All Tl1at Is Solid Mt:lts ll'ltoair

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "All Tl1at Is Solid Mt:lts ll'ltoair"


1 "A vlslonory work which by oil rights ought to hove the lmpoct of such sixties bibles os Growing Up Rbsurd ond Life Rgolnst Death" -Robert Chrlstgou. Thtl VI/loge \blce All Tl1at Is Solid Mt:lts ll'ltoair

2 All That Is Marshall Berman S Welts Into Air The Experience of Modernity PENGUIN BOOKS

3 PENGUIN BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2 Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England First published in the United States of America by Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1982 This edition with a new preface published in Penguin Books 1988 Published simultaneously in Canada Copyright Marshall Berman, 1982, 1988 All rights reserved Parts of All TllaJ Is Solid Melts Into Air were previously published in slightly different form in Dissent magazine, Winter 1978; American Review #19, 1974; and Berkshire &view, October The author is grateful for permission to use excerpts from the following wor/cs: Mminetti: Selected Writings, edited and with an introduction by R. W Flint, translated by R. W Flint and Arthur A. Coppotelli. Copyright 1971, 1972 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., and reprinted with their permission. Beyond Good and Evil by Fredrik Nietzsche, translated by Marianne Cowan, Regnery Gateway, Futurist Manifestos, English language translation copyright 1973 by Thames and Hudson, Ltd. Reprinted by permission ofthe Viking Press, Inc. In Memory of Marc Joseph Berman LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA Berman, Marshall, All that is solid melts into air. Bibliography: p. Includes index. I. Civilization, Modern-20th century. 2. Civilization, Modern -19th century. I. Title. CB425.B ISBN Printed in the United States of America Set in Baskerville Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This is far from a confessional book. Still, as I carried it for years inside me, I felt that in some sense it was the story of my life. It is impossible here to acknowledge all those who lived through the book with me and who helped make it what it is: the subjects would be too many, the predicates too complex, the emotions too intense; the work of making the list would never begin, or else would never end. What follows is no more than a start. For energy, ideas, support and love, my deepest thanks to Betty and Diane Berman, Morris and Lore Dickstein, Sam Girgus, Todd Gitlin, Denise Green, Irving Howe, Leonard Kriegel, Meredith and Corey Tax, Gaye Tuchman, Michael Walzer; to Georges Borchardt and Michel Radomisli; to Erwin Glikes, Barbara Grossman and Susan Dwyer at Simon and Schuster; to Allen Ballard, George Fischer and Richard Wortman, who gave me special help with St. Petersburg; to my students and colleagues at the City College and the City University of New York, and at Stanford and the University of New Mexico; to the members of the Columbia University seminar in Political and Social Thought, and of the NYU seminar in the Culture of Cities; to the National Endowment for the Humanities; to the Purple Circle Day Care Center; to Lionel Trilling and Henry Pachter, who encouraged me to begin this book, and to keep at it, but who did not live to see it in print; and to many others, not named here, but not forgotten, who helped.

5 Contents Preface to the Penguin Edition: The Broad and Open Way 5 Preface 13 Introduction: Modernity-Yesterday, Today and 15 Tomorrow I. Goethe's Fawt: The Tragedy of Development 37 First Metamorphosis: The Dreamer 41 Second Metamorphosis: The Lover 51 Third Metamorphosis: The Developer 60 Epilogue: The Faustian and Pseudo-Faustian Age 71 II. All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: Marx, Modernism 87 and Modernization 1. The Melting Vision and Its Dialectic Innovative Self-Destruction Nakedness: The Unaccommodated Man The Metamorphosis of Values The Loss of a Halo 115 Conclusion: Culture and the Contradictions of 120 Capitalism III. Baudelaire: Modernism in the Streets Pastoral and Counter-Pastoral Modernism The Heroism of Modem Life The Family of Eyes 148

