April 29, 2013


What's Wrong with 'Cultural Transmission'? (Peter Augustine Lawler, 4/29/13, Minding the Campus)

We conservatives are all for a world that's benefited from both premodern and modern experiences, although we don't think that there's anything historically inevitable or even likely about the emergence of such a world.  A genuinely postmodern world avoids the spiritual and aristocratic excesses of the medieval world and the material and democratic excesses of the modern world.   It's a place human beings can flourish as material and spiritual beings or, more precisely, as whole persons.  We think that the true human progress is personal and relational. It takes place over the course of particular human lives in the direction of living responsibly in light of the truth.

For this understanding of postmodernism, I refer you to the work of the great anticommunist dissidents Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Vaclav Havel, as well as to the American philosopher-novelist Walker Percy. For a genuinely postmodern thinker, a conservative criticism of the excessively technological orientation of the contemporary West doesn't mean a rejection what we've learned that's true about our freedom and our productive capabilities from modern developments. It does mean acknowledging that our mistaken identification of progress in techno-productivity has been at the expense of who we are as relational and purposeful beings.

...that we no longer need to focus on material things, but can focus on matters of the soul.  

Posted by at April 29, 2013 4:52 PM

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