Postmodernity (I)

Postmodernity (I)

Written by Alfonso Elizondo


Postmodernism is the cultural, literary, philosophical and artistic movement that prevailed during the 70’s and 80’s as a challenge to Modernity, which criticized formalism and rationality in the search for a new cultural expression that would pay more attention to forms and not shy away from conventions.


The key piece of Postmodernism is the restructuring of the artistic as well as the social and cultural spheres. Although Postmodernity is considered a well-defined era, it does not have definite ideologies. While Modernism was characterized by its rationality, its uniformity, its organization and the idea that there was only one absolute truth, Postmodernism promotes acceptance of an intuitive emotional state that is found in all human beings, in addition to diversity and the possibility that everyone can think differently, and the existence of chaos and conflict as a viable and permissible state where there are no absolute truths written in black and white, but in many shades of color.


The Postmodern era sees the emergence of globalization and the Internet causing a reduction in the quality of life of people and businesses. This becomes an essential medium with an infinite number of opportunities for people to interact and relate from a social and business point of view, thus fostering entrepreneurship.


The postmodern man has abandoned the illusion of his progress and is given over to instant consumption in the search for pleasure and satisfaction, with the media being the main transmitters of culture. He also tries to live for today, concentrating his attention on physical appearance and not on his intellect. It is the time when the common man’s interest in technology and innovation is born.


In Postmodernity, trends are transformed into utopias and fascination with the future as attention to history and the past disappears. The main focus of attention is the present, far removed from personal or cultural growth.

Postmodernism came into being as a critique and rejection of Modernism which was deemed to have failed to establish linearity, neglecting the task of unifying thought, and this provided an opening for insensitivity and disconnection from the surrounding world and a focus on personal advancement and progress.


In the world of Modernity the capitalist mode of production causes the bourgeoisie to contract and the vast majority of society to become proletarian, while in the Postmodernist era individualism is emphasized to the point of selfishness. Modernity, with its social revolution, tended to accelerate the emergence of a new society, while in the Postmodernist age the number of workers decreased and there was a growth in the number of liberal professions, technicians, scientists and workers.


In the era of Modernity there was an absolute belief that truth could only be known through reality and a distrust of all knowledge that came from faith, tradition or mere intuition. For postmoderns, on the other hand, new discoveries and using them enrich their lives and they become a life value similar to money that can even be exchanged for something else.


Finally, Modernity means the emancipation of the individual from submission to the family or social environment, while Postmodernism is an open surrender to consumption and an entertaining source of pleasure that does not cause problems of any kind.


Addendum: In Part Two of this article on Postmodernity I will try to analyze some of the basic differences between Modernity and Postmodernity.