Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Modernity's star turn was impoverished Prussia ,not Manhattan's skyscrapers
Historical consensus to the contrary, America, Russia, Canada, China, Brazil, Australia were never full members of Modernity.
At best, they could only be hybrid members.
Modernity and the Enlightenment Project was premised upon Man's mind triumphing over matter ---- more importantly, "lack of matter".
Mind hardly gets a fair workout in vast lands rich in natural resources and with relatively small populations.
In America, it seemed you only had to trace a line in the Ohio soil and up would come corn and pigs.
By contrast, Germany (Prussia really) and Japan - Germany in particular before WWII and Japan in the 1970s to 1990s - were small, natural resource poor, lands with large hungry populations and no vast overseas colonies ----- unlike the equally small British and French homelands.
Their initial triumph was a tribute to the power of Modernity's thesis.
Their subsequent failure, equally, marked its absolute failure....