Back in the days when I was a student at university, my fellow students would amble down the hallowed halls of academia muttering things about “nature versus nurture” to themselves and others. They had probably never thought about the question at all until some professor raised it as an intractable controversy in social science theory and philosophy. In some ways, “nature versus nurture” has been the core controversy, and root dilemma, of social philosophy.
In fact, it has deeper historical roots than contemporary social theory and social philosophy, and consequently contemporary politics. But the tendency to cast the question in such a way is a stark reminder of what Gebser considers one of the chief deficiencies of the mental-rational consciousness — the tendency to think in mutually exclusive dualisms.
One of the major stories of the “new normal” is the expansion of economic rights and freedoms parallel to a contraction of the sphere of political and civil rights and freedoms. Democracy is being recast and redefined as an economic system, rather than a political system.
This isn’t just an accident. It has been deliberate policy. And it reflects the reactionary mood of Late Modernity.
“Be true to the Earth!” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Appreciating the Earth itself as being one political unit seems like a very difficult task for some people, if not most people. The term “environmentalism” isn’t really adequate to account for the fact that post-modernity really means that the entire planet has become a singular political unit in its own right. The reactionary mentality of our day — the ego-nature itself — is really overwhelmed by that development, which we call “globalism” or “the overview effect“, which for others is a profoundly transformative experience.