POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

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Alizia
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:01 pm

Dachshund wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:05 pm
Postmodernism is a dangerous political ideology, and the way I see it, it has only one prime objective, namely, to destroy Western civilisation. The strategies and tactics it uses to go about doing this are devious, mendacious and treacherous in the extreme. It preys, for example, on the naivety and implicit trust that young people in colleges and universities place in their professors; professors who are not bone fide educators, but political agents who see their principal role as being to indoctrinate their charges with a hateful, nihilistic, violent world-view that implores them to believe that: all of the cultural achievements; all of the fundamental moral and aesthetic values; all of the key institutions and civil mores of their native Western society are rotten and wicked to the core and must therefore be destroyed.
In my own view I notice what appears as an error here. I do not think postmodernism is a political ideology. In fact, it is not an ideology but rather the lack of an ideology. However, my definition of postmodernism (as I offered just above) might not be the official one.

So, what Dachshund is talking about is different. I would suggest that what he is referring to is a result of, let us say, arriving at *the ends of liberalism* if the liberalism referred to is understood as a late-phase decadence. Liberalism, noble as it might have been originally, then contaminated by different currents, not the least being indifference, apathy, confusion of mind, the falling down of strong structures of mind, comes to a point where it becomes weak and non-ideological. Then, other influences enter in.

What are those influences? If one speaks of professors who are political agents then here one likely has a clue. Liberalism, infused with what they call 'cultural Marxism', then becomes, shall we say, emotionally potent among those naive and impressionable minds. (I noticed the same in me when I was at Uni). And there is a moral dimension insofar as a young person desires to do what is right and good. And too there is a psychological component: the need and desire to do what is right and be seen as doing the righteous and the good by one's peers.

It is not precisely fair to say that these professors, nor the kids, "indoctrinate their charges with a hateful, nihilistic, violent world-view that implores them" to destroy their civilization. Why? Because it is never quite that extreme. And because they believe -- sincerely -- that they are doing quite the opposite! I am not saying that do not perceive what Dachshund refers to as hatred. But it is actually motivated not by hateful intentions but by the opposite. However, hate does enter in as an intense form of intolerance. But it is intolerance of the contemptible. (Intolerance of hate for example).

There is another problem: the problem of defining, in clear terms acceptable to all or most, what "the fundamental moral and aesthetic values" are. But isn't this where the problem is to be found? Definitions -- and the values that they reduce to -- are in conflict with one another. It may result that the subject of this sort of educational experience eventually chooses to believe that "all of the key institutions and civil mores of their native Western society are rotten and wicked to the core and must therefore be destroyed", but I have not encountered the chemically-pure version of this sort of hyper-nihilist!

Therefore, Dachshund is speaking to a kind of abstraction. I do not mean to imply that I do not agree with elements of what he sees, and I do empathize with the anger. But I suppose that I think we need to better examine causation, so as to have a better idea how to confront the present.

Alizia
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:03 pm

Belinda wrote:This isn't nihilistic on the contrary it's a proper description of evolution of thought, or revolution of paradigm.
Ah yes, I see your point.

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Greta
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Greta » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:57 pm

Alizia wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:40 am
Greta wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:20 pm
An example of postmodernism is the disregard for scientific evidence as if all information was equal. Thus, the myths of Abrahamic tribes are treated as equal by evangelists, or even superior, to all of the learning achieved globally since that time.
It would appear then that you define postmodernism as an epistemological crisis? Would you say that postmodernism is made postmodern because of the advent of science and all the sets of new facts that it brings forward? It would seem then that you privilege science as the 'supreme epistemological tool'. Is that right?

I would assume, however, that a person could highly value science and its discoveries (facts), while at the same time holding to beliefs or notions that arose in former times and that have no connection to science?

If postmodernism is epistemological confusion -- and I think I do grasp what you are saying -- and if science and scientific view bring all manner of different beliefs into focus and render them "absurd", then it follows that one only needs more science, or those facts derived from science, to then winnow out truth and to be able to deal in truth-terms. What do you think?
I do not see postmodernism as a crisis as such. It is a valid tool and has its place - but problems come when it's applied so that ideals are treated like physical reality and vice versa.

