Culture and Thought by Anisuzzaman Abdel-Malek, Anouar Abdel-Malek

By Anisuzzaman Abdel-Malek, Anouar Abdel-Malek

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One strategy was by presenting itself as the sole refuge of the national personality in the face of aggression. To meet the colonial problematique of ~he negation of the national identity of the colonised by eliminating their history, tradition would claim itself as the only heir to the historical process the society has passed through. In this attempt, tradition could affirm itself in both the positive and the negative ways. The total acceptance of everything connected with tradition and rejection of all that came from outside could lead to a process of sclerosis and degradation of tradition that eventually tended to end up ,by setting norms, values and institutions which were gradually becoming disconnected with the changes occurring in the society and, thus, effecting a rupture in the social consensus.

In another section of the paper, he tried to furnish the theoretical framework of the multiple views of modernity, to which we shall now turn. Making what he termed as 'a disaggregated analysis within the Marxist scheme", to take into account the civilisational variety in the world, Goonatilake observed that history progressed by a succession of different modes of production and that historical change occurred as a result of the development of forces of production. Current anthropological researches, he said, indicated that the seminal social organisations from which the larger civilisations emerged were Modemity in Crisis: The Resurgence of Tradition 7 not homogeneous, nor did they fall into a simple category of primitive classless society.

This was, more or less, in the minds of many other speakers in the Seminar who referred time and again to modernity. E. Jeddi thus proposed that the concept of modernity should be stripped of its colonial connotations and termed the dichotomy of tradition and modernity as a false problem, imposed from outside. Janusz Kuczynski found that the counterposition of tradition and modernity was purely formal. Francois Rajaoson denied that tradition and modernity were antagonistic. Abdallah Cheriet termed the notion of contradiction between these two as a superficial one.

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