Growing up in the sixties the sense of pervasive change of a movement filled my mind the like the rush of a river. As I aged I realised life has many counter currents. It is not just one all embracing movement..
The buzz word now is tribe or community. Seth Goden wants us to market to our tribe. Pickup artists imagine a man with his harem of doting females. An ashram, Mosque or Church may seem somewhat static, locked in the past. For they too want to preserve an image of their community.
What of the Adivasi of India or Australian Aboriginee? Tribal peoples see the world more organic, like rhizomes and trees fostered from the earth.
Politically, a Cold War sense of power is still there – us versus them. Colonizer versus colonized, liberated and past oppressor. Colonial times? … And what is that? There is as much colonialism today in the diplomacy of trade.
The science of culture and society has remade itself out of loose concepts. These great metaphors may suit certain cultures but hand on the thin air of popular consent. Culture is no longer primordial. The self versus other is now called by other words
We want to see ourselves as moderate. We avoid ideas of the radical other, the primitive or uncivilised or barbaric.
Perhaps they remind us to much of our own societies shadow. So we avoid our social periphery, use nice words and don’t want to be seen as ethnocentric.
Perhaps in trying to avoid the over emphasis of difference and by rejecting an apocalyptic view of a disintegrating worldview, we are refusing to face our truth. We don’t want to admit we have dismantled the hunter gatherer, or that we are risking our own cultures sustainability.
Modernism needs to be critiqued – but its worshippers simply attack the other and want more of the same.
Why not ask how we can be both modern and do better?