Certainly people can hold contradictory views. A minority of credible scientists still believe in God. There need not be a problem as long as established facts are at least respected (which still allows for challenge) and untested ideas are accepted to be just that.

"More science" need not be science conducted the same way as before. After all, if we were not prepared to stretch out from Newtownian ideas Einstein's relativity would never have been accepted, and if Einstein's findings had been adhered to as dogma rather than theories, we could not have studied quantum mechanics.

However, as I write, I think the above is peripheral. The point is that science is society's shared view - this is what most credible observers perceive most of the time. However, there is much within that others cannot perceive, that is therefore not the domain of science, but remains thoroughly real. I think the important thing here is not to be mechanistic about it - to support some school or another. That's just self programming, self imposed blinders.

There is cool scientific stuff happening out there and there's cool non-scientific stuff going on inside. Simply, that is what we have to work with, but many claim it's all one or the other for some reason, probably insecurity of some description, eg. assertions that reality is not real, it's just a thought ... or that sprituality is nonsense ... or that everything is just God/love ... claims that all is one when all is clearly also many ... claiming that the idea of an afterlife is fantasy when one has never died oneself ... claiming the self does not exist while that very self is making the statement ... believing that the Rapture is coming ... etc etc.

Alizia
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:18 am

Greta wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:57 pm
However, there is much within that others cannot perceive, that is therefore not the domain of science, but remains thoroughly real. I think the important thing here is not to be mechanistic about it - to support some school or another. That's just self programming, self imposed blinders.

There is cool scientific stuff happening out there and there's cool non-scientific stuff going on inside. Simply, that is what we have to work with, but many claim it's all one or the other for some reason, probably insecurity of some description, eg. assertions that reality is not real, it's just a thought ... or that spirituality is nonsense ... or that everything is just God/love ... claims that all is one when all is clearly also many ... claiming that the idea of an afterlife is fantasy when one has never died oneself ... claiming the self does not exist while that very self is making the statement ... believing that the Rapture is coming ... etc etc.
When you say "much within", what are you referring to? (I assume you mean a person's inner world, which is often 'more real' than much exterior element).

How would you define 'spirituality'? Can the word have real meaning if there is no 'spirit'?

I notice that you leave numerous openings (to *possibilities*) but I would assume that the notion of 'God' is something you'd see as a false idea?

(Interestingly, the notion of Rapture in certain Christian evangelical forms is a modern and a quite recent theological invention.)

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Greta
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:30 am

Logik wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:45 am
Greta wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:20 pm
An example of postmodernism is the disregard for scientific evidence as if all information was equal. Thus, the myths of Abrahamic tribes are treated as equal by evangelists, or even superior, to all of the learning achieved globally since that time.

Another example is flat Earthism - the idea that all of the serious scientific work done is less valuable than an individual's intuition. The Dunning Kruger effect seems to be in play with the above.
You may be missing the Forrest for the trees here.

There are now THREE "philosophers" on this forum who seem to have objected (and some - continue to vehemently argued AGAINST) my claim: I KNOW THAT MURDER IS WRONG.

Their objections are on grounds - sundry. Ranging from linguistic to epistemic purity.

If we can't even agree as to the value of human life - what chance does science stand?!?

To point fingers at postmodernism is to externalize blame.
No, I noticed Mr Gump, rest assured. Science has no more to do with the value of human life than it has with the value of a bag of chips. Expecting science to provide moral guidance is akin to using a smartphone to hammer a nail.

Morality stems from the need for social order. Chaotic societies that lack the order and cohesion that cooperation and big picture thinking bring always fall by the wayside and are consumed by more internally cooperative societies. This group selection has weeded out societies that lack the moral bounds needed to survive and left us with societies that routinely treat murder as a crime. However, as a rough rule of thumb, the larger the population, the less value a human life. Thus, if a nomadic tribe of five, the death of one individual is critical. In a society of 1.4 billion, each death means one less mouth to house and feed.

