Characterization of the modern world
Individuals and societies cannot live on ideas that drive them to materialism…
Author: P. Fernando Pascual, L.C | Source: Catholic.net
The famous work of E.F. Schumacher "The Small is Beautiful" ("Small is Beautiful: a Study of Economics as if People Mattered", published for The first time in 1973) offers, in part II, Chapter VI (The greatest Resource, education), a cast of ideas that circulate and characterize what That we know as "modern world”.
Schumacher recognized that he was not offering a complete list. It Was confined to those that it considered as "main ideas", which would be in connection with the NINETEENTH century and Would dominate (according to its opinion) in "the minds of the educated people”.
What are these ideas? The first refers to evolution, seen as a process that would naturally have allowed the emergence of elevated forms of life from lower forms.
The second idea concerns competition (or competitiveness), related to the ideas of natural selection and survival of the best endowed, which would explain "the natural and automatic process of evolution and development.”
The third idea assumes that the expressions or conquests considered the highest of humanity (religion, art, philosophy...) would simply be "a superstructure erected to disguise and promote economic interests, being the whole history of the Humanity the history of the Class struggle "(something openly defended by Marx and his followers).
The fourth idea arises from Freud, which interprets the typical expressions of the human being as "dark machinations of a subconscious mind", and which can be explained as the result of "unsatisfied incestuous desires during childhood and the early Adolescence. “
The fifth idea is relativism, "which denies the absolute, dissolves all norms and patterns and leads to a total indetermination of the idea of truth replaced by pragmatism.”
The sixth and final idea is positivism, "which establishes that all knowledge can be obtained only through the methods of the natural sciences and, therefore, no knowledge is genuine unless it is based on generally observable facts." This idea excludes any objective knowledge about meanings and purposes in the world.
After several decades of the publication of Schumacher's book, it is surprising to note how these ideas, to a greater or lesser extent, remain in force in not a few thinkers of our 21ST century and explain the fact of the exclusion of religion, metaphysics, and spirituality of the soul in many cultural fields.
Other aspects of our time could Be pointed out, as certain demands based on respect for individual rights, aimed at pleasing those who have subjective perceptions of what they are, feel, and want to do.
Schumacher, of course, was not limited to a presentation of dominant ideas in some environments but wanted to offer ways to access an authentic metaphysical thought and a searching attitude of those dimensions that lead to unifying the knowledge Beyond the promotion of over-specializations.
In a sense, Schumacher could quite agree with numerous proposals from John Senior, a professor in love with Christian culture and humanistic studies, who from his teaching experience in Dallas published two very stimulating works: "The Death of the Christian Culture "(1977) and" The restoration of the Christian Culture “(1983).
Individuals and societies cannot live on ideas that propel them to materialism, disintegration, loss of deep sense, the substitution of good metaphysics by materialistic or nihilistic metaphysical.
in reverse, individuals and societies will be able To regenerate themselves only when they discover that there is a center, a sense and that everything has its origin in God and is directed towards God, the only one who can satisfy the noblest aspirations of every human heart.