The Future Was Always Created by Small Groups of People
evolve: In looking at Europe, many might describe us in the midst of a “culture war.” I’m not speaking about the West and Islam, but about religious traditionalists, who tend to be pre-rational, and two types of secularists—the modernists and the postmodernists. The modernists tend to be rational, efficient bureaucrats and capitalists. The postmodernists are often highly individualistic, egalitatarian, pluralistic, and increasingly interested in personal spirituality. Do you see these divisions affecting Europe today?
Michel Saloff Coste: All over the world there are these big gaps between the traditionalists, modernists, and postmodernists. In Europe over the past five hundred years, we seen many clashes between different value systems. There has been a strong opposition between traditional Catholicism and the Protestant modernism, that eventually led to free speech and capitalism. We could even say that the two world wars in the last century were an expression of a conflict between values and belief systems, not only a conflict between nations.
And today we are in the midst of a struggle between traditional, modern postmodernist values. This conflicts are intensified through the new development of traditionalism as many modern people return to traditionalism and extreme right populism because of the economic struggle of the middle class and the loss of a meaningful frame-work and vision.