2 ₪ “Zeitgeist” is German for the spirit (nature, character) of the times.
There is much to say about the times. Let us look at three ways of studying them.
1) We can study time past; that is what historians are doing. This entails reading a lot of books and spending time in libraries. The past is relatively stable and reliable, it doesn’t move much.
2) We can try to understand the future; this is the domain of prophets, futurologists and trend oracles like Faith Popcorn and others. Here we should be aware of the propheteers; people who at the same as they prophesy about the future, by a lucky coincidence (!) have something to sell that will be important in the future. Basically business people, propheteers combine prophesy with profit.
3) Or we can try to understand the present times. That is what I try to do.
Of course past, present and future are not clearly separated, but the main stress can lie here, or there.
To study the “gods” of our present time one doesn’t have to sit in libraries (I like books but not dust), nor enter the Gambling Halls of Predicition. The rebel in me wouldn’t want to be a scholar historian, playing by the ground rules of academia, and even less a “seer”, making believe that the future, for some reason, has chosen to reveal itself in MY crystal ball of all crystal balls.
I started doing this kind of research in the early 90s. In 1993 I published a book in Swedish, “Offensiv nostalgi” (Vanguard Nostalgia), the main part of which was a catalog of Modern Gods, or idols. Sacred cows, qualities, virtues not to be questioned.
In that book I tabulated 19 “gods”. Now, more than 20 years later, it is time to take a fresh look at our Pantheon. For one thing, the Internet age had hardly begun in 1993. There are many “Internet gods” around and they, just as their propheteers, are scary.
(Note that the “gods” are not people, but forces, tendencies, memes.)
So, let’ s first look at the Old Gods and see how relevant they are today. Then take an up to date look at our New Gods.
Here will soon follow the first 19 gods (Swedish facsimile, with English abstracts).