This is the text of a talk I gave at a London Emerge Meet-up.
I like to think of Humanity’s current predicament as that of a tightrope walker, and an inexperienced one at that. We’re teetering on a rope above a deep canyon, walking a narrow path between ruin and a better world.
Either we get to a completely different way of organising our society and living together. Or our civilisation ends. This time there is really no alternative.
If we don’t make the transition from an industrial society committed to economic growth to a life-sustaining one committed to the healing and recovery of our world, then we will fall into the abyss and it will mean, at best, the deaths of billions of sentient beings and at worst, the end of life on earth. …
“Look again and you will see the Gods rise in the most human and unassuming of eyes.” — Kate Tempest
I’m obsessed with spoken work artist Kate Tempest.
I think her work comes closest to expressing life in the 21st century Western World.
She embodies something I’m calling the Metamodern Flame.
Metamodernism is an emerging cultural phase and worldview that can help us deal with the many crises faced by our civilisation. I wrote more about it here.
The Metamodern Flame is our ability to find the sparks of change within the very systems, culture and people that are destroying our planet. …
Metamodernism is the cultural phase and worldview that comes after postmodernism.
Modernism was the optimistic child of the enlightenment. It believed in our ability to understand an objective reality through science and thus make progress. This worldview still exists in academics like Steven Pinker who argue that we must double down on our enlightenment values in order to carry on driving humanity forward.
Postmodernism came along like your friend who knows everything and critiqued this progress. Didn’t modernism realise the damage it was doing to people and planet in search of economic growth? Just look at the inequality, loneliness, neocolonialism and ecological turmoil all around us. Surely you can see the complete bankruptcy of the modernist worldview! …