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The confusions of antimodernism//Have We Been Denying Our Human Nature for Four Hundred Years? | Alternet

March 13th, 2017 · No Comments

This analysis is typical of a kind of ‘new age’ antimodernism and its basic assumptions are confused: the rise of modernity is not the same as the enlightenment and neither is the same as the rise of capitalism and/or imperialism. The larger dimension of the so-called ‘eonic effect’ can correct this misimpression by showing the complexity of the modern which is not the same as economic capitalist ideology. The enlightenment comes in multiple counterpoint versions, including the romantic movement and its concern about nature. The French, German, Dutch and Scottish ‘enlightenments’ are all quite different, and these in turn different from the english ‘brands’.

The emergence of neo-classical economics was much later and indeed shows fallacious even fraudulent misuse of mathematics, but the same can’t be said of the techniques used/abused which come from physics. The work of Adam Smith, which I don’t defend, nonetheless suggests the reversal of values that emerged with capitalism but this meme started was codified in the work of an ethicist who made the observation in canonical form that self-interest can lead to economic self-organization, an idea that can stand or not on its own merits, but which is distinct from the rapacious versions that arose later. Finally, marx exposed much of the confusion that arose from economic modernism, but is he any less modern than anyone else?
The whole logic of this kind of anti-modernism can confuse the issue entirely and is a total misanalysis of the crisis of the endgame of capitalist globalization.
The attack on utopianism is a typical misunderstanding, arising from the rightist critique of the left. The Utopia of More was a conservative book and in any case the charge of utopia is not fair for the action of the left’s attempt to create postcapitalism. And the failure of russian bolshevism was due in large part to the primitive pre-modernism of the backward russian system which had had no democratic revolution. And the prejudice against democracy is par for the course for this suspicious version of the usual ‘new age’ mentality of the fascist gurus (cf. The Gurdjieff Con) .
It is worth keeping in mind that Hitler was a fanatic anti-modernist.
Finally the charge is made that The Sound of Music shows the failures of this eurocentric horror, a laughable analysis:

To illustrate one of its signature follies, Kanth refers to that great Hollywood ode to the Western spirit, “The Sound of Music.” Early in the film, the Mother Superior bursts into song, calling on the nun Maria to “climb every mountain, ford every stream.”

Sounds exhilarating, but to what end? Why exactly do we need to ford every stream? From the Eurocentric modernist viewpoint, Kanth says, the answer is not so innocent: we secretly do it so that we can say to ourselves, “Look, I achieved something that’s beyond the reach of somebody else.” Hooray for me!

The Eurocentric modernist program, according to Kanth, has four planks: a blind faith in science; a self-serving belief in progress; rampant materialism; and a penchant for using state violence to achieve its ends. In a nutshell, it’s a habit of placing individual self-interest above the welfare of community and society.

Source: Have We Been Denying Our Human Nature for Four Hundred Years? | Alternet

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