6 4. The Mire of the Macadam The Twentieth Century: The Halo and the 164 Highway IV. Petersburg: The Modernism of Underdevelopment The Real and Unreal City 176 "Geometry Has Appeared": The City in the 176 Swamps Pushkin's "Bronze Horseman": The Clerk and 181 the Tsar Petersburg Under Nicholas 1: Palace vs. 189 Prospect Gogol: The Real and Surreal Street 195 AIIThHIIs Words and Shoes: The Young Dostoevsky 2. The 1860s: The New Man in the Street Sold llelts Chernyshevsky: The Street as Frontier 215 The Underground Man in the Street 219 Into Air Petersburg vs. Paris: Two Modes of Modernism 229 in the Streets The Political Prospect 232 Afterword: The Crystal Palace, Fact and Symbol The Twentieth Century: The City Rises, the 249 City Fades 1905: More Light, More Shadows 249 Biely's Petersburg: The Shadow Passport 255 Mandelstam: The Blessed Word With 270 No Meaning Conclusion: The Petersburg Prospect 284 v. In the Forest of Symbols: Some Notes on 287 Modernism in New York 1. Robert Moses: The Expressway World The 1960s: A Shout in the Street The 1970s: Bringing It All Back Home 329 Notes 349 Index 370

7 Preface To The Penguin Edition: The Broad and Open Way IN All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, I define modernism as any attempt by modern men and women to become subjects as well as objects of modernization, to get a grip on the modern world and make themselves at home in it. This is a broader and more inclusive idea of modernism than those generally found in scholarly books. It implies an open and expansive way of understanding culture; very different from the curatorial approach that breaks up human activity into fragments and locks the fragments into separate cases, labeled by time, place, language, genre and academic discipline. The broad and open way is only one of many possible ways, but it has advantages. It enables us to see all sorts of artistic, intellectual, religious and political activities as part of one dialectical process, and to develop creative interplay among them. It creates conditions for dialogue atnong the past, the present and the future. It cuts across physical and social space, and reveals solidarities between great artists and ordinary people, and between residents of what we clumsily

8 6 ALL THAT Is SoLID MELTS INTO AIR call the Old, the New and the Third Worlds. It unites people across the bounds of ethnicity and nationality, of sex and class and race. ~t enlarges our vision of our own experience, shows us that there IS more to our lives than we thought, gives our days a new resonance and depth. Certainly this is not the only way to interpret modern culture, or culture in general. But it makes sense if we want culture to be a source of nourishment for ongoing life, rather than a cult of the dead. If we think of modernism as a struggle to make ourselves at home in a constantly changing world, we will realize ~hat no mode. of modernism can ever be definitive. Our most creative constructions and achievements are bound to turn into prisons and whited sepulchres that we or our children, will have to escape or transform if life is to go on. 'Dostoevsky's Underground Man suggests this in his inexhaustible dialogue with himself: You gentlemen perhaps think I am mad? Allow me to defend myself. I agree that man is preeminently a creative ani~al, p~edestined to consciously strive toward a goal, and to engage m engmeering, that is, eternally and incessantly, to build new roads, wherev~r they may lead... Man loves to create r~a~s, beyon~ dispute. But... may it not be... that he ~s mstm~uvely afra1? of attaining his goal and completmg the edifice he ~s construcun~? How do you know, perhaps he only likes that edifice from a distance and not at all at a close range, perhaps he only likes to build it, and does not want to live in it. I experienced the dash of modernisms ~~ry dramatically, a~d indeed participated in it, when I visite~ Braztl 1987 to discuss this book. My first stop was Brasilia, the capital city that was created ex nihilo by fiat of President juscelino Kubitschek, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the exact geographical center of the country. It was planned and designed by ~ucio Costa a~d Os~~r Niemeyer, left-wing disciples of Le Corbus1er. From the air, Brasi!Ia looked dynamic and exciting: in fact, it was?~ilt to resemble the J~t plane from which I (and virtually all other VISitors) first observed It. From the ground level, however, where people live and work, it is one of the most dismal cities in the world. This IS not the place for a detailed account of Brasilia's design, but one's overall Preface to the Penguin Edition 7 feeling-confirmed by every Brazilian I met-is of immense empty spaces in which the individual feels lost, as alone as a man on the moon. There is a deliberate absence of public space in which people can meet and talk, or simply look at each other and hang around. The great tradition of Latin urbanism, in which city life is organized around a plaza mayor, is explicitly rejected. Brasilia's design might have made perfect sense for the capital of a military dictatorship, ruled by generals who wanted the people kept at a distance, kept apart and kept down. As the capital of a democracy, however, it is a scandal. If Brazil is going to stay democratic, I argued in public discussions and the mass media, it needs democratic public space where people can come and assemble freely from all over the country, to talk to each other and address their government-because, in a democracy, it is after all their government-and debate their needs and desires, and communicate their will. Before long, Niemeyer began to respond. After saying various uncomplimentary things about me, he made a more interesting statement: Brasilia symbolized the aspirations and hopes of the Brazilian people and any attack on its design was an assault on the people themselves. One of his followers added that I revealed my inner vacuity by pretending to be a modernist while attacking a work that is one of the supreme embodiments of modernism. All this gave me pause. Niemeyer was right about one thing: when Brasilia was conceived and planned, in the 1950s and early 1960s, it really did embody the hopes of the Brazilian people; in particular, their desire for modernity. The great gulf between these hopes and their realization seems to illustrate the Underground Man's point: it can be a creative adventure for modern men to build a palace, and yet a nightmare to have to live in it. This problem is especially acute for a modernism that forecloses or is hostile to change-or, rather, a modernism that seeks one great change, and then no more. Niemeyer and Costa, following Le Corbusier, believed that the modern architect should use technology to construct a material embodiment of certain ideal, eternal classic forms. If this could be done for a whole city, that city would be perfect and complete; its boundaries might extend, but it would never develop from within. Like the Crystal Palace, as it is imagined in Notes from Underground, Costa and Niemeyer's Brasilia left its citizens-and those of the country as a whole-"with nothing left to do."

