Post Carbon Institute26 September under a Creative Commons License Akropolis by Leo von Klenze Could declining world energy result in a turn toward authoritarianism by governments around the world? As we will see, there is no simple answer that applies to all countries.
Modernity, in terms of the views and values that have brought us out of the feudalism of the Medieval period and led us to the relative richness and comfort we enjoy today and which are rapidly spreading around the worldis under threat from the extremes at both ends of the political spectrum.
Modernity is worth fighting for if you enjoy and wish others to enjoy the benefits of a first-world existence in relative safety and with high degrees of individual liberty that can express itself in functional societies.
Most people support Modernity and wish its anti-modern enemies would shut up. The enemies of Modernity now form two disagreeing factions — the postmoderns on the left and the premoderns on the right — and largely represent two ideological visions for rejecting Modernity and the good fruits of the Enlightenment, such as science, reason, republican democracy, rule of law, and the nearest thing we can claim to objective moral progress.
Left-right partisanship is the tool by which they condemn Modernity and continually radicalize sympathizers to choose between the two warring factions of anti-modernism: It is naturally unstable and reinforces the very thinking that perpetuates our current state of what we term existential polarization.
At its core, it values empowering the individual to think, believe, read, write, speak, doubt, question, argue, and refute any ideas at all in pursuit of truth.
What is there in the society of today for someone who still believes in this?
We find ourselves offered a left-hand path upon which progressive crusaders bill themselves as the righteous defenders of Social Justice and moral progress, and thus the true future of Modernity. Upon which of these two paths can the hopeful Post industrialism a summary in Modernity hope to find the cornerstone of the Modern project, which is an allegiance to seeking objective truth and erecting sufficiently strong institutions to secure the fruits of Modernity?
The regressive right champions premodernism instead, which is little more than a grand delusion that the intricate complexities of Modern society can function without the elaborate infrastructure required to run a Modern society in the first place. The shutting up is particularly important.
A more capital-S Sophisticated Truth can also be found along the right-hand path, placed there by Nature Herself in the form of philosophically reasoned-out Natural Law, despite the demonstrated meaninglessness of this term and its distinctness from anything established by the natural sciences.
Both are bent toward authoritarianism and values at odds with Modernity. Collectively, these two groups represent one overarching ethos. Treated as a single entity, they make up a relatively small, intrinsically divided, but alarmingly powerful minority.
Separately, these two factions whirl in a centrifugal death spiral for society driven by a near-religious and redemptionless hatred for each other. They proceed as if by superpower, as they are nearly unrivaled at fomenting ideological divisiveness amongst the majority who believe in Modernity.
They should be seen and resisted as a single dragon with two noxious heads that pose far more threat to everyone else than they do to each other.
Regardless of the validity of any claim on which head is the nastier, the debate is a matter of much fruitless argument that feeds the dragon rather than slaying it.
Modernity When we advocate a defense of Modernity, we are talking about the fruits of the Modern era; the positive developments of that period from the Renaissance to the present day. This period is distinguished from its predecessor, the Medieval period, by several important intellectual changes including the Enlightenment, the formation of free societies governed by representative democracy, and the Scientific Revolution.
Over the last years, Western society has seen a shift from a dominant epistemology based on religious faith to one based on reason and science, and from a social system based on collectives within a hierarchy, to a recognition of individual human worth and the need for individual freedom.
If you believe in the legitimate progress of the last years and wish to see it continue, and you support the moral and intellectual values that have led us here, then you believe in Modernity too. Some will argue that to see Modernity in this way is to create false historical categories which ignore continuities and do so in order to romanticize a period which remained full of false belief and injustice.
This is a fair assessment but misses the point. Our intention is not to claim that everything was terrible and then the Enlightenment happened and all was wonderful. The Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and liberal democracy are processes which began in this period and progressed gradually throughout it.
Along the way, they encountered many stalls and setbacks and made missteps that are proportionally grand to their far-reaching vision. They were and continue to be part of ongoing projects subsumed under the umbrella of Modernity which may never be completed but which it is essential to the wellbeing of humanity to continue.
To be pro-Modernity is not to support everything that happened in the Modern period to the point of including war, genocide, imperialism, and slavery, or their negative impacts, but to value that intellectual shift which produced benefits that had not existed before or had been lost in the Medieval epoch.
You are pro-Modernity if you believe in the scientific method, human rights, liberal democracy, individual liberty, and established epistemologies based on evidence and reason. The pillars of Modernity are a set of values that served to lift us out of the Medieval period and into the dramatically improved world we mostly take for granted today.
These defining values include A profound respect for the power of reason and the utility and strength of science; An unwavering commitment to the norms of secular democratic republics, including rule of law, and an abiding belief that they are the most beneficent political force the world has known; A keen understanding that, whatever and however group dynamics may influence human societies, the atomic unit of society to be defended and cherished is the individual; An earnest appreciation that the Good is best achieved through a balance between human cooperation and competition brokered and mediated through the interplay of institutions that work on behalf of public and private interests.
Despite being unbelievably popular, these pillars of Modernity are currently under threat. The Broad Popularity of Modernity The most bizarre thing about the current threat to Modernity is that it is taking place within a Western society that still overwhelmingly supports its values and recognizes its benefits.
Committed opponents of science, democracy, liberty, human rights and reason are a small minority and are found merely on the noisy fringes of politics. Still, despite perhaps the broadest support for any project in human history, Modernity itself gets very little direct defense, quite possibly because defending Modernity and its benefits seems far too obvious to bother with.
However, to fail to defend Modernity is to stand above a pit of darkness — one we clawed our way out of, mind you — and to cut off the very branch we all stand upon. But who would do such a thing?! These moral luminaries demand we face a ludicrous choice between odious poppycock and loathsome codswallop: Meanwhile, the vast majority of people on the left or the right believe in incremental progress and appeal first to the very principles and institutions of Modernity when criticizing the extremes of the other side.
Those who claim that science and reason are a form of imperialism or an arrogant defiance of God are largely recognized as lunatics. Those who oppose democracy, liberty, and human rights in the name of any authoritarian vision are widely perceived as dangerous zealots. The respect for and desire to defend the fruits of Modernity is the mainstream view, and it transcends partisanship, and yet they are in danger of falling victim to the uncompromising machinations of the fringes.Video: Economic Activity: Pre-Industrial, Industrial & Post-Industrial This lesson will explore the eras of pre-industrialism, industrialism, and post-industrialism.
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An effective introduction discusses the meaningfulness of the study along while it presents the problem or issue. Because it advocates for the need for your investigation and gives a clear insight into your intentions, the introduction presents a background and context for your investigation.