Postmoderntiy: a Break from Modernity

Topics: Michel Foucault, Sociology, Capitalism Pages: 5 (1919 words) Published: March 8, 2013
Postmodernity: A Break from Modernity

Postmodern is a complex term with multiple usages. As a consequence, it is open to conflation and confusion. The “post” in postmodern is not definitive and it’s up to the writers to clarify their particular usage. (Gibbins & Reimer, 1996, p. 8) As such, the meaning of “post” in this paper refers a “break from”, “opposition to”, “difference to and from” and a response to”. Works of Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill; Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault will prove that there is break between Modernity and Postmodernity.

Modernity refers to a way of life and state of mind that experience progressive economic and administrative rationalization on which this processes brought the modern capitalist-industrial state.(Gibbins & Reimer, 1996, p. 10) The main process of modernity: industrialization, secularization, urbanization, nationalization. (Gibbins & Reimer, 1996, p. 21) In addition, the concept of modernization refers to the formation of capital, mobilization of resources, development of forces of production and increase in the productivity of labor. Also, growth of the centralized political power, formation of national identities, proliferation of rights of political participation, urbanization of life, formal schooling, secularization of values and norms.( Habermas, 1990, p. 2) In political science modern refers to developments and transformation to an industrial and mechanized society, growth of new classes, social mobility, growth of welfare state, triumph of scientific and technical knowledge, mass education, and culture, and emergence of political parties and modern state. (Gibbins & Reimer, 1996, p. 11) Karl Marx is one of the modernist. He lives in the growing industrial capitalist society to which he advocated the rights of urban working class.  In his work Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 he claimed that in a modern industrial capitalist society workers sink to the level of a commodity. (Marx, 1959, p. 28) The more human labor specializes the less human it gets. It makes man an object of automation because production ordered man to work as a machine. The worker is slaving himself toward the objects thus this result to alienation of the worker. In a capitalist society the worker becomes in nature a servant the more workers values he create the more valueless he become, the more civilized his object the more barbarous becomes the worker. (Marx, 1959, p. 29) From that, he deprives himself to the means of life because he degrades himself to an object. As a solution to the degradation of worker to an object and to the unfair distribution of wealth. Marx proposed that every individual should be equal. It can be achieve through having a “classless society”. Marx aims to replace the capitalist society with communism or classless society. It is said that communism is the positive expression of negated private property or having a universal private property to which all individuals belong to the workers class. (Marx, 1959, p. 42) This will be a community of labor and having equal wages and thus the whole community will be the universal capitalist to whom the capital will be the universality and power of the community. (Marx, 1959, p. 43) And communism is the real appropriation of human essence by and for man it is seen as the complete return of man himself as a social being. (Marx, 1959, p. 43) Another modernist is John Stuart Mill. He is a utilitarian who laid the foundation of liberal democratic thought in general and modern. Mill’s On liberty is an account about the Civil or social liberty(p.1). The ruler must be identified with the people on which the interest and will of the people should rule (p. 7). There are different regions of liberty. First, Liberty of thought and feeling (15) second the liberty of taste and pursuits like the liberty of planning our lives. Third the liberty of association.(16) Liberty of...
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