9 8 ALL THAT Is Souo MELTS INTO AIR In 1964, shortly after the new capital opened, Brazilian democracy was overthrown by a military dictatorship. In the years of the dictatorship (which Niemeyer opposed), people had far more grievous crimes to worry about than any defects in the capital's design. But once Brazilians regained their freedom, at the end ofthe 1970s and in the early 1980s, it was inevitable that many of them would come to resent a capital that seemed to be designed to keep them quiet. Niemeyer should have known that a modernist work that deprived people of some of the basic modern prerogatives-to speak, to assemble, to argue, to communicate their needs-would be bound to make numerous enemies. As I spoke in Rio, Sao Paulo, Recife, I found myself serving as a conduit for widespread indignation toward a city that, as so many Brazilians told me, had no place for them. And yet, how much was Niemeyer to blame? If some other architect had won the competition for the city's design, isn't it likely that it would be more or less as alien a scene as it is now? Didn't everything most deadening in Brasilia spring from a worldwide consensus among enlightened planners and designers? It was only in the 1960s and 1970s, after the generation that built proto-brasilias everywhere-not least in my own country's cities and suburb,-had a chance to live in them, that they discovered how much was missing from the world these modernists had made. Then, like the Underground Man in the Crystal Palace, they (and their children) began to make rude gestures and Bronx cheers, and to create an alternative modernism that would assert the presence and the dignity of all the people who had been left out. My sense of what Brasilia lacked brought me back to one of my book's central themes, a theme that seemed so salient to me that I didn't state it as clearly as it deserved: the importance of communication and dialogue. There may not seem to be anything particularly modern about these activities, which go back to-indeed, which help to define-the beginnings of civilization, and which were celebrated as primary human values by the Prophets and Socrates more than two thousand years ago. But I believe that communication and dialogue have taken on a new specific weight and urgency in modern times, because subjectivity and inwardness have become at once richer and more intensely developed, and more lonely and entrapped, than they ever were before. In such a context, communi- Preface to the Penguin Edition 9 cation and di~logue become both a desperate need and a primary sourc~ of dehght. In a world where meanings melt into air, these expenences are among the few solid sources of meaning we can count on. One of the thi~~s t~at can make modern life worth living is the enhanced opportumt1es It offers us-and sometimes even forces on us-to talk together, to reach and understand each other. We need to make the most of these possibilities; they should shape the way we organize our cities and our lives. Many readers have wondered why I didn't write about all sorts of people: places, ideas and movements that would seem to fit my overall project at. least as well as the subjects I chose. Why no Proust or Freud, Berhn or Shanghai, Mishima or Sembene, New York's Abstract Ex~ressionists or the Plastic People of Prague? The simplest a~sw~r IS that I wanted All That Is Solid Melts Into Air to appear m my hfet1me. That meant I had to decide, at a certain point, not so much to end the book as to stop it. Besides, I never intended to write a~.encyclopedia o~ modernity. I hoped, rather, to develop a series of v1s1on~ and para~1gms ~hat could enable people to explore their own expenence and history m greater detail and depth. I wanted to write a book that would be open and stay open, a book in which readers would be able to write chapters of their own. Some readers may think that I give short shrift to the vast accumul~tion o~ co.ntemporary discourse around the idea of post-modermty. Th1s d1scourse began to emanate from France in the late 1970s largely fr~m disillusioned rebels of.1968, moving in the orbit of post~ structuralism: Roland Barthes, M1chel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Fran~ois Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard and their legions of followers. In the 1980s, post-modernism became a staple of aesthetic and literary discussion in the U.S.A. 1 Post-modernists may be said to have developed a paradigm that ~lashes sharply with the one in this book. I have argued that modern hfe and art and thought have the capacity for perpetual self-critique and self-renewal. Post-modernists maintain that the horizon of modernity is closed, its energies exhausted-in effect, that modernity is yasse. Post-modernist social thought pours scorn on all the collective hopes for moral and social progress, for personal freedom and public happiness, that were bequeathed to us by the modernists of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. These hopes, postmoderns say, have been shown to be bankrupt, at best vain and futile

