I have for some time been vaguely aware that in the higher levels of culture–art, music, poetry, etc.–we have been moving out of the age of “modernism” into a new age or era, labelled “postmodernism.”
The term gave me some trouble. “Modernism,” to me, had always indicated the “now,” and could never be “post,” unless the word was to be fixed, as having no future use. There could never be a “post modernism.” The line has been broken. We may look forward to “new-modernism,” or “neo-modernism,” possibly “neo-neo modernism,” or possibly indicate new eras and ages, as we do Stallone movies, as “Modernism” No. I, No. II, etc.
Then, I learned that we in the United States are in a postmodern political era. This took me somewhat by surprise. The politics of most of the “modern” era had been a mixed bag of democracy, communism, fascism, and colonialism with a polarization into two camps, communism and capitalistic democracy, following the end of World War II. With the breakup of the Soviet Union and the general abandonment of communism, some political observers said we were back to the end of World War II, others back to the beginning of World War II. None of these early analysts identified the beginning of a postmodern age of politics that now is upon us or that we are in.
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