This constellation of issues has been our preoccupation for years, both here and at The Gurdjieff Con where the spiritual right has been examined for its conservative anti-modernity and ultimately fascist memes/themes.
The study of the eonic effect always brought modernity to the fore as indeed an almost teleological force in history. Despite that the subject of modernity is very complex and is not very well examined by the ‘secular humanist’. The sheer complexity and dialectical breadth of modernity is too often lost on modernists, liberals, themselves. The modern tide offers instruments its proponents often misuse. In the focus on the Enlightenment and the faith of reason missed is the way ‘modernity’ plays point/couterpoint at its source with the rise of Romanticism, which is quintessentially modern until the grim moment the fundamentalists of reason being to amputate their own assets. The issue of liberalism is central, this said by a ‘leftist’ critical of its realizations and it is hardly a new insight to point to the way Marx produced a critique of liberalism from the left. But in some ways the historical materialism and economic focus of Marx has created its own reduced version of modernity. The debates over materialism/idealism were decisive moments of the larger drama but they seem dated now. The materialist focus was an exciting and seminal historical slapstick but the issues now confront a new aspect of the modern in the mysteries of modern physics.
The left must consider this very carefully because it is possible to win all victories until the last one, and a modern culture is swamped by the nightmares of counterrevolutions on the level of destroying modernity altogether.
Far-right intellectuals like Steve Bannon claim to speak for a working class put upon by out-of-touch liberal elites. But their anti-modernist, hierarchical vision of the world doesn’t offer workers what they really need: more money in their pockets, and more power at the workplace.