My son recently suggested that most people confuse modernity with commerce. I am trying to create an original connection between commerce and authenticity. 'Modernity' is confusing the issue.
I think the confusion is real. But commerce is substantive and has distinct attributes. Modernity is a vague conception with no stable attributes. At best we can say that modernity is opposition to tradition or rejection of tradition with an overlay of anti-traditional religion.
The reason for the confusion between modernity and commerce is the historic emergence of both at roughly the same time. This emergence was caused by commerce that brought us mass produced elegant dinner ware and stationary steam engines for power supplies. Both are none traditional. Both replace traditional ways of life.
Commerce sprouted a new world of health, abundance, vigor, pragmatism, novelty, technology and the opening for personal authenticity because it is a meritocratic world.
Modernity is merely a commentary on the new commercial world in the form of the arts, architecture and secular consumption values.
To summarize: two hundred years ago commerce brought to the world a new day, a new way of living. It was called 'modern'. Since then the term 'modernity' has been applied as a commentary on commerce. But 'modernity' is neither meritocratic, since it flows from the mouths of anyone, nor is it tied to technology since it is often approved of by Luddites.
Modernity is a rejection of tradition.
Commerce is just commerce moving in its pragmatic way; lowering costs and expanding markets.