Post modernism is a thought and a feeling. It is a way of acting, and an intention. But like most ideas that take the world stage, it is a reaction to the past. We live in the age “post” of modernism. We are rethinking what has happened before us, that means rethinking some key ideas. Philosophy will force us to rethink the way we see the world and the problems we will address.
Modernism played a huge role in bringing up the women’s rights movement. The 1960s are the heralded days of freedom fighters. Science took the thrown of truth and Christianity battled between irrelevant fundamentalist and liberal “social gospel”. The world was painted in black and white. The individual gained their rights and yet was now a part of the glorified whole. ‘The People,’ was a part of every person, and together they planned to change the world. It was an age of change; of good guys and bad guys. Heroes rose, individuals like MLK jr. as well as their causes, bringing along the masses. Civil rights, feminism, atheism, Christian fundamentalism, all rose to the scene, their battle cry “Enough is enough!” People were “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Author and blogger, Joe Cater, broke down the processs: make the ‘unthinkable’ ‘radical,’ then change the ‘radical’ to ‘acceptable,’ let the acceptable become ‘sensible.’ Sensible will lead to popular, and popular becomes policy. Today in the 21st century the average American regards the ‘N’ word as vulgar, women as part of the work force, and is perfectly undecided about God.
Things have changed from segregated schools and working women scandals to paid Maternity Leaves and equal opportunity scholarships. America is not the place it was in the first half of the 20th century. It is still a work in progress, but something has changed. What happens to our “work in progress” when we start viewing ‘progress’ differently?
Post-modernism is the revolt to the revolution. It is skeptical towards ‘society’ yet it longs for ‘connection.’ It is the glorious individual who contributes to, and yet is not, part of the whole. We are truly islands unto ourselves, yet we are more open to visitors via facebook and twitter, than ever. We have all the information and communication in all of history, but we revel in self-discovery and value found independently from others. Our world has changed and we have too.
Changing the way we see the world can only mean seeing problems. With the rise of the internal world social issues have become less about what we aren’t allowed to do and more about broadening what other’s are ‘able’ to think. We hold “Awareness meetings” in place of sit-ins and protests. No doubt those still exist, but ask a protester why they do what they do and you’ll more than likely hear, “because people need to know.” We are less concerned with people standing up for their rights, and more concerned with telling people we have them. Our principle is disconnected from the practice. With this principle over practice we can now apply a belief to more than one injustice. However we can also simply never apply it at all. Indeed all of this “awareness” has lead us to become the most over-informed and apathetic generation ever to live.
With this I would like to propose that we must rethink social action. That we will have newer challenges for hard fought rights and principles. It is not about finding the new issues of today, but conveying truth in a new expression to the next generation of thinkers and changers. Feminism, Racism, God and Science, have different values in today’s world and it’s about time we figured that out.