10 10 ALL THAT Is Souo MELTS INTO AIR fantasies, at worst engines of domination and monstrous ens~avement. Post-modernists claim to see through the "grand narratives" of modern culture, especially "the narrative of humanity as the hero ofliberty." It is the mark of post-modern sophistication to have "lost even nostalgia for the lost narrative." 2 Jiirgen Habermas's recent book, The Philosophical Disc~r~e of Modernity, exposes the weaknesses of post-modern thought m mcisive detail. I will be writing more in this vein in the coming year. The best I can do for now is to reaffirm the overall vision of modernity that I have developed in this book. Readers can ask themselves if the world of Goethe, Marx, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, et al., as I have constructed it, is radically different from our own. Have we really outgrown the dilemmas that arise when "all that is solid melts int~ air," or the dream of a life in which "the free development of each IS the condition of the free development of all"? I do not think so. But I hope this book will better equip readers to make judgments of their own. There is one modern sentiment that I regret not exploring in greater depth. I am talking about the widespread and often.des.p~rate fear of the freedom that modernity opens up for every mdtvtdual, and the desire to escape from freedom (this was Erich Fromm's apt phrase in 1941) by any means possible. This distinctively modern darkness was first mapped by Dostoevsky in his parable of the Grand Inquisitor (The Brothers Karamazov, 1881). "Man pr~fe~s peace," the Inquisitor says, "and even death, to freedom of chmce m the knowledge of good and evil. There is nothing more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience, but nothing that is a greater cause of suffering." He then steps out of his story, set in Counter-Reformation Seville, and directly addresses Dostoevsky's late-nineteenth-century audience: "Look now, today, people are persuaded that they are freer than ever before, yet they have brought their freedom to us and laid it humbly at our feet." The Grand Inquisitor has cast a somber shadow over the politics of the twentieth century. So many demagogues and demagogic movements have won power and mass adoration by relieving the peoples they rule of the burden offreedom. (Iran's current holy despot even looks like the Grand Inquisitor.) The Fascist regimes of may turn out to be only a first chapter in the still unfolding history of radical authoritarianism. Many move~en~ in this mold actually celebrate modern technology, commumcattons and Preface to the Penguin Edition techniques of mass mobilization, and use them to crush modern freedoms. Some of these movements have won ardent support from great modernists: Ezra Pound, Heidegger, Celine. The paradoxes and perils in all this are dark and deep. It strikes me that an honest modernist needs to look longer and deeper into this abyss than I have done so far. I felt this very acutely in early 1981, asallthatls SolidMeltsintoAir was going to press and Ronald Reagan was entering the White House. One of the most powerful forces in the coalition that brought Reagan to power was a drive to annihilate all traces of "secular humanism" and turn the U.S.A. into a theocratic police state. The frenzied (and lavishly funded) militancy of this drive convinced many people, including passionate opponents, that it was the wave of the future. But now, seven years later, Reagan's inquisitorial zealots are being decisively rebuffed in Congress, in the courts (even the "Reagan Court") and in the court of public opinion. The American people may have been deluded enough to vote for him, but they are clearly unwilling to lay their freedoms at the President's feet. They will not say goodbye to due process of law (not even in the name of a war on crime), or to civil rights (even if they fear and distrust blacks), or to freedom of expression (even if they don't like pornography), or to the right of privacy and the freedom to make sexual choices (even if they disapprove of abortion and abhor homosexuals). Even Americans who consider themselves deeply religious have recoiled against a theocratic crusade that would force them to their knees. This resistance-even among Reagan supporters-to the Reagan "social agenda" testifies to the depth of ordinary people's commitment to modernity and its deepest values. It shows, too, that people can be modernists even if they've never heard the word in their lives. In All That Is Solid Melts Into Air I tried to open up a perspective that will reveal all sorts of cultural and political movements as part of one process: modern men and women asserting their dignity in the present-even a wretched and oppressive present-and their right to control their future; striving to make a place for themselves in the modern world, a place where they can feel at home. From this point of view, the struggles for democracy that are going on all over the contemporary world are central to modernism's meaning and power. The masses of anonymous people who are putting their lives on the line-from Gdansk to Manila, from Soweto to Seoul-are II

