Modernism- Derived from Enlightenment ideas and coming to prominence in the 19th and early 20th centuries, modernism and the ideas and assumptions that are integrated within it were reflected in art, music, architecture, literature, philosophy, politics, economic thought of the period. The focus of modernism was largely rooted in the enlightenment quest for Truth, specifically the achievement of Truth through Reason. Scientific thought and proof became important in the philosophical, historical and political spheres. Human and social relations were expressed as clearly provable and scientifically founded. History, in the modernist perspective, is linear and progressive. Clear dichotomies are evident throughout the modernism: religion and science, high and low culture, base and superstructure, bourgeoisie and proletariat. Modernism was a metanarrative, a theory that was all encompassing and could be applied to every aspect of existence, much like the concept of God or divine entities are often used. Furthermore, the modernist perspective presented a clear vision and desire to create a better society, often manifested in the presentation of utopian ideals.
The modernist project both existed symbiotically with the rapid industrialization, mechanization and urbanization of society, but simultaneously had to grapple with these same developments. It was through modernism that many theorist, authors, and artists (including Marx) attempted to understand the new relationship of humans to society. In the quest for Truth and Reason many found themselves alienated from the social order and means of production in new ways. The theories of modernism attempted to explain and ultimately rectify these discrepancies between the real and ideal existence of man.