Modernity, its cause and cure — page in progress


Understanding the Global Economy

Comprensión de la
economía mundial

Update: 12/26/13

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The cause of modernity is markets; the cure is an ethics that is advantageous to all. To restate part of my thesis further, using the words of E. F. Schumacher in Small is Beautiful—a market is an institutionalized irresponsibility. Being responsible is more than following the mere minimalist liberal ethic: respecting the rights of others and not injuring them. It engages the care ethic or love ethic or an ethics of perfection: the key to changing humanity’s present crisis—a crisis of the foundations of modernity—from a downward spiral of violence and economic injustice into an opportunity for social reconstruction.

A reply to critics who say that my writing is too short and too long: you complain, for example, that I omit the good aspects of modernity (and markets), which make modernization sometimes a cure, not that which needs the healing. In the next breath, you concede that I likely: have written about the positive aspects of modernity, define my terms, even define definition and justify using an out of favor word like foundations, discuss how words relate to world and what to do with words and what to do with world and “come down from the clouds” to offer solutions to concrete social problems and concrete practical steps that you and I can take here and now. Nevertheless, they say that my books are too long and boring and they do not have time or motivation to read them.

With critics such as these, I could easily fall victim to low self-esteem. I might stop writing in despair because I believed myself incapable of writing anything clear enough to be understood while short enough to be read. However, I have not stopped yet and in successive missives I plan to clarify my views on the cause and cure of modernity by examining certain views of Martin Heidegger, Anthony Giddens, Michel Foucault and Walter Wink, while noting many others in passing.

For peace,

Howard Richards


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