11 12 ALL THAT Is SoLID MELTS INTO AIR creating new forms of collective expression.. Solid~rity and Peopl~ Power are modernist breakthroughs as stunmng as The Wastela~d or "Guernica." The book is far from closed on the "grand n~rrattve" that presents "humanity as the hero of liberty": new subjects and new acts are appearing all the time.. The great critic Lionel Trilling coined a phrase m 1968: "Modernism in the streets." I hope that readers of this book will remember that the streets, our streets, are where modernism belongs. The open way leads to the public square. Prefuce This theme suggests connections with thinkers like Georg Simmel, Martin Buber and J ilrgen Habermas. For most of my life, since I learned that I was living in "a modern building" and growing up as part of "a modern family," in the Bronx of thirty years ago, I have been fascinated by the meanings of modernity. In this book I have tried to open up some of these dimensions of meaning, to explore and chart the adventures and horrors, the ambiguities and ironies of modern life. The book moves and develops through a number of ways of reading: of texts -Goethe's Faust, the Communist Manifesto, Notes from Underground, and many more; but also I try to read spatial and social environments-small towns, big construction sites, dams and power plants, Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace, Haussmann's Parisian boulevards, Petersburg prospects, Robert Moses' highways through New York; and finally, reading fictional and actual people's lives, from Goethe's time through Marx's and Baudelaire's and into our own. I have tried to show how all these people share, and all these books and environments express, certain distinctively modern concerns. They are moved at once by a will to change-to transform both themselves and their world-and by a terror of disorientation and disintegration, of life falling apart. They all know the thrill and the dread of a world in which "all that is solid melts into air." To be modern is to live a life of paradox and contradiction. It is to be overpowered by the imme_nse bureaucratic organizations that have the power to control and often to destroy all communities, values, lives; and yet to be undeterred in our determination to face these forces, to fight to change theh world and make it our own. It is to be both revolutionary and conservative: alive to new possibil- 13

