Modern society arises from individualism — the individual being prioritized above culture, tradition, nature, and divine order — which occurs when civilization has become wealthy enough to acquire parasites but judgmental enough to turn on any people who start rejecting supporting parasitism as a moral duty.
People forget the cycle of time, which is more important than time itself. That is, humans find a way to do something, then everyone emulates that, and in the process, they forget the “why” and the goal as well as reality itself, and they live in a symbolic bubble-world that becomes irrelevant as the context shifts slowly around it.
In this telling, tradition is an active thing. To uphold the behaviors of the past, you have to constantly adapt to what is present. The progressive and Leftist vision however is that we reject reality entirely and replace it with peer pressure and symbolism.
Modernity then seeks to be static, which is why the rebels today are the same as those in the 1960s, 1820s, and 1500s when “Bohemians” wandered around Europe drinking wine, having unwise sex, protesting war and tradition, and living in artistically quirky squalor.
Tradition on the other hand is flexible because it consists of pragmatic abstractions like aesthetics, principles, goals, and identity. It aims toward the good, beautiful, and true more than it enshrines methods of those, so it can adapt with the ages like the swaying of trees in the wind.
Our notion of modernity comes from the individualism of citizens that translates into collectivism in the group because that way each individualist is safe from criticism but entitled to subsidies from the group. It is the language of a group scamming each other, a committee going through the motions, and a careerist who wants to escape controversy.
The modern societies we inhabit can be described in more technical terms as “mixed economy liberal democracies” (MELDs) which are the final evolution of egalitarian society before full Communism. In these societies, civil rights law dominates while socialism is funded through increasingly desperate free markets.
[A] market system of resource allocation, commerce, and trade in which free markets coexist with government intervention. A mixed economy may emerge when a government intervenes to disrupt free markets by introducing state-owned enterprises (such as public health or education systems), regulations, subsidies, tariffs, and tax policies. Alternatively, a mixed economy can emerge when a socialist government makes exceptions to the rule of state ownership to capture economic benefits from private ownership and free market incentives.
Translation: capitalism + socialism hybrid. This means that capitalism fuels the markets, avoiding the problem the Soviets had, but the parasite on their back is the constant tax, union, regulatory, lawsuit, affirmative action, and social dysfunction burden imposed by civil rights law.
These can only really exist in liberal democracies because, since these use egalitarianism as a moral state to impose totalitarian control on their citizens, they are able to justify the seizure of most assets to redistribute to people who could not survive in nature, based on the civil rights and constitutions endemic to liberal democracy:
[A] form of democracy in which the power of government is limited, and the freedom and rights of individuals are protected, by constitutionally established norms and institutions.
Translation: democracy + constitution + civil rights. The constitution limits the whims of the mob and its bureaucrats, but even more, provides endless loopholes in which to hide parasites. Civil rights justify seizure of assets and redistribution. Democracy creates a class of voters dependent on government who always vote for more.
MELD forms the basis of modern society after it has had a couple of centuries to mature, which means that it has hit its peak and will rapidly be heading for collapse. If you wonder why everything seems to be moving faster of late, it is because society has run out of room to maneuver.
You might wonder why mainstream sources never spell this out for you, just like they refuse to admit that Leftists are egalitarian individualists while conservatives are traditionalists who like order at a level higher than the individual. You might wonder what all these smiling well-paid faces have an interest in concealing.