Thus you, me, and most others stem from long lines of people in successful societies (at least successful enough for us to be here now). Thus, on average, we are the descendants of those who naturally found murder disturbing and abhorrent in a visceral personal sense, not just as a stricture or mental concept. Clearly, avoidance of malign behaviours towards others is an essential ingredient of maintaining large colonies.

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Greta
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:00 am

Alizia wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:18 am
Greta wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:57 pm
However, there is much within that others cannot perceive, that is therefore not the domain of science, but remains thoroughly real. I think the important thing here is not to be mechanistic about it - to support some school or another. That's just self programming, self imposed blinders.

There is cool scientific stuff happening out there and there's cool non-scientific stuff going on inside. Simply, that is what we have to work with, but many claim it's all one or the other for some reason, probably insecurity of some description, eg. assertions that reality is not real, it's just a thought ... or that spirituality is nonsense ... or that everything is just God/love ... claims that all is one when all is clearly also many ... claiming that the idea of an afterlife is fantasy when one has never died oneself ... claiming the self does not exist while that very self is making the statement ... believing that the Rapture is coming ... etc etc.
When you say "much within", what are you referring to? (I assume you mean a person's inner world, which is often 'more real' than much exterior element).

How would you define 'spirituality'? Can the word have real meaning if there is no 'spirit'?

I notice that you leave numerous openings (to *possibilities*) but I would assume that the notion of 'God' is something you'd see as a false idea?

(Interestingly, the notion of Rapture in certain Christian evangelical forms is a modern and a quite recent theological invention.)
Yes, the inner world. It's not very measurable or currently not within the domain of the scientific method, but we all know about the sense of being, however we may interpret it. My view is that everything is/has a spirit, ie. a way of doing things, that contains smaller spirits and is also a component of larger spirits, larger levels of organisation.

The only question for me here is whether those spirits can survive, or are preserved in any way after, death. My own view is perhaps closer to Plato's forms or Jung's archetypes—the idea that particular configurations will, through probability and selection, continue to appear. I have a rough notion of archetypes in my mind that keep appearing, for instance, predators and prey. Not only is that dynamic in the animal, plant and fungal kingdoms, but it also appears in personal relationships, business, politics, and is even the case during planetary formation, where larger bodies like the Earth absorbed smaller ones. Another example of such an archetype off the top of my head is: catalysts and hermits, those in thick of things and those at the margins. The individual is no longer there but the larger clade that made up the largest part of the individual's expressions continues.

So we turn up on the Earth's surface, this small and complex dynamic bundle of attributes, and the law of averages suggests that there will be many others of a similar ilk out there in a population of 7.6 billion who share many of our attributes. They needn't be human, either. For instance, a rejected person might be feeding birds on a park bench and tend to throw more treats to the birds out at the fringes being pushed out of the way by the dominants. They are, in a sense, partners in the spirit of remoteness. There's a resonance.

I don't have a problem with the God concept. Who knows? What if this is not the first universe but the billionth? What if evolution in even one of those universes produced beings that managed to keep transcending every challenge the cosmos threw at them until they achieved a form capable of surviving the heat death of their universe and become a presence in the next? It's possible to my mind.

This is all pretty esoteric. The big thing is that we have come from generations of survivors - and a great survival trait in colonies is to naturally feel a preference to cooperate rather than harm others. It's all very general and naturally there will be exceptions to the tendency.

Alizia
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:43 am

Greta wrote:I don't have a problem with the God concept. Who knows? What if this is not the first universe but the billionth? What if evolution in even one of those universes produced beings that managed to keep transcending every challenge the cosmos threw at them until they achieved a form capable of surviving the heat death of their universe and become a presence in the next? It's possible to my mind.
Reading this, I have the sense that with your view it would not be impossible to construct a comprehension-bridge to quite a few different religious-metaphysical conceptual systems.

