Postmodernism: The Destruction Of Thought

pomo

Postmodernism, in all its vicious variations, is a term devoid of any real content, and for this reason dictionaries and philosophy dictionaries offer very little help in defining it.

And yet postmodernism has today become almost universally embraced as the dominant philosophy of science — which is the primary reason that science crumbles before our eyes under its corrupt and carious epistemology.

Postmodernism, like everything else, is a philosophical issue. Accordingly, postmodernism’s tentacles have extended into every major branch of philosophy — from metaphysics, to epistemology, to esthetics, to ethics, to politics, to economics.

In order to get any kind of grasp on postmodernism, one must grasp first that postmodernism doesn’t want to be defined. Its distinguishing characteristic is in the dispensing of all definitions — because definitions presuppose a firm and comprehensible universe.

You must understand next that postmodernism is a revolt against the philosophical movement that immediately preceded it: Modernism.

We’re told by postmodernists today, that modernism and everything that modernism stands for is dead.

Thus, whereas modernism preached the existence of independent reality, postmodernism preaches anti-realism, solipsism, and “reality” as a term that always requires quotation marks.

Whereas modernism preached reason and science, postmodernism preaches social subjectivism and knowledge by consensus.

Whereas modernism preached free-will and self-governance, postmodernism preaches determinism and the rule of the collective.

Whereas modernism preached the freedom of each and every individual, postmodernism preaches multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism, egalitarianism by coercion.

Whereas modernism preached free-markets and free-exchange, postmodernism preaches Marxism and its little bitch: statism.

Whereas modernism preached objective meaning and knowledge, postmodernism preaches deconstruction and no-knowledge — or, if there is any meaning at all (and there’s not), it’s subjective and ultimately unverifiable.

In the words of postmodernism’s high priest Michel Foucault: “It is meaningless to speak in the name of — or against — Reason, Truth, or Knowledge.”

Why?

Because according to Mr. Foucault again: “Reason is the ultimate language of madness.”

We can thus define postmodernism as follows:

It is the philosophy of absolute agnosticism — meaning: a philosophy that preaches the impossibility of human knowledge.

What this translates to in day-to-day life is pure subjectivism, the ramifications of which are, in the area of literature, for example, no meaning, completely open interpretation, unintelligibility.

Othello, therefore, is as much about racism and affirmative action as it is about jealousy.

Since there is no objective meaning in art, all interpretations are equally valid.

Postmodernism is anti-reason, anti-logic, anti-intelligibility.

Politically, it is anti-freedom. It explicitly advocates leftist, collectivist neo-Marxism and the deconstruction of industry, as well as the dispensing of inalienable rights to property and person.

There is, however, a deeply fatal flaw built into the very premise of postmodernism, which flaw makes postmodernism impossible to take seriously and very easy to reject:

If reason and logic are invalid and no objective knowledge is possible, then the whole pseudo-philosophy of postmodernism is also invalidated.

One can’t use reason to prove that reason is false.



17 Comments

  • Jason

    January 12, 2010

    Postmodernism is also anti-God, anti-Christianity, anti-Jewish, anti-morality, anti-decency.

  • Darryl Thomas

    January 24, 2010

    “Vicious variations?” Wow. I haven’t seen an axe-grinding job like the above blog in quite a while. Allow me to address a couple of points in regards to the gripe this blogger has against the subject.

    Postmodernism (or Pomo, as we shall term it here on out) is indeed, as the blogger rightly puts it, “a philosophical system.”

    It is also very threatening to the those of the religious bent due to pomo’s prime feature of Questioning Everything. Even “philosophical systems.” Even Religion. Even “free will.” Even neoliberal capitalism. Even the consensus reality that we happy enough to leave unexamined. Pomo is a Critical Theory. As a critical theory, it belongs in academia. It’s epistemological, so it asks questions of what is knowledge in terms of the whole of society. For someone to be threatened by pomo’s perceived “viciousness” remains squarely in the eye of the beholder. But I certainly can understand the need for such tired polemics. It’s all based on fear of loss.

  • Ray

    January 25, 2010

    Hello dimebag Darryl. What on earth do you mean “POMO, as we shall term it here on out”?

    POMO is passe, brah. Didn’t you know? The term POMO is so old it’s retro. Last time I heard it, I was kicking the slats out of my crib. Look, if you’re ever going to get serious about being POMO — and I have my doubts — you must start by updating your non-POMO lingo.

