The clash of cultures today signifies
a new cultural shift. This is not merely owing to the change of the
millennium, which after all, is only the accident of a particular
calendar. It is owing to a change in the nature of civilization from
the modern to the post-modern era. In the past few decades the term
modern was defined mainly in terms of the post-war and industrial
era. But that world exists no more. The Cold War is over. Communism
has fallen or is in retreat everywhere. The industrial revolution
has given way to the high tech age and the old industries are now
becoming relics of the past.
Some thinkers therefore speak of the
post-modern age. What used to be called modern in the post-war era
is already old and out of date. Western dominance of the world
through Europe and America is being challenged by a resurgent Asia.
Great European powers like England, that not long ago dominated the
world, are now only small countries. Certain aspects of Western and
modern culture are ceasing to be modern or progressive. Western
missionary religions now appear medieval. Twentieth century
industrialism is now appearing backward, polluting and destructive.
Even Western commercial culture is coming to be equated with an
unenlightened and unprogressive force of global exploitation.
Meanwhile certain aspects of ancient and Eastern culture are
becoming regarded as more progressive, with their Earth positive and
consciousness seeking values.
The age of materialistic science is
fading in favor of a new science of consciousness, with relativity
and quantum physics expanding our cosmic horizon beyond time, space