Nah, we are not postmodern. We are just hypermodern


Is that good or bad? You judge.

Nah, we are not postmodern. We are just hypermodern /img/hypermodernism.jpg

Our society often makes a huge deal of the fact that it is “postmodern”. Some really love that fact, others really hate it, but both those extremist” factions agree that we are “postmodern”. Last Saturday, italian newspaper Avvenire published an interview to the french philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky who, among other things, basically argues that both groups are wrong, and that this matters. Here is my translation of that section of the interview (emphasis and comments in parentheses are mine).

Avvenire: Professor Lipovetsky, why do you prefer to speak of a hypermodern society rather than a postmodern society?

Lipovetsky: Because we don’t live after modernity: on the contrary, we are just more and more modern every year. The idea of ​​postmodernism, born… to denounce the death of great stories and explain how the imaginary of the revolution had disappeared, does not hit the mark. It is a wrong notion.

The principles of modernity, the market, individualism and technology, are today more active and strong than ever. If anything, we can say that they were radicalized.

Everything is colonized by the market, the push for (what just looks like) individual autonomy is expanding more and more and the same is true for the use of technologies.

Just think of genome research, nanotechnologies, the spread of communication technologies… everything is transformed by technology. For these reasons I prefer to speak of hypermodern society.

Avvenire: But when did the transition from modern society to hypermodern society take place?

Lipovetsky: It happened with the communication society and the spread of the free market, moving its first steps after the Second World War. Over the following decades, the process accelerated through the diffusion of the internet, the realization of economic globalization and the establishment of the consumer society.

Avvenire: Has the pandemic that flared up in the last year changed anything?

Lipovetsky: Absolutely not.

Image source: Confetti Death by Typoe, seen on “ Other Post-Postmodernisms: a glossary “

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