are reacting against some parts of the modern world while clinging to others. If one is waiting for the return of the medieval world or the rise once again of the classical philosophers, one should either join the Society for Creative Anachronism or a university classics department, and get it out of one’s system safely.

Next: the consequences of the collapse of the modern.

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