chapter  6
20 Pages

‘Posting’ modernity

In contemporary cultural criticism, whether the figures are neoconservative or neo-Marxist, it is generally agreed that our cultural malaise is at its height in postmodernism. But whereas Daniel Bell would argue that the collapse of the modern temper is to blame for the incivility of post-industrial society,1 Fredric Jameson would consider late capitalism itself to be the source of the postmodern fragmentation of its cultural values.2 However, despite this analytic difference and their opposing political values, Bell and Jameson are inclined to call for a renewal of religious symbolism to restore the social bond against postmodern values which undermine equally the conservative and Marxist traditions.3 Postmodernism appears, therefore, to create a neo-modern opposition from both Left and Right. In turn it inspires a Durkheimian reflection on the sacred value of the social bond which is either backward looking, as in Bell’s neoconservatism, or else resolutely Utopian, as in Benjamin, Bloch, Marcuse, and Jameson.