    As for your postmodern argument, I note that you don’t bother to address the philosophical substance of postmodernism’s untenable premises, with regard in particular to my penultimate and ultimate paragraphs above. That’s smart on your part. You’re very wise not to attempt a refutation, because if you did, your (non) system would come crashing down around you like so many Banquo’s ghosts.

    Dimebag Darryl wrote: > I certainly can understand the need for such tired polemics.

    Tired polemics? But you just said, and I quote: “Wow. I haven’t seen an axe-grinding job like the above blog in quite a while.”

    So which is it, Dimebag? Tired? Or wowing?

    Concerning religion and your wild assumption, click-click.

    And thank you for dropping by.

  • CongoJack

    January 25, 2010

    Darryl… you are correct sir and I completely understand and agree with what you are saying.

    Ray you do understand that postmodernism related into today is to me me, a young person, asking questions of why I should go to church? Why should I blindly follow someone, drink the kool-aide and sir… Ray… you have made a batch, and a swigging it down like Jonestown.

  • Darryl Thomas

    January 25, 2010

    Man, I gotta give it up for the literary and pop culture references. Really. That was almost… clever.

    But since I’m determinedly Old Skool (no cell phone, iPod or Twitter HERE, “brah’”) POMO IT IS. mainly because I detest typing and also because I so love how th epretty Belgian ladies still speak disapprovingly of it in hushed tones in the local city center cafes. What can I say? I’m just a swingin’ dick.

    As for the “untenable premises” (lol) that you’ve so charitably styled as a “critique” – was that meant to be a serious request?

    Okay, I’ll bite. There’s no female ninja movies on TV tonight. But, uh… did you mean “paragraphs” or sentences? We’ll call them paragraphs.

    Let’s take this apart: “If reason and logic are invalid and no objective knowledge is possible, then the whole pseudo-philosophy of postmodernism is also invalidated.”

    This is the old canard (or shall I say, “Narrative,” yuk) that’s shows the limits of both reason, knowledge and logic. Yes, reason, knowledge and logic HAVE LIMITS. I thought that was obvious even removing POMO from the equation.

    And of course, what good is a canard if it isn’t LAZY? I mean, to theorize that the limited human mind with its limited five senses cannot conceive of Absolute Truth or Objective Knowledge (which really is just making Reason and Logic into “Gods” – hence my point on religion) is not a crime. And here’s why. Because this specific POMO critique STANDS, if YOU Mr. Man, cannot produce Absolute Truth or Objective Reality before the world. As you rightly commented on your “Does God Exist” blog, it’s up to YOU to prove Absolute Truth exists. My way of thinking? If Objective Reality existed, it would be here already. If there would be a ZEN OF POMO, undoubtedly the bumper sticker would read: QUESTION EVERYTHING. I can hear you saying, “Why?” And for that, I applaud you. Well done.

    Now your next sent- errrrrr… I mean, Paragraph the Ultimate.

    “One can’t use reason to prove that reason is false.”

    Well, I guess you just proved the limits of reason to yourself, then.

    Next question…

    No, seriously, I’ll take this on. Piece of cake.

    Are you saying POMO uses “reason?” Now that is really interesting. Well, ask yourself these questions.

    In a world of competing interpretations of reality, why doesn’t it make sense to question all interpretations?

    Why doesn’t it make sense to notice the competing interpretations?

    Why doesn’t it make sense to theorize that a world of competing interpretations, no Singular Absolute Truth or Objective Reality is possible?

    Why doesn’t it make sense to criticize the Enlightenment, Religion and Neoliberal Capitalism – after we’ve all seen that their Utopias were nothing but LIES and enslavement?

    Why does it not make sense to criticize “logic” and “reason” when Atomic Bombs are created to destroy the world several times over and nuclear waste from power plants nobody knows how to get rid of?

    I mean you seem like a smart guy, “Thinking Man.” Has the limits of Reason, Knowledge and Truth totally escaped you?

    Reason ALONE cannot make sense of this world. If it could, it would have done so already. Obviously it hasn’t. That should be a hint…

    Well… I hope you enjoyed my demolition of your “thesis” or whatever that is you call what you write. I suggest that your response feature less of the ineffective, childish and shill name-calling and focus more on developing your criticisms on this subject. Who knows, you might have something worth saying.

    Enjoy.

  • Ray

    January 25, 2010

    Greetings dimebag Darryl. Thank you for your muddled response.