12 14 Preface ities for experience and adventure, frightened by the nihilistic depths to which so many modern adventures lead, longing to create and to hold on to something real even as everything melts. We might even say that to be fully modern is ~o be anti-~odern:. from Marx's and Dostoevsky's time to our own, 1t has been 1mposs1ble to grasp and embrace the modern wor~d's potentialities wit~?ut loathing and fighting against some of Its most palpable reahues. No wonder then that, as the great modernist and anti-modernist Kierkegaard said, the deepest modern seriousness must express itself through irony. Modern irony animates so many great works of art and thought over the past century; at the same time, it infuses millions of ordinary people's everyday lives. This book aims to bring these works and these lives together, to restore the spiritual wealth of modernist culture to the modern rna~ an~ woman in the street, to show how, for all of us, modermsm IS realism. This will not resolve the contradictions that pervade modern life; but it should help us to understand them, so that we can be clear and honest in facing and sorting out and working through the forces that make us what we are. Shortly after I finished this book, my dear son Marc, five years old, was taken from me. I dedicate All That Is Solid Melts into Air to him. His life and death bring so many of its ideas and themes close to home: the idea that those who are most happily at home in the modern world, as he was, may be most vulnerable to the demons that haunt it; the idea that the daily routine of playgrounds and bicycles, of shopping and eating and cleaning up, of ordinary hugs and kisses, may be not only infinitely joyous and beautiful but also infinitely precarious and fragile; that it may take desperate and heroic struggles to sustain this life, and sometimes we lose. I van Karamazov says that, more than anything else, the death of children makes him want to give back his ticket to the universe. But he does not give it back. He keeps on fighting and loving; he keeps on keeping on. New York City January 1981 Introduction Modernity-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ~HERE IS a mode of vital experience-experience of space and time, of the self and others, of life's possibilities and perils-that is shared by men and women all over the world today. I will call this body of experience "modernity." To be modern is to find ourselves in an enviro~ment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world-and, at the same time, that thr~atens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everythmg we are. Modern environments and experiences cut across all boundaries of geography and ethnicity, of class and nati~nality, ~f religion a~d ideology: in this sense, modernity can be s~1d t? u~1te all mankm~. But it is a paradoxical unity, a unity of ~1sumty: 1t pours us all mto a maelstrom of perpetual disintegration ~nd renewal, of stru~gle and contradiction, of ambiguity and anguish. To be modern IS to be part of a universe in which, as Marx said, "all that is solid melts into air." People who find themselves in the midst of this maelstrom are apt to feel that they are the first ones, and maybe the only ones, to be going through it; this feeling has engendered numerous nostalgic myt~s of Paradise Lost. In fact, however, great and ever-mcreasmg numbers of people have been going through 15

13 16 ALL THAT Is Souo MELTS INTO AIR it for close to five hundred years. Although most of these people have probably experienced modernity as a radical threat to all their histqry and traditions, it has, in the course of five centuries, developed a rich history and a plenitude of traditions of its own. I want to explore and chart these traditions, to understand the ways in which they can nourish and enrich our own modernity, and the ways in which they may obscure or impoverish our sense of what modernity is and what it can be. The maelstrom of modern life has been fed from many sources: great discoveries in the physical sciences, changing our images of the universe and our place in it; the industrialization of production, which transforms scientific knowledge into technology, creates new human environments and destroys old ones, speeds up the whole tempo of life, generates new forms of corporate power and class struggle~ immense demographic upheavals, severing millions of people from their ancestral habitats, hurtling them halfway across the world into new lives; rapid and often cataclysmic urban growth; systems of mass communication, dynamic in their development, enveloping and binding together the most diverse people and societies; increasingly powerful national states, bureaucratically structured and operated, constantly striving to expand their powers; mass social movements of people, and peoples, challenging their political and economic rulers, striving to gain some control over their lives; finally, bearing and driving all these people and institutions along, an ever-expanding, drastically fluctuating capitalist world market. In the twentieth century, the social processes that bring this maelstrom into being, and keep it in a state of perpetual becoming, have come to be called "modernization." These world-historical processes have nourished an amazing variety of visions and ideas that aim to make men and women the subjects as well as the objects of modernization, to give them the power to change the world that is changing them, to make their way through the maelstrom and make it their own. Over the past century, these visions and values have come to be loosely grouped together under the name of "modernism." This book is a study in the dialectics of modernization and modernism. In the hope of getting a grip on something as vast as the history of modernity, I have divided it into three phases. In the first phase, which goes roughly from the start of the sixteenth century to the end of the eighteenth, people are just beginning to experience Introduction 17 modern life; they hardly know what has hit them. They grope, ~esperately but half blindly, for an adequate vocabulary; they have l1ttl~ o~ no sense of a modern public or community within which the1r trtals and h?pes can be shared. Our second phase begins with the great revolutionary wave of the 1790s. With the French Revolution ~nd its reverber~tions, ~great. modern public abruptly and ~ramattcall~ comes to ltfe. Th1s publtc shares the feeling of living ~n a revolu.ttona~y age, an age that generates explosive upheavals m eve~ d1mens1.on of personal, social and political life. At the same.u~e~ the m.neteenth-century modern public can remember what It IS ltke to ltve, materially and spiritually, in worlds that are ~ot modern at al.l. From this inner d~chotomy, this sense of living m two worlds Simultaneously, the 1deas of modernization and m?dernism emerge and unfold. In the twentieth century, our th1rd. an~ final phase, the process of modernization expands to take tn vtrt';lally th~ whole world, and the developing world culture of modermsm ach1eves spectacular triumphs in art and thought. On th~ other hand, as the modern public expands, it shatters into a multttude?f fragments, speaking incommensurable private languages; the 1dea of modernity, conceived in numerous fragmentary ~ays, los~s much of. its vividness, resonance and depth, and loses Its capac1t~ to orgamze and give meaning to people's lives. As a result of all th1s, we find ourselves today in the midst of a modern age that ha~ lost touch with the roots of its own modernity. If IS one archetypal. modern voice in the early phase of m~dermty, before the Amencan and French revolutions, it is the vo1ce of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau is the first to use the word moderni.ste in the ways in which the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will use it; and he is the source of some of our most vital mod~rn traditio~~ from nostalgic reverie to psychoanalytic selfscrutmy to part1c1patory democracy. Rousseau was, as everyone knows, a dee~ly trou~led man. ~uch of his anguish springs from sources pecultar to h1s own stramed life; but some of it derives from his acute responsiveness to social conditions that were coming to shape millions of people's lives. Rousseau astounded his contemporaries by proclaiming that European society was "at the edge of the abyss," on the verge of the most explosive revolutionary. uph~avals.. H~ experienced everyday life in that society-especially m Pans, Its capital-as a whirlwind, le tourbillon social. 1 How was the self to move and live in the whirlwind?