There is something of 'eternal recurrence' in it! And the idea of 'transcendence'. There is also the possibility, if a transcendent consciousness is recognized, of the notion of the salvific and even the revelatory: a revelation of knowledge from higher forms of consciousness.

There is an odd but interesting idea that comes from Vedic metaphysical mythology. I would bring it out along with your suggestion of 'the billionth universe': the notion that there are infinite 'lokas': discreet *worlds* that exist. They mean that in the sense that they notice that we here have a *world* in which we manifest. I have made a small effort to connect Heidegger's notion of Being within the possibilities of 'worlding' with the Vedic idea I just mentioned.

It stands to reason that if one Universe exists, there is no reason why an infinite number could exist. (I have read some speculations of physicists that go in this direction . . .)

(Sorry! I had not intended to take the esoteric dive).

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Greta
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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:01 am

Alizia wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:43 am
Greta wrote:I don't have a problem with the God concept. Who knows? What if this is not the first universe but the billionth? What if evolution in even one of those universes produced beings that managed to keep transcending every challenge the cosmos threw at them until they achieved a form capable of surviving the heat death of their universe and become a presence in the next? It's possible to my mind.
Reading this, I have the sense that with your view it would not be impossible to construct a comprehension-bridge to quite a few different religious-metaphysical conceptual systems.

There is something of 'eternal recurrence' in it! And the idea of 'transcendence'. There is also the possibility, if a transcendent consciousness is recognized, of the notion of the salvific and even the revelatory: a revelation of knowledge from higher forms of consciousness.

There is an odd but interesting idea that comes from Vedic metaphysical mythology. I would bring it out along with your suggestion of 'the billionth universe': the notion that there are infinite 'lokas': discreet *worlds* that exist. They mean that in the sense that they notice that we here have a *world* in which we manifest. I have made a small effort to connect Heidegger's notion of Being within the possibilities of 'worlding' with the Vedic idea I just mentioned.

It stands to reason that if one Universe exists, there is no reason why an infinite number could exist. (I have read some speculations of physicists that go in this direction . . .)

(Sorry! I had not intended to take the esoteric dive).
My fault. I like esoteria too.

Re: recurrence, yes, not of individuals but broader types. So, we don't need to die for people of significantly similar natures to pop up here and there - our "other incarnations" are already out there, in twins, siblings, often friends, and many we'll never meet, out there, independently coming to very similar conclusions about things. I first realised this due to Google some years ago. I thought I had all these great original ideas and then I'd Google the idea and find out that, not only that 12,800 people had thought of it before, that was only the ones referred to online - and when noticed that so often these great original thoughts of mine were far, far better conceptualised and elucidated by others, I felt like the world was in good hands - with nearly all of the big thoughts that occurred to me were already covered by others.

That also helped me better understand the nature of individuality and the self. If so many were coming to the same conclusions then clearly we'd arrived at those conclusions using the same bodies of knowledge and followed our noses from there. I realised that most of who I am was just my subculture, culture - and my species, class, phylum and kingdom. Just at the top, like the tip of an iceberg, was my individuality - the aspect that is seemingly recycled after death while the rest carried on.

Throughout history humans have underestimated the scale of reality, so I'm open to the multiverse, and that there may be many levels beyond that. Question is - do multiple universes occur in series, parallel or both? All we can do about the very big questions at this stage is guess and wonder - which is, of course, extremely enjoyable :)

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Belinda » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:19 am

Alizia, regarding postmodernism, wrote "epistemological crisis ? "


I like this description because an epistemological crisis is the necessary springboard to novel ideas in science, politics, philosophy and other arts, and 'spirituality'. To be deplored is complacency and dullness.

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:26 pm

Belinda wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:19 am
I like this description because an epistemological crisis is the necessary springboard to novel ideas in science, politics, philosophy and other arts, and 'spirituality'. To be deplored is complacency and dullness.
The reason I used that term is because -- reflecting on Dachshund's posts and the outline of his concerns, as well as in the general political-intellectual environment in the West today, and on this Forum -- I think it is fair to say that we are in the midst of an valorelogical crisis.

