Giddens and the Holes In the Narrative

The Modern World will become the Only World, this theme is not yet addressed in Giddens, but his state of “high modernity” inevitably has to be concluded as such, the idea of globalism which is mentioned and is a topic of further importance most likely in this book. But his referencing of a book by its title “The Decline of the West” (p51), his something I have some knowledge in it. Bringing up a title which some readers, particularly the fact that most people never have heard of it. The title by the author, Oswald Spengler’s own admission is incorrect. “Decline’ should be the “Transformation”, in that book disparagingly referenced as a footnote of the high-minded righteous progressive looking down on the backward thinkers of the old, he forgets Spengler believed in the “Earthmanian” civilization, the world culture complete after the “Westernization” of the world. By such thought, Spengler is in reality agreeing with “High Modernity and “Globalism”. All authors are guilty of cherry-picking, for any author who writes a non-fiction book on how he or she thinks X is that they naturally come with agendas. It is not inherently wrong for opinions to exist and work be shaped by them and more importantly made for them. Giddens does falsify, but like all writers he slants. Arrogance is universal when the future visits the past. It is the natural result of time moving forward. I hate the idea of “trust” being this value so idealized and made to be the core value of “modernity”, when all civilization is built on trust. For the trust, Giddens thinks is unique for the Occidental Civilization is composed of simpler concepts. Mainly the division of labor and interdependence. Division of labor was properly invented after agriculture or even before that in hunter-gatherer societies because Native Americans had both men and women do separate tasks. The common view of is that women farmed and men hunted.

Interdependence is the result of people realizing more hands does mean more mouths but compensates with greater ability. Or even in tribal organizations before then.  Trust is a loaded delusion. All societies are founded on that principle for no man is an island, for Robinson Crusoe is not how man was meant to exist, on his own with limited skills. He survived by did not truly improve his condition until he gained a manservant.

Also the use of paper money being something that was so well capitalized in the West. When in many parallel or non-narrative compliant civilizations not only were the ones to invent paper money but also use money for it is a universally more advanced system. If Giddens wanted to talk real economics he would talk of Fiat currency, the idea debt can be money which is a Western invention. But ancient peoples graduated to the whore of commerce in many forms. From coins made of certain percentages of precious metals, to sea shells, and to rocks. Money is a human idea.  My overall impression of Giddens, is not quite formed yet but I disagree on his details for now.

2 thoughts on “Giddens and the Holes In the Narrative

  1. You present a very helpful as well as interesting take on the second half of the first chapter of Giddens novel. Personally, I appreciate how you expressed your current disagreement with some of the beliefs of Giddens, and then followed that up by going greatly in to detail on why you are in a state of disagreement. I can relate indefinitely to the feeling of not being totally informed, because the overall purpose of Giddens’ novel is somewhat unclear to me at the moment. However, perhaps you could have gone more into detail on Giddens’ ideas about the different meanings of the words trust and risk that are present in our lives today.

    -CP

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  2. Tyler,

    Thanks for this meditation on the reading. You’re right to point out that trust has been an important component of every society: “I hate the idea of ‘trust’ being this value so idealized and made to be the core value of ‘modernity’, when all civilization is built on trust. For the trust, Giddens thinks is unique for the Occidental Civilization is composed of simpler concepts. [sic]” Would Giddens disagree? How might his emphasis on the modern emergence of the term “risk” factor in here?

    DM

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