Longman Communication 3000

Longman Communication 3000 LONGMAN COMMUNICATION 3000 1 Longman Communication 3000 The Longman Communication 3000 is a list of the 3000 most frequent words in both spoken and written English, based on statistical analysis of the

More information

TO HAVE OR TO BE? Erich Fromm. NO continuu m 111% LONDON NEW YORK

TO HAVE OR TO BE? Erich Fromm. NO continuu m 111% LONDON NEW YORK TO HAVE OR TO BE? Erich Fromm NO continuu m 111% LONDON NEW YORK 2008 Continuum 80 Maiden Lane New York, NY 10038 The Tower Building 11 York Road London SE1 7NX Copyright 1976 by

More information

Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy

Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 1986 United States Catholic Bishops In November 1986, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted Economic

More information

The Dead Have Never Died Edward C. Randall

The Dead Have Never Died Edward C. Randall The Dead Have Never Died Edward C. Randall FOREWORD I have had strange experiences in my Psychic investigations during the last twenty years. Refusing to be limited by accepted laws, I have devoted my

More information

The Intellectuals and Socialism By F.A. Hayek

The Intellectuals and Socialism By F.A. Hayek The Intellectuals and Socialism, by F.A. Hayek The Intellectuals and Socialism By F.A. Hayek [Reprinted from The University of Chicago Law Review (Spring 1949), pp. 417-420, 421-423, 425-433, by permission

More information



More information

2 Birth of a Concept

2 Birth of a Concept 1 Birth of a Concept I It nowadays seems impossible to describe the most commonplace details of everyday life without using the word culture. A report by government inspectors upon a school may refer to

More information

The Servant as Leader. by Robert K. Greenleaf

The Servant as Leader. by Robert K. Greenleaf The Servant as Leader by Robert K. Greenleaf The Servant as Leader SERVANT AND LEADER can these two roles be fused in one real person, in all levels of status or calling? If so, can that person live and

More information

THE BOOK. On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

THE BOOK. On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are THE BOOK On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are ALAN WATTS Alan Watts, who died in 1974, held both a master's degree in theology and a doctorate of divinity, and was best known as an interpreter of Zen

More information

The most radical gesture

The most radical gesture The most radical gesture The Most Radical Gesture is the first major study of the Situationist International, a revolutionary movement of extraordinary ambition and influence whose reflections on art,

More information

WHAT IS PUBLIC NARRATIVE? (2008) Marshall Ganz

WHAT IS PUBLIC NARRATIVE? (2008) Marshall Ganz WHAT IS PUBLIC NARRATIVE? (2008) Marshall Ganz The questions of what am I called to do, what my community is called to do, and what we are called to do now are at least as old as Moses conversation with

More information


PEDAGOGY of the OPPRESSED PAULO FREIRE PEDAGOGY of the OPPRESSED ; 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Translated by Myra Bergman Ramos With an Introduction by Donaldo Macedo A continuum I f N E W YORK LONDON 2005 The Continuum International