    Dimebag wrote: > Man, I gotta give it up for the literary and pop culture references. Really. That was almost… clever.

    Thank you.

    Dimebag wrote: > What can I say? I’m just a swingin’ dick.

    Ha-ha! Then it’s exactly as I suspected.

    Dimebag wrote: [this article] that you’ve so charitably styled as a “critique”

    Like many others before you, you will search my words in vain for any such self-stylization, with or without quotation marks.

    Dimebag wrote: > But, uh… did you mean “paragraphs”

    Yes.

    Dimebag wrote: > or sentences?

    No.

    Dimebag wrote: > We’ll call them paragraphs.

    Yes.

    Dimebag wrote: > Yes, reason, knowledge and logic HAVE LIMITS.

    There’s no need to shout, sir. Just for the record, knowledge is not the same as reason and logic. Knowledge is the fruit of those things. Logic is the method. Reason is the faculty. But if by “limits” you mean that omniscience is impossible, than I agree. Of course. At any stage of learning, there’s always more to know. Which doesn’t invalidate what you do know, however. Nor does it invalidate the method by which you know. In fact, it’s only through reason that knowledge can be gained.

    Dimebag wrote: > And of course, what good is a canard if it isn’t LAZY?

    This begs the question. Crush that strawman with your swingin’ dick.

    Dimebag wrote: > I mean, to theorize that the limited human mind with its limited five senses cannot conceive of Absolute Truth or Objective Knowledge (which really is just making Reason and Logic into “Gods” – hence my point on religion

    God and Gods (with or without quotes) require faith; reason is the opposite, and so is the tool it employs: logic. Reason observes and incorporates data. Faith is blind believe. “Faith is the substance of things hoped, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews, 11). Your premise is in error. Back to the drawingboard.

    Dimebag wrote: > this specific POMO critique STANDS, if YOU Mr. Man, cannot produce Absolute Truth or Objective Reality before the world.

    Then I win. Because I can produce, as you say, “Absolute Truth and Objective reality before the world.” Here: at your computer right now, find one object you can easily pick up, like a pen or pencil. Now combine that object with another object. It is now absolutely true to say that the one object combined with the other object equals a total of two objects. It is therefore absolutely true that 1 + 1 = 2. To produce Objective Reality, simply go hold your hand in front of a fast-moving car, and when you’re finished, report back. Or drive down the interstate with your eyes closed.

    Dimebag wrote: > As you rightly commented on your “Does God Exist” blog, it’s up to YOU to prove Absolute Truth exists.

    Done.

    Dimebag wrote: > If Objective Reality existed, it would be here already.

    It is.

    Dimebag wrote: > I guess you just proved the limits of reason to yourself, then.

    See above.

    I’m not sure who told you that omniscience is the human goal, but it’s incorrect. The goal is to learn continually. Newly discovered truth cannot contradict old, by definition; and by definition, all knowledge is finite. Obviously, this doesn’t negate knowledge. On the contrary, it forms the building blocks of subsequent knowledge. One unit combined with one more unit equals two total units, and that will always be a true statement. Still, there’s always more to learn. Which is a good thing. We move on from 2 + 2 = 4, to trigonometry, to calculus, and so on.

    Dimebag wrote: > Are you saying POMO uses “reason?”

    Yes, faulty reason. The human mind operates by means of reason. It is impossible to think otherwise. To arrive at the conclusion that language is limited and that truth is subjective requires an act of incorrect reasoning. Reason is the human faculty that identifies and incorporates observed data.

    Dimebag wrote: > In a world of competing interpretations of reality, why doesn’t it make sense to question all interpretations?

    You can question them all if you want, but it doesn’t mean that they’re all correct. For instance, if you question whether or not one plus one equals two hundred, and you also question whether or not one plus one equals two, you must discover which of those is correct. You do so by referring back to reality: combine one object with another object and see how many total objects you end up with. You have thereby discovered a truth.

    Dimebag wrote: > Why doesn’t it make sense to criticize the Enlightenment, Religion and Neoliberal Capitalism – after we’ve all seen that their Utopias were nothing but LIES and enslavement?

    Please see above. But how can you say that “we’ve all seen that their Utopias were nothing but LIES and enslavement”? I thought we couldn’t know anything.

    Dimebag wrote: > Why does it not make sense to criticize “logic” and “reason” when Atomic Bombs are created to destroy the world several times over and nuclear waste from power plants nobody knows how to get rid of?

