Time-Binding Communication: Transmission and Decadence of Tradition Academic Article uri icon


  • This article sketches a theory of time-binding communication, which is to say communication that unifies widely separated times much as space-binding communication unifies widely separated places. Drawing from the work of Harold Innis, it first describes the function and character of time-binding communication as a means to social continuity. Then, following Alasdair MacIntyre and Michael Oakshott, it explains the nature and necessary circumstances of this sort of time-binding communication, or tradition. It discusses the character, consequences, and causes of decadence - radical discontinuity - as these have been described by Richard Weaver, C. E. M. Joad, and Jacques Barzun. Finally, it turns to David Lowenthal's notion of the past as a 'foreign country' in an effort to explain the relations between modernity and both tradition and decadence, as well as the geography of tradition and decadence in the modern world.

published proceedings

  • Ethics, Place & Environment

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, J. M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Smith, Jonathan M

publication date

  • February 2007