History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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 Modernity, the modern transition, beyond eurocentrism

January 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

Mishra is a sensitive analyst of modernity but its key can prove elusive, get scrambled by eurocentric/anti-eurocentric confusions, be derailed by the distraction of Nietzsche, and end up in a muddle over secularism and its current discontents.
The perspective of WHEE (history-and-evolution.com) can help: modernity emerges in a master sequence of epochs, has a transitional zone and frontier effect in a peculiar subset of Europe, and then rapidly globalizes. The current situation shows the ambiguity of this modernization based on capitalism which is only a secondary process whatever its seemingly overwhelming influence. The question of Islam is mostly one of the confusions: even now the inexorable tide of secularism that has eroded the Axial Age religions operates intangibly on Islam, even as American democracy already in decay is involved in delusive imperialistic degenerations.
The original leftist perspective seems all over again the right one save that the brittle materialism of the era of post-Hegelian leftists is generating a confused religion revolt against scientism. A truer modernity more faithful to its fuller sources could help to direct both the hopeless chaos of the Islamic world and the sterile reductionism of the older left to a new cycle of the modern realization.

When Pankaj Mishra describes a “postmodern collage rather than a coherent doctrine”, he inadvertently summarises his own book.

Source: Eighty pages in to Age of Anger, I still had no idea what it was about

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