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„Are we all postmodern?“ – Frei Betto.

The answer is yes if we share anguish and frustration regarding the idyllic dreams of modernity. Who would have thought that the Russian revolution would end in gulags, the Chinese revolution in State capitalism and so many leftist parties would come into power like the violinist who takes up the instrument with the left hand and plays with the right?

No philosophical systems today can resist the mercantilism of society: art has become fashion, fashion is improvised, what is improvised is artful. Transgressions are no longer exceptions but rules. The advances in technology, in computers, in robotics, in the googleisation of culture, in the telecelularisation of human relations and in the banalisation of violence are all factors which plunge us into attitudes and ways of thinking which are pessimistic and provocative, anarchical and conservative.

In postmodernity what is systematic gives way to the fragmentary; what is homogenous turns into plural and theory becomes experimental. Reason becomes delirious; it becomes cynical, dances to the rhythm of language games. In this rough sea many hang on to ”irrationalities of the past, to religiosity without theology, to xenophobia, to unrestrained consumerism and to emotions without perspective.

History has ended for postmoderns; leisure is reduced to hedonism, philosophy to a group of questions without answers. Novelty is all important. There no longer is any distinction between the urgent and the important, the accidental and the essential, between values and opportunities, what is ephemeral and what is permanent.

Aesthetics become aestheticism; what matters is the ornament, the frame, and not the depth or the content. Postmoderns are hostage to exteriorisation and to stereotypes. For them the now is more important than the tomorrow.

For the postmodern reason becomes rationalisation, there is no longer any critical thought, he prefers, in this conflictive world, to be a spectator and not a player, an observer and not a participant, the audience and not the actor.

The postmodern doubts everything. This is orthodox Cartesianism. Thus he does not believe in something or in someone. He distances himself from critical reason by criticizing it. Like the uroboros snake, he swallows his own tail. And he takes refuge in narcissistic individualism. He is a law unto himself and indifferent to the social dimension of existence.

Postmoderns deconstruct everything. Their principles are ambiguous; they lack roots, and are spineless, sensitive and apathetic. They prefer shownalism to journalism

Postmodern discourse is labyrinthine; it does away with paradigms and great narratives and in its cultural baggage places Portinari and Felipe Massa on the same level as well as Guimaráes Rosa and Paulo Coelho Chico Buarque and Zeca Pagodinho[1] <#_ftn1> .

Postmodernity has no memory; it abominates all ritual, theology and mystery. Since the postmodern considers all passion to be useless, he neither laughs nor cries. There is no love, merely empathy. His vision of the world comes from individual subjectivity.

Postmoderns™ ethics detest universal principles. They are passing, opportune or convenient. Like a chameleon, they adapt to every situation.

Postmodernity transforms reality into fiction and reminds us of Plato™s cavern where our shadows are more important than our being and our images than real existence.
*Frei Betto is a writer, author of ”Calendário do Poder (Calendar of Power) (Rocco).

 [1] <#_ftnref1>  Portinari is one of Brazil´s most well known painters, Felipe Massa is a racing car driver, Guimaráes Rosa and Paulo Coelho are both novelists but authors of totally different works, Chico Buarque and Zeca Pagodinho are both musicians but again, their works are quite different.


He is a Brazilian Dominican with an international reputation as a liberation theologian.
Within Brazil he is equally famous as a writer, with over 52 books to his name.  In 1985 he won Brazil™s most important literary prize, the Jabuti, and was elected Intellectual of the Year by the members of the Brazilian Writers™ Union.
Frei Betto has always been active in Brazilian social movements, and has been an adviser to the Church™s ministry to workers in Sáo Paulo™s industrial belt, to the Church base communities, and to the Landless Rural Workers™ Movement (MST).

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Donnerstag, 25. September 2008 um 16:42 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Kultur, Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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