The Grand Narrative of the Age of Re-Embodiments: Beyond Modernism and Postmodernism

Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology
The delusory quest for disembodiment, against which the quest for re-embodiment is reacting, is characteristic of macroparasites who live off the work, products and lives of others. The quest for disembodiment that characterizes modernism and postmodernism, it is argued, echoes in a more extreme form the delusions on which medieval civilization was based where the military aristocracy and the clergy, defining themselves through the ideal forms of Neo-Platonic Christianity, despised nature, the peasantry and in the case of the clergy, women. This argument is used to expose and reveal the oppressive and ecologically destructive drive underlying the aspirations of the dominant classes in the modern/postmodern world to disembodiment, whether this be seen as the quest to be unbounded by time and place, to be free of dependence on labour and natural resources, to be free of the humdrum of everyday life by entering ‘virtual’ worlds, or, as with post-humanists, to overcome the limits of the body by fusing with technology. These modern and postmodern forms of the quest for disembodiment, it is suggested, now threaten civilization, the future of humanity and most terrestrial life. This analysis is used to clarify the liberating mission of the grand narrative for re-embodiment, exemplified by the quest for Inclusive Democracy, Earth Democracy, Ecological Civilization, or for an Ecozoic Age. The grand narrative of the Age of Re-embodiments is shown to be inseparable from the struggle for truth, justice and liberty as central to real democracy empowering people to augment rather than undermine the conditions for life.
Keywords Grand Narratives  Embodiment  Nihilism
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