The Turning Point

Nov 25, 2011 by
The Turning Point   morath 31
Where are we going again? One of Inge Morath's rediscovered 1955 Parisian ball photos. (Thanks to -T.) Image Source: Time via The Inge Morath Foundation / Magnum Photos.

Although I've criticized the Baby Boomers' iconoclastic destruction of social values and institutions (here and here), it's time to give them some due in that regard.  Their influence has been compounded by the parallel effect of the Tech Revolution, which has rendered past perspectives and morals obsolete.  However, the ensuing Millennial aporia – a confusion or lack of values - may not be entirely bad. One thing the Boomers initially successfully attacked, not without some justification, was the external labeling imposed by social behaviour and cultural expectations that stifled people and held them back. The only problem is they replaced the old labels with new ones and they also questioned people's capacity to devise alternatives.

We are at the turning point. People without external reference points or viable directions coming to them from society can have trouble orienting themselves.  What is expected from society when the outside prompts and social signposts are gone? What can one do, when everything, especially on the Internet, is a tabula rasa? What do the faithful do when organized religions seem to have lost capacity for building communities with motives grounded in genuine spirituality? What do the politically-minded do when political faiths furnish nothing but empty 18th and 19th century slogans unsuited to current conditions? Will they really take refuge in self-righteous blindnesses, vicious polarities, and internecine mutual accusations between Left and Right? The decline of externally imposed orders and cultural traditions is fracturing personal egos like so many billion eggshells.

On this blog, I've written posts (here, here and here) that indicate that economic troubles intensify aporia.  People experience heart-breaking levels of stress as they face the upheavals of the global economy. The middle classes are dying or evolving. Going bankrupt, losing everything, losing a house (or never having the chance to own one), losing faith in the system, losing faith in the American dream (if you're American) – or being absorbed into a grand global culture (no matter where you're from) – all of this is deeply unnerving.

In social, spiritual and material vacuums, conflicts grow. Yesterday, I posted pieces on the intenstification of weapons research and the implementation of psychological testing on military personnel, which is being conducted with a view toward civilian applications. Ignoring the signs on the horizons won't help. Those reports made me think of a passage in Daniel Deronda: "There comes a terrible moment to many souls when the great movements of the world, the larger destinies of mankind, which have lain aloof in newspapers and other neglected reading, enter like an earthquake into their own lives–where the slow urgency of growing generations turns into the tread of an invading army or the dire clash of civil war, and gray fathers know nothing to seek for but the corpses of their blooming sons, and girls forgot all vanity to make lint and bandages which may serve for the shattered limbs of their betrothed husbands." One day, the chaos that grew in the obscure distance is on your doorstep.

The obliteration of externally imposed values leaves one real option.  As we turn the bend toward the unimaginable and accelerating future, and the institutions that once defined authority and stability in our societies remain only as gin palace exteriors, there is a time lag that allows for individual and collective introspection.  There is a need to find new values internally.
Read more »

The Turning Point   2905155363976375938 7030734093853483698?l=historiesofthingstocome.blogspot

Other Posts You May Be Interested In

From around the web Tagged with: aporiaballBoomersfaithInge MorathInge Morath Foundationinstitutionssocial valuesTurning

About the author

Assistant Editor - Mindscape magazine.
Stop SOPA

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

Follow Me on Pinterest
  • More believe aliens than god.

    Pinned: 19 Oct 2012
  • Study recommends decriminilisation of drugs.

    Pinned: 15 Oct 2012
  • Life on moons easier to find?

    Pinned: 11 Oct 2012
  • Man falls to Earth from 23 miles up.

    Pinned: 9 Oct 2012
  • Simon Singh under attack for criticisng health magazine.

    Pinned: 4 Oct 2012
  • Jail time for another banker.

    Pinned: 22 Sep 2012
  • ATOS inhumane puppets of a sick government. This has to stop.

    Pinned: 22 Sep 2012
  • Strange rock on mars

    Pinned: 20 Sep 2012
  • Jesus said he was married

    Pinned: 19 Sep 2012
  • Bees reboot brain to accomplish different tasks.

    Pinned: 17 Sep 2012