Korea after the Mass-Age
Korea offers us a great example of how our polarized worldview is inadequate After the Mass-Age.
We took a short break from “Learning from …” as we finished up An^log 3, After the Mass-Age. The premise of the book is that the Mass-Age ran from the 1960s to roughly the present day. The Mass-Age was defined by the medium of television, the industrial principles of mass manufacturing and post-imperial Western dominance. These concepts infiltrated our cultural discourse, affected the development of our societies, and defined the world—geopolitically and economically—until now.
The story of Korea in the last few weeks is a great illustration of how, during the Mass-Age, cultural identity was subsumed into a global narrative dominated by a Western perspective.
Here is a great story from the BBC about how shared cultural roots defined the symbolism and meaning of the recent meeting between Korea’s two leaders:
One of the observations in our book is that the Mass-Age suppressed complexity in favor of simple mass concepts such as gay vs straight, black vs white, and capitalism vs socialism.
Mass concepts such as these fail to represent the beautiful and complex nature of who we are.
Korea has been divided by a war between capitalism and communism. It is an oversimplification revealed as the BBC illustrates the symbolism surrounding these meetings. The demarcation line is the Mass-Age: the planting of a tree and the relevance of an image of mountains at the negotiating table are old Korea. The Korean people share an ancient culture that is more powerful than the divide thrust upon them.
All over the world ancient cultural narratives have been suppressed by the forces of the Mass-Age. But After the Mass-Age, old and powerful cultural narratives are being liberated as the hegemony of the Mass-Age fades. We are more than a marketer’s demographic. We are more than a simple divide between two versions of economics, neither of which feel relevant. We are more than the divide between two political parties fighting over our loyalty in their grab for power. In the case of Korea (for it is one culture), the people are more than the two extant versions of their future, neither of which are indigenous.
The re-emergence of indigenous cultures is evident everywhere and threatens the old order, a globalist’s order predicated on Western supremacy. As discussed in After the Mass-Age, it is culture—the artistic expression of who we are—that is leading this re-emergence, as demonstrated by Korea’s ancient rituals, music, dress, images, and the planting of a tree with water and soil from both sides of the divide.
From Korea the message is clear: what divides Koreans can be less relevant than the culture they share. The West is being sidelined. For Koreans, this meeting holds more meaning than the one between Kim Jong-un and the U.S. President.
The Mass-Age is fading.