I would admit that that epistemological is a term is a bit grandiose for this use but it does fit to a certain degree. I think Dachshund is providing an outline of intellectual reaction against (what it understands to be) the perversion of liberalism: extreme liberalism as decay and rot. While not strictly an epistemological issue, perhaps it is a valorelogical issue it seems to me. (Valorem = value in Latin)

Reaction, however, is not generally understood to be a manifestation of 'the novel'. In fact, it seems that there is a counter-reaction brought out against the right-tending reaction of the political right and the Extreme Right, which seeks to protect and defend the liberal regimes of the present as the 'better novelty'.

Could the Right-tending reaction I describe, more likely associated with a spirit of counter-reformation than with revolutionary Enlightenment praxes, become a category of 'novelty': that is, a foundation for a new direction? Could defense of the status quo, even when it seems 'progressive' and 'forward-looking', be a manifestation of 'complacency and dullness'?

A second level of question is: Why is the new, the novel, always seen as good and necessary? When it is possible that new things could just as likely be destructive or regressive?

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Belinda » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:21 pm

Alizia wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:26 pm
Belinda wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:19 am
I like this description because an epistemological crisis is the necessary springboard to novel ideas in science, politics, philosophy and other arts, and 'spirituality'. To be deplored is complacency and dullness.
The reason I used that term is because -- reflecting on Dachshund's posts and the outline of his concerns, as well as in the general political-intellectual environment in the West today, and on this Forum -- I think it is fair to say that we are in the midst of an valorelogical crisis.

I would admit that that epistemological is a term is a bit grandiose for this use but it does fit to a certain degree. I think Dachshund is providing an outline of intellectual reaction against (what it understands to be) the perversion of liberalism: extreme liberalism as decay and rot. While not strictly an epistemological issue, perhaps it is a valorelogical issue it seems to me. (Valorem = value in Latin)

Reaction, however, is not generally understood to be a manifestation of 'the novel'. In fact, it seems that there is a counter-reaction brought out against the right-tending reaction of the political right and the Extreme Right, which seeks to protect and defend the liberal regimes of the present as the 'better novelty'.

Could the Right-tending reaction I describe, more likely associated with a spirit of counter-reformation than with revolutionary Enlightenment praxes, become a category of 'novelty': that is, a foundation for a new direction? Could defense of the status quo, even when it seems 'progressive' and 'forward-looking', be a manifestation of 'complacency and dullness'?

A second level of question is: Why is the new, the novel, always seen as good and necessary? When it is possible that new things could just as likely be destructive or regressive?


I'd not call Dachshund "complacent" or " dull".

For me, truth value is not to be found in fear, except in the limited circumstances of an immediate situation when fear helps the subject to stay alive. Fear of extreme liberalism, and of its brother postmodernism, may stem from reasonable fear of people's being unable to make up their minds. But I don't think that people's being unable to make up their minds underlies the closing of ranks evinced by partisans of the political far right. Fear of postmodern and liberal views seems like fear of what you call "decay and rot". Decay and rot are however necessary precursors of new life. This is of course true of the seasons and fertility, and it's also true of science according to Kuhn who explains how an old paradigm becomes unwieldy and some brave new scientist like Einstein bites the bullet and confirms that Newton is not the be all and end all.

The religious Counter Reformation does resemble right wing intransigence . I say "intransigence" because I like traditions and traditional values until those are obviously cruel to individuals and minorities. I don't know enough about the religious Counter Reformation to comment any more. Complacency and dullness cannot be attributed to supporters of the Counter Reformation either. However I'd claim that complacency and dullness typified the Roman Catholic authority who were so unable to appreciate Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Galileo because the Roman Church was institutionally attached to Biblical literalism. Maybe we would agree that complacency and dullness are effects of that attitude of clinging to an external and Platonic Order , together with fear which inhibits any urge of the individual to sail their own fragile small craft either alone or with an few other men in uncharted waters. It's a great thing to be able to live with uncertainty.

