By Arthur Kroker
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Additional resources for Technology and the Canadian Mind
If, however, the political analysis of English-Speaking Justice discloses a grim, and mean-spirited, reduction of public justice to a question of power in technological society, then the metaphysical diagnosis of the crisis 44 Technology and the Canadian Mind is even more shattering. ofJustice but which has its origins in Kant’s The Critique of Pure Reason, contains a fatal contradiction. ” $2 Kant sought to preserve a. “73 Kant’s descriptiorrof the “morally good will” as the basis of the just society is, consequently, the locus of an uneasy compromise in the western mind.
43 It results only in a tragic lament, a “celebration memory “*. “the tenuous memory that was the principle of my ancestors”. But Grant’s lament, while pessimistic, is not fatalistic. In Phdosophy in the Mass Age, Grant remarked of the human passion for change in the face of great injustice: “To those who are not so reconciled, the sense of meaninglessness should not result in a beaten retirement, but in a rage for Sartre is the action. “** Why? “*’ This may be why Grant’s “lament”, this authentic meditation on “Canada’s disappea- 36 Technology and the Canadian Mind rance” may also be a call to action.
McLuhan’s perspective on technology is the opposite. McLuhan isfigure to the Canadian imagination: his perspective is all form, metaphor, and paradox. ” To Grant’s sense of historical remembrance, McLuhan counterposes the image of the “probe”3 charting the cultural geography of the new media of communication. And to Grant’s haunting image of trapped beings, “half-flesh/half-metal”, McLuhan speaks, of “cosmic man”* caught up in a more cosmopolitan, and Darwinian, struggle among competing media of communication which gain of the “social and rimacy as extensions psychic faculties” P only as the already obsolescent content of new technological media.