    Wrong! Nuclear waste doesn’t exist. A reactor is refueled by its waste.

    Dimebag wrote: > I mean you seem like a smart guy.

    Thank you, Dimebag.

    Dimebag wrote: > Reason ALONE cannot make sense of this world.

    I’m afraid it can. I’m afraid that as a human being you’re stuck with your unique method of cognitive functioning.

    Dimebag wrote: > If it could, it would have done so already.

    It has. That’s why we’re able to fly airplanes, and build bridges, and erect skyscrapers, and manufacture lubricant.

    Dimebag wrote: > Obviously it hasn’t.

    You’ve missed the obvious, sir.

    Dimebag wrote: > I suggest that your response feature less of the ineffective, childish and shill [sic] name-calling and focus more on developing your criticisms on this subject.

    Dimebag, your advice is sage and sound. And if I’ve offended you in any way, please take consolation in the fact that these words were actually meaningless, because language is an arbitrary construct, and words have no actual meaning at all.

  • Redmond

    January 30, 2010

    Wow is right – I await dimebags response!

    I wonder what would be his Pomo critique of AGW and Pontif Gores claims to absolute certitude? Somehow I think it would be much less critical, given that POMOs real problem is with western society, not objective reality.

    Hmmm but as an art teacher friend of mine claimed recently, you can’t actually measure anything(but somehow he gives out marks), so I think I’ll just cut down every tree in Canada as none of it really matters… What???

  • Nestor James

    July 19, 2010

    The thing about things like the epistemology of postmodernism and the dialectic of Socialism is that while they sound plausible enough over a good Scotch, some absynthe, and a couple of joints, they just don’t bear out in the real world. That’s the thing. Postmodernists, ask yourselves: If your life was actually on the line, would you put your trust in the ‘nothing can be proved, nothing is really real’, philosophy or the, ‘Good ole American Know-how, do what works’, philosophy? Postmodernism is for people who are in the position not to be affected by the stupidity of postmodernism. A university professor or a journalist would be an excellent example of such an individual. People who might actually go hungry if their thinking is wrong tend to go with the old-fashioned, out of date, modern thinking. Countless millions of people have died as a result of self-absorbed brainiacs coming up with unproven theories on how humans should be. They are endlessly dangerous.

  • Ray

    July 20, 2010

    Well spoken, Nestor James.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  • Nestor James

    July 20, 2010

    Thanks Ray. Post-modernism is a joke, isn’t it, and a rather nasty one at that. It isn’t defined as anything other than not-modern, as if the modern age is so obviously over, as if it worked out so badly for us all. What horse hockey! All it is, is the implementation of the Franfurt School technique of “critical theory”, which is a really complicated intellectual way of saying, being against everything. Post-modernism isn’t a philosophy, it’s a Soviet psychological warfare technique. McCarthy, McCarthy…yeah, I know. But what salesmen they are. Imagine being able to sell this discouraging crap to people who are enjoying the highest standard of living, coupled with the greatest level of personal freedom in human history, as a direct result of the way of life that they are trashing. It’s like convincing Shaq O’niel that he’s embarrassingly short, and rather frail.

  • carl carlyle

    June 16, 2012

    wE NEED A METANARRATIVE TO UNDERMINE THE UNIVERSITY ELITES OBSESSION WITH POMO B.B.
    SOCIAL NEO-DARWINISM HAD BEEN PROPOSED TO DO THIS BECAUSE AN EXTERNAL REALITY EXISTS.
    SND MAKES POMO AND MARXISM LOOK LIKE THE HINDQUARTERS OF AN EXTINCT DINOSAUR.

  • Habbit

    August 21, 2012

    “Dimebag wrote: > I suggest that your response feature less of the ineffective, childish and shill [sic] name-calling and focus more on developing your criticisms on this subject.

    Dimebag, your advice is sage and sound. And if I’ve offended you in any way, please take consolation in the fact that these words were actually meaningless, because language is an arbitrary construct, and words have no actual meaning at all.”

    This is the greatest close I have read in my entire life. You deserve some type of award.

  • Redmond

    May 29, 2014

    hey Ray, long time no comment!

    I shared this with Christopher Cantwell, and he said

    “[28/05/2014 11:26:22 PM] Chris Cantwell: This postmodernism article is brilliant, comes back to A is A”

  • Ray

    May 29, 2014

    Hi Red!

    Long time indeed. Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for dropping by.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field