Re: postmodernism as an outgrowth of liberal capitalism

Tue, 11 Mar 1997 16:47:15 -0700 (MST)
Albert J Bergesen (albert@U.Arizona.EDU)

Reply to Adam K. Webb--I don't know that any period is really severed from
its material base. That I think is a modern vanity. Cylces repeat over
historical time, so one hegemony is not the same as another--19th century
Britain isn't 20th century US. But we wouldn't want to say there wasn't a
recurring hegemony. So too with cultural forms: all the disjuncture,
relativism, etc.of post modernism also characterized Mannerism centuries
earlier. It is hard to sell the idea of cycles in economics or politics.
It is particularly hard for culture, so I understand the resistance. You
know, both things are correct: our time is, what, liberal, or late
capitalism, and a period of hegemonic decline. So I don't think there is
a necessary opposition here. Partly it depends on what you are interested
in. For the world systemite it is the collective cyclic dynamics of the
world system over longer periods of historical time. Hence I look for
repetitions--they are never the same, of course, but neither is life a new
each time either.

Albert Bergesen
Department of Sociology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
Phone: 520-621-3303
Fax: 520-621-9875