2004/12/10

On Postmodernism (4)

Let's come back for a while to this idea of a final outcome that is perhaps the most dominating trait within the Western worldview. While being absolutely out of sink with what is going on around the world at the start of the 21st century it nevertheless is still predominant.
This should not come as a surprise. The media with a world reach are all without exception controlled by "white" capital. Scientific research with a world impact is invariably done in "white" universities and research centers. Art and design is exclusively produced by "white" hands at the attention of "white" patrons. Speaking about "white" I mean from Europe and from all the European extensions around the world, that includes all immigrations among those as well as any apings of those.

In their view, life is like a trip on a road leading to a final destination that is given by their unique god (be it a god of religion or a god of capital). A kind of day-dream of the reunion, in an environment made of the search for love, of all those who were on god's side during their life. The foundational building blocks of the West establish the thirst from god's believers for his love and the desire that it induces brings his believers to act as god's arm in his fight against evil. This in summary is what has been transmitted generation after generation for so many centuries by the religions of the book to their followers and it remains fully at work even for those who abandoned religious practice. What is at work under this view is a dualist approach of reality: good versus evil, black versus white. The individuals and groups then chose one side of the duality, the side given by the authorities of the church or the authorities of capital as the side of their god.
Being on the side of good, one feels vindicated to eliminate evil.
The histories of the religions of the book, and of the countries where they are practiced, are tragedies that unfold along the lines of the fight between good and evil and the thirst for the love of good that is said to be god.

Our present predicament with terrorism offers us an ideal perspective to observe this mechanic at work.
Listen to Georges Bush and Tony Blair, they have absolutely no doubt in their mind that they are on the side of good and the terrorists are evil. From this certainty they thus derive that they have the right, they even speak of the obligation to destroy them. No question is ever asked about the reasons why the terrorists are willing to give their lives and to take the lives of others. No effort at understanding is undertaken and things have deteriorated so far that many in the West are now viewing with suspicion someone who is trying to understand what's going on. But listen to what the terrorists are saying. The west is evil that's why they have to destroy it.
The same infernal logic is at work on both sides!

The combination of an expanding post-modernist shock with the infernal logic of dualism could be brewing some very nasty surprises for all of us but this is the story of our future. Our present is the theater where our future is taking root. Wherever our eyes focus, we see confusion:
- According to scientists, we live in the 6th historical period of mass extinction and they are warning that it is the worst that ever occurred.
- Terrorism is shaking societal systems over all the planet.
- Globalization exacerbates the inequalities between regions of the world reducing more and more people to live into abject poverty, sickness and despair. Globalization of capital also displaces the sources of work to the cheapest and most politically stable regions leaving the populations of the industrialized world under severe stress.
- Mass extinctions also apply to cultures. Traditions are under attack the world over and the number of languages in use is dropping fast.
Much confusion and insecurity indeed all over the world.

We are assisting at something immense, a worldwide tectonic societal shift that will leave the world radically changed in terms of culture and also in terms of power.

Observing from another perspective, from the internal dynamic within the industrialized world we see also much confusion.
- Technological change is so fast that it becomes difficult to follow those changes and the impact of those changes on human behavior are absolutely unpredictable. What's clear is that all those changes are having a huge impact upon our worldviews.
- Our certainties are waning, doubts are instilling in our minds and without receiving satisfying answers doubts reinforce and lead the individuals to search wherever they can to find answers they will be able to share with others.

Artists are always the first to feel changes.
In the second part of the 20th century they reached maximum confusion and left it to be seen in their works. But it seems to me that something is starting to heat up nowadays that eventually will one day be brewing into something that could act as an awakener on humanity.

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