True, new things might be destructive or regressive. Beneficent change requires welcome to new ideas tempered with research and good judgement. In particular don't you think that ideologies require frequent review and sometimes revolution cannot be avoided ?

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:23 pm

I mentioned decay & rot because I think that some Central European thinkers -- it might have been Dugan -- spoke of 'liberal rot' as a destructive eventuality.

So far, and in my experience -- which is really only through reading and watching video talks -- I think there are numerous root-causes of right-reaction. One pole seems merely to be reaction in the normally understood sense. This might be close to the fear that you identify. But there is another pole -- I might today call it the Heideggerian pole which is idea-rich and potentially activist.

In the spirit of full disclosure it is this that I really hope to talk about and that is why I entered in this thread. I did not at all mean to imply that I thought Dachsund's ideas were complacent or dull -- the opposite is truer -- but I do see them as highly reactive.

I see reaction of this sort as a first step, and though it does take some work to clarify what one is in reaction to, it does not take much work to simply complain. And let me suggest that there is a developing and wide-spread reaction becoming manifest but that, in my observation, I do not see that people have a clear sense of where to take things.

In this there are many different currents: frustration, stiflement (a neologism, excuse me), disempowerment, fear as you say, uncertainty, and also contempt and the desire to condemn in harsh terms. In this mood, then, one looks around and tries to locate a sufficient enemy to battle against.

I have mixed and also uncertain impressions of the rebellion against Catholicism. I suppose I would say that it is likely a mistake to resort to reductions when one tries to label what was going on there. It is a complex topic and not a simple one.
Beneficent change requires welcome to new ideas tempered with research and good judgement.
I would like to say that I agree, and I certainly do agree if we are talking about, say, a new way to fabricate something and a new innovation that will help there. But even 'research' and 'good judgment' are not enough in my estimation when, at the bottom, value-issues lie at stake. Those with contrary values to some given assertion of value will research and offer their 'good judgment' but still be rigorously opposed. I am sure you understand what I mean and have observed it, too.

My parents I can say for certain because I have talked to them at length of their experiences in the late 50s and in the 60s, felt that they were part of a revolutionary social movement. That is as close as I have come to 'revolution'. Now, my father seems to live in a kind of perpetual remorse about the things he was exposed to that he thought were revolutionary and 'important'. And this is, I think you will see, what I referred to when I said that not all change and novelty is positive.

I am certain that my own position is that I am sure that there has to be a value-foundation in order to build something enduring. That is why I am interested in Heidegger right now, dangerous and strange though he is. The idea of establishing (discovering? rediscovering?) a firm value-set on which to construct not the work of a day or a year, but the next cycle of time.

I listened to this talk just recently which, I must say, intrigued me. There is a great deal of info that comes up when one searches under Heidegger. (Not sure what I think about the speaker or why his face is smudged).

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Belinda » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:30 am

Alizia, I understand 'value issues'. I had written
I like traditions and traditional values until those are obviously cruel to individuals and minorities.
That sums up my value system I think.

Value issues advance into politics, legislation, talks, cooperation, tolerance, or warfare. Value issues depend upon human nature(whatever that be!), cultures of beliefs, natural environments, and the power hegemony at any specific time and place. Of those variables the one which will determine any effect of the others is natural environment. When I think of natural environment I think also of punitive gods, and the punitive God.

"I like traditions and traditional values until those are obviously cruel to individuals and minorities. " will do well until the nature gods kick in as they are about to do, and then it will be each for himself. Dachshund is a little previous considering that liberals favour the eccentric and the imaginative-creative whence salvation comes. That leaning away from the eccentric and the imaginative is obvious in the education industry where the arts are currently being neglected and the money for education in the arts is lacking. Likewise science teaching at post graduate level lacks philosophy and history of science. The eccentric and the imaginative come from poor people as much as from elites, so the education industry fails always to select worthy students.

