Monday 18 March 2013

What the end of post-modernism really means

What comes after post-modernism? I asked a couple of posts ago - and did so partly to encourage people to buy my book which (I modestly suggests) contains the answer.

I've had a number of completely contradictory responses - congratulatory messages on Facebook, a cascade of articles about the impossibility of objective truth, and defending the prevailing post-modern culture.  For Liberals, these are difficult issues - because I am suggesting there is a lazy, corrosive kind of liberalism, and we need to move beyond it to find a high, more demanding Liberalism, a Liberalism with depth, which has some chance of surviving another century.

I also had a number of comments from people who said that they hadn't the faintest idea what I am talking about.  This seems to be to be rather a fair criticism.  So I thought I would develop the following table, which tries to explain how we have moved from a tyrannical modernism to a lazy and corrosive post-modernism - and will inevitably move to what I suggest is a new kind of humanism:

The ages at a glance

New Humanist
Emerging nation
Presiding ethic
Besetting sin
Inspiring technology
Assembly line
Solar cell
Primary language
Presiding genius
Walter Gropius
Jacques Derrida
David Bohm
Roger Fry
Charles Jencks
Position vacant

Since publishing the book, I have wondered whether the besetting sin of the new humanism is really obscurity, after all.  I'm not sure it isn't actually going to be pomposity - this is after all the sin of people who believe they are in communication with objective truth.  So I am going to be very careful from now on not to be either obscure or pompous if I can possibly help it.

But do feel free to join in the real debate about the future: read The Age to Come: Authenticity, Post-modernism and how to survive what comes next (Endeavour Press).  And let me know what you think!

1 comment:

baudolino said...

Maybe the new movement will be post-humanism, a cybernetic extension of human limitations that can escape the event horizon of our collapsing civilized environment.