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Marshall Berman

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the Contradictions of ModernityAs the research declares in describing the modern human, Berman says they are moved at once by a will to change – to transform both themselves and their world – and by a terror of disorientation and disintegration, of life falling apart. Through this statement, it is easy to see the conflicting emotions of an individual undergoing change of any kind. Relating it to everyday life, an individual might strive to pursue a dream career by quitting their job and launching a business of their own, but at the same time be paralyzed by the fear of this new venture failing, or worse, succeeding. Either way, it represents a change in the way things have been. To be modern is to live a life of paradox and contradiction.
This paper stresses that in the capitalistic society, it is greatly argued that man has control of the market, the customer is always right and the consumer is the master by reason of making the choice to purchase or not purchase. Berman points out that often this is not really the case. Although we might have our choice of traveling by plane, train or automobile, sometimes that ‘choice’ boils down to just one option based on the availability of flights, trains or roads. Idealistically speaking, we have free choice in which doctors to see for various complaints, however, it is actually the insurance companies that dictate to whom we can go and how much can be charged based on the conditions listed.