The drama of the modern world
Power always manifests itself in the exension of our world reach.Hartmut Rosa
Notes taken from Unverfügbarkeit.
Modern civilisation is compelled to create availability.
It is culturally, institutionally and structurally directed to make every aspect of life calculable, predictable and controlable: by scientific discovery, political control and economic efficiency.
Paradoxically, aliveness, affection and true experiences can only arise from encounters with the unavailable."
Humans seek resonance: experiences that touch and transform them. Listening to a beautiful piece of music or looking at a serene landscape are the moments that we experience as true.
Resonance constitues four attributes:
- The moment of affection
The subject is touched by something and develops intrinsic interest for what it percieved.
- The moment of response
Outwards movement or emotion as affectuating reaction. E.g. the exchange of a gaze or a dialog.
- The moment of transformation
Experiencing resonance transforms us in the ever slightes way. It is what constitutes to be alive.
- The moment of unavailability
Resonance is unavailable by nature and cannot be guaranteed. It cannot be enforced, accumulated, stored or instrumentally increased.
Our eyes are resonance windows.Hartmut Rosa
To look someone in the eyes and feel their response is to resonate.
In our longing for resonance, we created a cultural drive to make the world available to us. Everything we interact with becomes a point of aggression that must be learned, conquered, ruled over or made to be used.
A society is perceived as modern when it can only stabilize itself dynamically. That is, when it can keep up its institutional status quo of continuous economical growth, technological advancement und cultural innovation.
The four dimensions and institutions to make the world available are:
Realisation, that there is something (Research)
Making the visible accessible through technology (Science)
Making the accessible controlable (Development)
Putting the controlable to use (Political administration & law)
Tragically, obtaining availability creates alienation. The world demystifies and becomes silent. Resonance eludes us because the sole purpose of nature has become a resource to commodify.
This development is the deeply irrational result of a cendentary, occidental rationalisation process.