A Post-Modern Age?

A Post-Modern Age?


Post-Modernism can be described as a particular
style of thought. It is a concept that correlates the emergence of
new features and types of social life and economic order in a culture;
often called modernization, post-industrial, consumer, media, or multinational
capitalistic societies.

In Modernity, we have the sense or idea
that the present is discontinuous with the past, that through a process
of social, technological, and cultural change (either through improvement,
that is, progress, or through decline) life in the present is fundamentally
different from life in the past. This sense or idea as a world view
contrasts with what is commonly known as Tradition, which is simply the
sense that the present is continuous with the past, that the present in
some way repeats the forms, behavior, and events of the past.

I would propose that traditional ways of
life have been replaced with uncontrollable change and unmanageable alternatives,
but that these changes and alternatives eventually create something that
may result in the society that traditionalists actually seek after; the
balance between Nature and Technology. Modernity itself is merely
the sense that the present is a transitional point, not focused on a clear
goal in the future but simply changing through forces outside our control.

I will first describe how "Modernity" came about, and then to indicate
some of the features for which "Post-Modernity" is meant to be a reaction,
response or addition to modernization.

Beginnings of Modernity:

First, I aim to give a broad historical
picture against which we may understand the rise of Modernity as an idea
related to science and society or as a framework for a view of rationality.

We know that we experience change as either progress or transition, that
is, we view our historical situation and our lives presently as deriving
meaning and value in some unrealized future.

The shift from Renaissance humanism to

Modern rationalism can be understood in terms of four shifts: (1)
from an oral culture in which the theory and practice of rhetoric played
a central role to a written culture in which formal logic played a central
role in establishing the credentials of an argument; (2) from a practical
concern - with understanding and acting on particular cases to a more theoretical
concern with the development of universal principles; (3) from a concern
with the local - in all its stable diversity, to the general - understood
in terms of abstract multi nationalisms; and (4) from the timely - a concern
with making practical decisions in the transitory situations which demand
wise and prudent responses, to the timeless - a concern with understanding
and explaining the enduring, perhaps eternal, nature of things.

There are several societal factors that
have indicated and resulted in the rise of Modernity. The origin
of Modernity may have its roots in several periods: the year 1436,
with Gutenberg\'s adoption of moveable type; or in 1520, and Luther\'s rebellion
against Church authority; or 1648, and the end of the Thirty Years\' War;
while even still, it could have begun during the American or French Revolutions
of 1776 or 1789; or even the rise of "Modernism" in fine arts and literature.

How we ourselves are to feel about the prospects of Modernity depends on
what we see as the heart and core of the "modern," and what key events
in our eyes gave rise to the "modern" world.

Societal Responses to Modernity:

During the period of the 1500\'s thru the

1900\'s the framework and presuppositions about Nature and Humanity were
being progressively challenged and overturned by many scientific advances,
until not one, or very little of their elements were accepted by reasonably
educated people. European society was becoming known as traditional,
hierarchical, corporate, and privileged. These features had characterized

Europe and much of the rest of the world during these few centuries.

Virtually every society on the globe by the opening of the eighteenth century
could be characterized by social dependency’s and discrepancies between
wealth and poverty. All of these societies also confronted the problems
of scarce food supplies.

After a time during the same period, important
changes began to occur in the societies of the world from Asia to Europe.

A population explosion due to an improved food supply created pressures
on the existing traditional and newly modernizing social structures.

Commerce, banking, and agriculture improved greatly and a more stable and
certain money supply were established; however, only Europe at the time
was becoming highly industrialized.

Eighteenth-century Japan stood, of course,
in marked contrast to both Europe and China. Tokugawa rule had achieved
remarkable stability, but Japan had chosen not to enter the world-trading
network, except as a depot for Dutch and Chinese goods. The population
grew less