Introduction to IJWP, June 2016
One of the fundamental tensions in the contemporary world has been between traditional societies and modernity. “Traditional societies” refers to those who are connected to traditional communities or cultures. This includes accepting received religious beliefs and/or scriptures, loyalty to community leaders, and shaping one’s life based on how things were done in the past. “Modernist societies,” on the other hand, refers to those societies who have faith in science, modern social institutions like the bureaucratic state, and those who want to build a new and different future based on reason and discovery.
Social change is inevitable. There are demographic changes, technological changes, changes in the natural environment, and more. Traditional ethnic and national groups are constantly bumping up against one another, infringing on territory. Some groups suffer from environmental impacts made by other groups. New technologies and social institutions create lifestyle changes. Traditionalists are more likely to resist these changes, while modernists are more likely to advocate change. The tension between tradition and modernity can lead to constructive change and adaptation, but often it leads to civil war and strife. This depends on the people involved, and whether they are willing and able to adapt. Whether people have a traditionalist or a modernist orientation, they can act peacefully or violently based on the maturity of their social consciousness. Continue reading →