More information

Bochner / NARRATIVE AND THE DIVIDED SELF 419. The voice on the other end was calm and deliberate. It's About Time: Narrative and the Divided Self

Bochner / NARRATIVE AND THE DIVIDED SELF 419. The voice on the other end was calm and deliberate. It's About Time: Narrative and the Divided Self Bochner / NARRATIVE AND THE DIVIDED SELF 419 It's About Time: Narrative and the Divided Self Arthur P Bochner University of South Florida When I learned that my father had died while I was attending a

More information

Berlin, I. (1958) Two Concepts of Liberty. In Isaiah Berlin (1969) Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Berlin, I. (1958) Two Concepts of Liberty. In Isaiah Berlin (1969) Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. TWO CONCEPTS OF LIBERTY, Isaiah Berlin Berlin, I. (1958) Two Concepts of Liberty. In Isaiah Berlin (1969) Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. If men never disagreed about the ends

More information



More information

The Crisis in Education by Hannh Arendt (1954)

The Crisis in Education by Hannh Arendt (1954) Arendt, The Crisis in Education 1 The Crisis in Education by Hannh Arendt (1954) Space for Notes The general crisis that has overtaken the modern world everywhere and in almost every sphere of life manifests

More information

Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding David Hume Copyright 2010 2015 All rights reserved. Jonathan Bennett [Brackets] enclose editorial explanations. Small dots enclose material that has been added, but

More information

Who is my neighbour? A Letter from the House of Bishops to the People and Parishes of the Church of England for the General Election 2015

Who is my neighbour? A Letter from the House of Bishops to the People and Parishes of the Church of England for the General Election 2015 Who is my neighbour? A Letter from the House of Bishops to the People and Parishes of the Church of England for the General Election 2015 Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever

More information

BETWEEN TWO AGES. America's Role in the Technetronic Era. Zbigniew Brzezinski

BETWEEN TWO AGES. America's Role in the Technetronic Era. Zbigniew Brzezinski BETWEEN TWO AGES America's Role in the Technetronic Era Zbigniew Brzezinski THE VIKING PRESS / NEW YORK Copyright 1970 by Zbigniew Brzezinski All rights reserved First published in 1970 by The Viking Press,

More information

The Law. by Frederic Bastiat

The Law. by Frederic Bastiat The Law by Frederic Bastiat Translated from the French by Dean Russell Foreword by Walter E. Williams Introduction by Richard Ebeling Afterword by Sheldon Richman Foundation for Economic Education Irvington-on-Hudson,

More information

We Need Each Other: Building a Gift Community

We Need Each Other: Building a Gift Community We Need Each Other: Building a Gift Community By: Bill Kauth Conscious Evolutionaries Committed to Co-Creating the Culture We ve Been Longing For You never change something by fighting the existing reality.

More information



More information


LAST AND FIRST MEN A STORY OF THE NEAR AND FAR FUTURE LAST AND FIRST MEN A STORY OF THE NEAR AND FAR FUTURE by W. Olaf Stapledon Project Gutenburg PREFACE THIS is a work of fiction. I have tried to invent a story which may seem a possible, or at least not

More information



More information


WHEN MAN LISTENS. By CECIL ROSE WHEN MAN LISTENS By CECIL ROSE Everyone can listen to God. When man listens, God speaks. When God speaks, men are changed. When men are changed, nations change. WHEN MAN LISTENS By CECIL ROSE When man

More information

This Matter Of Culture. Authors's Note

This Matter Of Culture. Authors's Note Table of Content Authors's Note...3 Chapter 1...4 Chapter 2...12 Chapter 3...19 Chapter 4...28 Chapter 5...35 Chapter 6...42 Chapter 7...49 Chapter 8...56 Chapter 9...64 Chapter 10...71 Chapter 11...79

More information

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About Donald E. Knuth ISBN: 1-57586-327-8 Copyright notice: Excerpted from Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About by Donald E. Knuth, published by CSLI

More information


AN ATTAINABLE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE by Robert G. Hanvey AN ATTAINABLE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE by Robert G. Hanvey EDUCATION FOR A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE The daily life of each American citizen involves judgments, decisions, and actions which, however minor in themselves,

More information

The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature. by William Cronon

The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature. by William Cronon The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature by William Cronon (William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90)

More information



More information