Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Nihilism with a Smile

I have become increasingly, possibly over, concerned with the shift in the ideological paradigm of those growing up in our current techno-age. It is not that technology is bad, evil, wrong or any additional imaginable negative expletive (purely for the poetry). It just seems as though something unidentifiable has been lost with all the gain. I am reminded of two statements that help explain this unexplainable explanation. One is a quote from George MacDonald who writes, “A beast does not know that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to being a beast, the less he knows it”. The other is a comment made in retrospect by one who had gone through the great depression, as they reflected on the comforts and conveniences of the present and yet referred to the depression as the good ole days. All of this to say that I believe that the “postmodern lenses” that don the eyes of increased throngs of Facebookers will contribute to the production of cultural cataracts that will blur our present and darken the future of the humanity that was in the mind of God at creation. Consider the following statement from Jock McGregor in Generation X: The ‘Lost’ Generation.

“…Generation X has also been deeply influenced by the massive ideological shift taking place: the shift from Modernism to Postmodernism. Modernism, born at the Enlightenment, with its optimistic faith in progress, built on the foundations of human reason and scientific materialism and pursued through technology and humanistic endeavour, has finally fallen foul of its own arrogant assumptions. In its place we have Postmodernism, defined only by its lack of belief, its anti-ideological scepticism, its thinly veiled nihilism and its cynical use and abuse of arbitrary myths and images. Postmodernism is the product of a radical relativism - a deconstructed world with no fixed points, no absolutes, no givens - in which truth is simply defined by each individual and the ‘community’ of which they are a part. It is a ‘playful indeterminacy’ that embraces unrestrained freedom and pluralism, a limitless flux with no stability, an endless journey with no destination. A suitable outlook for a 'lost' generation.

For postmodern youth, the so-called 'objective' world is merely an arbitrary construct and so in the final analysis you are left with just your own subjective world. Holding fixed beliefs or making firm commitments is then clearly naive, all authorities are inherently corrupt and must be subverted, everything - absolutely everything - is referred to ironically, held at a critical distance in inverted commas. The logical drift of such a mentality is to nihilism and ultimately to solipsism…”.

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