In The “real” Second Renaissance, I tried to demonstrate why we might be living in what I would call a rapid vast renewal. I mentioned that leaving modern times is today’s equivalent of leaving medieval times.
To understand this viewpoint more, here are the causes and effects of the First Renaissance that you can directly compare to the causes and effects of the Second Renaissance (not all of them are good things).
- The printing press compared to the internet.
- The emergence of humanism compared to the emergence of environmentalism.
- The birth of nationalism compared to the rise of nationalism.
- Religious reformation compared to the rise of atheism.
- The Age of Discovery compared to the Age of Information.
- Colonialism compared to Western activity in Africa and the Middle East.
- Slavery compared to the use of cheap labor overseas.
- The spread of Christian missionaries compared to the spread of Western ideology.
- Now, the whole reason why I even started pondering about all this: A sudden widespread fascination with antiquity (classicalism) compared to today’s rising fascination with medieval times (Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones).
If the Renaissance was the cause and the Enlightenment was the effect, then we’re only getting started as more people are enlightened everyday.