Everything you told us about modernity was wrong (I) Of the modern project

The idea of the modern project in sociology(*) is associated to the idea that the modernity has to do with the freedom (Wagner, if wrong I am not mistaken, relates intímamente), or rationality (so remember to Weber). And so in general we think that refers to the modern project.

But, it will not be out of place to recall that -for example – the motto most modern of all was about ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’.

On the one hand it says nothing about the rationality. Which makes sense if we think that the reason was a means rather than an end (a means to achieve adulthood, to abandon the children, a thing extremely important if you want to, and the only way to achieve that end), and that the enlightened EIGHTEENTH century is a century highly sentimental. The idea of modernity as the cold reason was not part of the project, but as the rejectionists of the project-the version conservative of the romance – I was open to modernity.

On the other hand, reminds us that the image of the good society of the enlightened was not something only related to the freedom -more freedom is essential. Equality was central to the also, in the end, freedom without equality is not possible. And this is not even in the senses ‘socialists’ that nothing serves freedom if you do not have to eat, but in the basic sense that inequalities in rights, it is not possible liberty (if certain people have exclusive privileges…).

But in the last instance, the equality is known. And we may well speak of modernity as a dialectic between freedom and equality. But in addition to the slogan -and the other about the pursuit of happiness – send us to another thing.

Why do we forget about the fraternity? That was part of the project to the end of the day. Let’s first look at the oblivion intellectually and, finally, let’s look at the oblivion socially (such as something that happened to the society not only the ones who speak about it).

Intellectually forget the brotherhood to overlook the fact that modernity has a specific vision on how to are the good primary relationships. It is No coincidence that, among all the options of family relationships important, is the brotherhood’s chosen: The relationship of brothers is in principle non-hierarchical and is far away from the world of the orders. What we face is that there can be close relationships, ‘warm’, permanent, and all the imagery that we have about the primary relationships that are consistent with the other ideals of modernity. In other words, that the primary relationships basic are not just something of the traditional communities.<

Now, it is mandatory to forget that if one is based on a distinction between community and society. In that all parent relations is located in the community, and society (the modern) has only a secondary relationship -the impersonal, rationalized, flimsy etc The search of the traditional community -and with it the authority that there is in it – is a way not only to reject modernity, but forget that modernity had its own model of primary relationships.

What sends us to the second theme: The social forgetting. Because it is not only an intellectual problem, to the oblivion of the fraternity, it is also something that influence in general society.

In principle, the reasons to forget the brotherhood seem obvious. How are modern societies more free? It doesn’t seem difficult to think of them that way. Do you have increased equality? With all the existing inequalities, at least the legal privileges have decreased. But what of the brotherhood? What is not a characteristic, perhaps, of the modern societies which all relations are cracked? It may be that modernity has had on their project a vision of how the primary relationships, but the real development of modernity has meant that any development of the fraternity has existed.

And yet… For a party, although the ‘traditional societies’ were full of primary relationships, it would be difficult to argue that they were particularly fraternal. On the other hand, a good part of the weakening of primary relationships (for example, parent-child) has been given in relationships that precisely were not based on the sign of the fraternity. And we can think of the brotherhood as an ideal has spread to areas where you can raise that does not make much sense (the aforementioned parent-child relationship). It may well be the least developed of the original ideals, but it could well be studied as indeed has been modified.

In any case, the reduction of the modern project to rationality, it is still a form of distortion. We have used, finally, the story about the modernity of their adversaries. Wouldn’t most think that this may not be the most appropriate way to think about it.

(*) The second part of this diptych on modernity, is dedicated to criticize the idea of the modern project. But that is for the second part

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