Taking a Walk Though the Postmodern World...
It is very difficult to explain postmodernism in a way which is clear and accessible to the average person.
There are many reasons for this including but not limited to:
-Postmodern academic writing is convoluted and difficult, often making use of obscure jargon and shifting standards of rigor
-Postmodernists play fast and loose with language, change the rules of engagement when challenged, and redefine everyday terms; all of which makes organizing and explaining their ideas difficult
-Postmodern ideas are extremely counter intuitive to people who do not know and accept its underlying assumptions, and postmodern thinkers rarely make their underlying assumptions clear and explicit in a way which average people understand.
-Postmodernism often co-opts the language and rhetoric of other systems of thought by redefining them, and thus can blend in with other ways of thinking without being noticed
All of this means that postmodernism can be both difficult to recognize when it shows up, and even harder to explain to those who do not understand it. As such, making a coherent story about how postmodernism developed can be difficult, boring, tedious, and often confusing the the average person. For this reason I am going to teach everyone about postmodernism using a unique method. Rather then teaching postmodernism systemically, like a teacher in a classroom, I will instead attempt to act as though I am your tour-guide as I take you on a long safari through the jungle of our postmodern society.
I will be like a biologist pointing out various animals and telling you about them as we move through the amazon, except that I will be pointing out various elements of postmodernism in our culture and explaining them as we make our way through the postmodern jungle of society.
My hope is that by pointing out postmodern ideas in the culture and explaining them we can learn to recognize them when they show up. Once we have built up our ability to recognize the various elements of postmodernism that are making themselves at home in our society, we can begin to analyze them in a more systematic way. After we finish our safari and know the lay of the land in our postmodern cultural jungle, we can then begin to think about how postmodernism effects our cultural ecosystem and what we can do about it.
Sometimes, the best way to learn about a city is by looking at a map or reading a book about it, and sometimes the best way is to have the locals walk you through it. We’re going on a walk through the postmodern world.
As we do this we will see that postmodernism is the worldview that is at the foundation of what is often called “wokeness.” This means that we will be explaining postmodernism and wokeness together, and we will have to examine both of them with an eye to how they are connected.
Taking the Institutions.
We shall begin with a tactic that woke activists, who are postmodern in their worldview, use when trying to take over institutions.
The woke are not trying to convince an institution to implement wokeness by persuading people with arguments and evidence. The woke are going to win socially by using power plays and social moves.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
The woke person looks at an institution and says "I want this institution to operate according to woke ideas, and to help spread woke ideas. I can change this institution to make that happen the hard way - by proving that woke ideas are good and convincing all the other people to accept them - or I can do it the easy way by making sure only woke people get hired, and trying to get non-woke people removed from positions of influence, or fired altogether."
The woke see everything as a do or die scenario. The woke person thinks "I can't debate this non-woke person and take the chance that someone might reject wokeness, so I won't risk losing…I will do ANYTHING to stop them." The woke don’t “settle differences” by seeking the truth about the disagreement to find out who is correct. The woke settle disputes by winning socially and getting the power to implement their ideas.
Typically we think differences should be settled by examining the evidence and attempting to settle the issue by seeing what the truth is, and winning the argument and persuading people by appealing to the truth. However, when a woke person disagrees with you, the woke person tries to make sure that the woke positions triumphs regardless of whether or not anyone actually agree with the woke ideas. That includes getting people fired, changing institutional rules, threatening a persons reputation or anything else that might work to make sure their preferred woke idea, concept, action, or policy is implemented. Whatever they need to do to empower wokeness within the situation is what they will do in order to win.
See how that works?
The woke have generally accepted a pair of ideas that when taken together are an absolute poison:
1."philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it." (Karl Marx)
2. “An activist produces power and policy change, not mental change.” (Ibram Kendi in How to Be an Anti-Racist)
The goal is to accrue power in order to make change in the name of wokeness.
When it comes to a disagreement about some woke idea or other, the woke person is going to assume the woke view is correct, and their goal is then to make sure the woke idea comes out on top. The woke activist wants wokeness implemented at every level of the institution and they see anyone who opposes them as nothing but an obstacle to their goal of making the institution woke. As such, they will do anything to move you out of their way including but is not limited to: getting you fired, destroying your reputation with accusations of racism and bigotry, turning your colleagues against you by making you look bad, attacking your character directly, and insinuating that you have bad motives or that you are acting out of self interest. Any social power play or social move that will get you out of their way and empower them to implement wokeness is on the table.
I will eventually explain why the woke use these sorts of tactics, but for this essay what I want everyone to understand is that the goal of woke activists is always to accrue power so they can make change in the name of wokeness. The goal of the woke is not exchanging ideas in the service of finding truth, the goal of the woke is to get power in the service of implementing wokeness.
Be aware of this when woke activists begin agitating for change in whatever organization you belong to, and act accordingly.
Thank you for reading,