7-1 technology2

The Center for Literate Values ~ Defending the Western tradition of responsible individualism, disciplined freedom, tasteful creativity, common sense, and faith in a supreme moral being.

P R A E S I D I U M

A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis

7.1 (Winter 2007)

 

Technology

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(Postscript) Interpreting the Millennium: The Dilemma of Hypermodernity

Mark Wegierski  

The following is a brief summary of the author’s essay, “The Dilemma of Hypermodernity,” published in This World: Religion and Public Life (Culture and Consumption), no. 31 (New Brunswick, USA and London, UK: Transaction Publishers, 2000), pp. 29-45.

 

THESIS (AFFIRMATION):

PREMODERNITY: Spirit of Humanity (Gemeinschaft: Community; Spiritual; Organic)

Central Dialectic of Premodernity: God and Humanity

ANTITHESIS (NEGATION):

MODERNITY: Spirit of Technology (Gesellschaft: “Society”; Material; Artificial)

Central Dialectic of Modernity: Humanity (which implicitly includes God) and Technology

SYNTHESIS (NEGATION OF THE NEGATION):

POSTMODERNITY: Humanity + Technology

“communitarian ecology”

re-rootedness in reflective particularity

OR

(THE NEGATION EXTENDED)

HYPERMODERNITY: Technology Triumphant

“technological totalitarianism”

globalization/”Brazilification”

OR

(THE NEGATION TAKEN TO ITS EXTREME)

HYPERMODERNITY possibly leading to EXTINCTION of Humanity:

(i) nuclear war

(ii) pollution/ecological disasters

(iii) biological/medical/genetic engineering disasters

(iv) nanotechnology virus/plague

(v) through decadence and enervation of human life, if the so-called “unlimited energy source” (e.g., fusion), is ever found, but with humans beings unable to set any limits on its use

OR

(A SUDDEN DIALECTICAL SHIFT)

APOCALYPSE possibly leading to POST-MODERNITY:

A combination of massive disasters (possibly including nuclear and biological warfare, or simply the catastrophic results of the exhaustion of the ecosystems of the planet) shell-shocks humanity into embracing a new paradigm, saving humanity from total extinction.  The new society is saner, greener, calmer, etc.  Many of humanity’s religious traditions speak of a “burning at the end of time”, after which a “redeemed era” commences.  Perhaps this is a foreshadowing in religious imagery of what might actually await humankind.