Chapter 10: A Classical Modernist
10. A Classical Modernist We must somehow escape on the one hand from our obsession with the moment and on the other hand from our obsession of history. In freeing ourselves from time and attempting a balance between the demands of time and space we can develop conditions favourable to an interest in culture. H. A. Innis' The eighteenth century was a time when, economic intercourse having dissolved into chaos, and social life, free of despots, having been plunged into anarchy, the social philosophers of the Enlightenment sought to illuminate the innate harmonies of the evolving markets and expound on the economic and political tights required to sustain a desirable liberal order. Yet, until this day, the reinforcing institutions that should underpin a liberal order, namely, dynamic unregulated markets and a democratic polity, are still not wholeheartedly embraced or universally endorsed. Understandably, some societies remain steeped in traditions that are antipathetic to liberalism. The rejection of the liberal order, on the part of even those societies within which the notions of a liberal order were first perceived and formulated, suggests that there is no end in sight to the eternal debate about the nature of the good in social life. In the main, it seems, there are differing views on what it means to be human. Classical economists have outlined the implications of making choices for self-centred man, largely in a state of ignorance and seeming chaos. Later proponents of the liberal philosophy contributed to modernity by expounding on materialism...
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