Today’s summary and reflection comes from Michael Burns, a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Dundee. He occasionally blogs at Daily Humiliation.
Goodchild begins this chapter stating, “Modernity has always been a utopian myth (43).” Part of this myth is based on a vision of reality that is coherent, consistent, and well ordered; in other words, stable. The end of modernity is the realization that this supposed stability of human, physical, and economic reality is little more than a myth which is beginning to unravel. In opposition to the dying picture of modernity as inherently stable Goodchild argues that “It is a brutal, physical, overwhelming reality. It is the breakdown of stable alliances between environmental, human, and meta-human processes (43).” Whereas for a small portion of those in the places of prestige in the decaying project of modernity life was, and still is, characterized by a stability largely grounded in finance; Goodchild notes that this “wealth is built on poverty (43)”, and thus while the project of modernity is alive for some, it is little more than a cancerous socio-political ailment for most.
The main thrust of this chapter, simply stated, is that the stability in physical, conceptual, economic, and market life has always been exceptional (44), and that when this underlying instability begins to emerge through the cracks in the edifice of a seemingly well ordered reality, the project of modernity has already sung her final tune.
To make this argument Goodchild divides the chapter into four sub-sections: Physical Instability, Conceptual Instability, Economic Instability, and Market Instability. Read the rest of this entry »