in the age of primitivism
by Michael Lind
Is the 21st century a Dark Age,
compared to the 20th? Is the culture of modernity and
enlightenment slipping away, in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world? Is
this really an
age of neo-primitivism and superstition?
A case can be made that yes, we are
indeed in a period of rising irrationalism.
This irrationalism permeates our politics, from the right to the center
to the left.
And it has done so for some time.
Following the world wars, the U.S.
and other liberal democracies rebuilt themselves as modern,
technology-based, progressive societies that offered a higher standard
of living to ordinary people
than ever before. Gradually they liberalized their cultures, shedding
the vestiges of priestly control,
moved toward meritocracy away from aristocracy and dismantled racial
They devoted themselves to great
civil engineering projects, like hydropower dams,
nuclear power plants, continent-spanning highways and space
exploration. And then
their people suddenly got tired of modernity and tried to crawl back
into the past.
Here’s an idea...Let everyone who
opposes abortion, wants to ban GM foods and nuclear
energy, hates cars and trucks and planes and loves trains and trolleys,
seeks to ban suburbia,
despises consumerism, and/or thinks Darwin was a fraud join the
Regressive Party. Those of us
who believe that the real, if exaggerated, dangers of technology, big
government, big business
and big labor are outweighed by their benefits can join the Modernist
Party. While the Regressives
secede from reality and try to build their premodern utopias on their
reservations, the Modernists
can resume the work of building a secular, technological, prosperous,
and relatively egalitarian
civilization, after a half-century detour into a Dark Age.
I would be great if we could split the country in half.
Give the cave people either everything east or west of the Mississppi
and the people who aren't afraid of the dark would get the other half
so we could each live in peace in our respective countries.
In a way, we kinda have that now.
New York and San Francisco and Austin are islands of sanity in this
"ghosts are real" country,
but the most ignorant bastards among as, like Coburn and Inhofe, have
the power to shut down
anything New York and San
Francisco and Austin try to do.
I'm generally a fan of the Constitution, but I hate that the senators
from farm states with
300,000 people have as much (or more) power than senators from states
with 30 million people.
It only takes one caveman to pee in the punch bowl and they almost
Back to Bartcop.com