Antimodernism is a philosophical orientation that is somewhat difficult to define, but in essence constitutes a rejection of modernist ideals and behaviours in favour of what is perceived as a purer historical or even prehistorical way of life and consciousness of mind. As such, antimodernism is neither a single, definable movement nor a unified set of beliefs, but a vaguely-defined gist of thought.

The term overlaps, to a degree, with postmodernism, in that both positions reject modernism. In a sense, antimodernism typically looks towards the past for inspiration for the direction of the future, whereas postmodernism looks towards a rejection of modernism with a (oftentimes, much) lesser orientation towards the past as a guide than of ideals borne of times closer to the present. The focus of an antimodernist's view of the importance of the past may encompass religion, culture, nationalism, or merely a present continuation of an existent historical social-structure. This is not to say, however, that antimodernist thinking is constrained to within the bounds of historical precedent in finding solutions for present and future problems.

The notion of antimodernity was primarily borne as a part of disillusionment with Europe's industrial revolution in the 19th century, which oversaw one of the most dramatic periods of social change in human history. Mass urbanisation and industrialisation contributed to the heralding of a markedly different era within a relatively short space of time. This thereby created an environment that was conducive to the rise of ideologies alternative to a mainstream which was far departed from what was in the hearts and minds of generations in their prime merely decades before.

While not necessarily being anti-technology by nature, antimodernism typically either considers technology's utilisation in the modern world to be misapplied and misguided, or else that it should be regarded as a lesser priority of human endeavour than, say, social cohesion or devotion to traditional religious and other cultural values. At the far side of the spectrum, some individuals characterisable as being antimodernist would consider all technology beyond a certain level of advancement as being demonic in either a literal or practical sense.

Antimodernity in today's world is often popularly known of in the form of religious fundamentalism, with more militant forms of Islamism and right-wing Christianity gaining more prominentcy during the 1990s. Various pagan-religion/cultural orientations could be considered to be antimodernist, along with various far-right groups that take more militant interpretations of these values. Not all antimodernist thought exists alongside religion, with atheistic primitivism being one such example.

External Links

See also: Amish, The Lord Of The Rings, Luddite, Modernist Crisis, Religious fundamentalism, Unabomber