Re: postmodernism as an outgrowth of liberal capitalism

Tue, 11 Mar 1997 17:45:19 -0800 (PST)
mike shupp (

On Tue, 11 Mar 1997, Albert J Bergesen wrote:

> 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...

Mannerism? 16th Century? Well, why not. There do seem to
be swings over roughly century long periods between eras
which seem to favor elaborate/ornate/intricate/self-absorbed
thought and cultural productions and those which prefer
simple/clear/problem-oriented approaches. Think of Paris
architecture of the late 19th century and Bauhaus, and of
modern architectural electicism. Early Stravinsky and late
Stravinsky and ??? Jane Austen to Dickens to James to
Hemingway to Gass and Pynchon.

So, if we're diving into post-modernism willy-nilly we have
the prospect of emerging from it in another 50 years or so.
Good- man should not live without hope of a better world.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge
Graduate Student, Dept. of Anthropology