Alizia wrote:
I might today call it the Heideggerian pole which is idea-rich and potentially activist.
If you would apply your understanding of Heidegger to values the affect the political and environmental dangers we know of i'd really like that a lot. You say "potentially activist" so I guess that is a start. Is it?

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Alizia » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:48 pm

Belinda wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:30 am
If you would apply your understanding of Heidegger to values the affect the political and environmental dangers we know of I'd really like that a lot. You say "potentially activist" so I guess that is a start. Is it?
I made some comments to the fellow forum poster Immanuel Can on the book review thread which, I think, will give you a better sense of what my ideas are. Very happy to hear your thoughts on these questions and problems. If I am not mistaken, and if I have understood you correctly, I think the radical ecology movement was begun by the Radical Right.

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Re: POSTMODERNISM - AMERICA'S ENEMY WITH

Post by Dachshund » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:30 pm

Alizia wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:01 pm
Dachshund wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:05 pm
Postmodernism is a dangerous political ideology, and the way I see it, it has only one prime objective, namely, to destroy Western civilisation. The strategies and tactics it uses to go about doing this are devious, mendacious and treacherous in the extreme. It preys, for example, on the naivety and implicit trust that young people in colleges and universities place in their professors; professors who are not bone fide educators, but political agents who see their principal role as being to indoctrinate their charges with a hateful, nihilistic, violent world-view that implores them to believe that: all of the cultural achievements; all of the fundamental moral and aesthetic values; all of the key institutions and civil mores of their native Western society are rotten and wicked to the core and must therefore be destroyed.
In my own view I notice what appears as an error here. I do not think postmodernism is a political ideology. In fact, it is not an ideology but rather the lack of an ideology. However, my definition of postmodernism (as I offered just above) might not be the official one.

So, what Dachshund is talking about is different. I would suggest that what he is referring to is a result of, let us say, arriving at *the ends of liberalism* if the liberalism referred to is understood as a late-phase decadence. Liberalism, noble as it might have been originally, then contaminated by different currents, not the least being indifference, apathy, confusion of mind, the falling down of strong structures of mind, comes to a point where it becomes weak and non-ideological. Then, other influences enter in.


Therefore, Dachshund is speaking to a kind of abstraction. I do not mean to imply that I do not agree with elements of what he sees, and I do empathise with the anger. But I suppose that I think we need to better examine causation, so as to have a better idea how to confront the present.


Belinda,


Before I respond to your points (above) I think it might be a good idea if we tried to set down some kind of reasonably accurate definition for the term "Postmodern" (as I am using it). Postmodern, as you know, is a buzzword that can be applied to just about anything: fashion, art, cooking, ways of thinks, etc that dates from the 1980s. As this is a philosophy forum, when I am referring to "Postmodernism", I am referring to the fundamental concepts set down by major Postmodern philosophers. So, who are the major Postmodern philosophers and what do they have to say ?

Jean -Francios Lyotard was a French philosopher who, in 1979, coined the term "Postmodern" with respect to his theory, he, along with two other Frenchmen, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, are widely regarded as three of the most important founding fathers of Postmodern philosophical theory. Their ideas share many common themes with other influential Postmodern theoreticians, individuals like : Jacques Lacan; Giles Deleuze; Felix Guattari; and Richard Rorty among others.

The core ideas of these theorists were subsequently taken up by later Postmodernists in the Western academy who applied them to an increasingly diverse range of disciplines within the humanities, social sciences and anthropology. These ideas include...


(1) An intense sensitivity to language on the level of the word and a feeling that what the speaker means is less important than how it is received, no matter how radical the interpretation.

(2) Shared humanity and individuality are essentially illusions and people are propagators or victims of discourses depending on their social position; a position which is dependent on IDENTITY far more than their individual engagement with society.

(3) Morality is culturally constructed, so too is reality.

(4)Empirical evidence is suspect and so are ANY CULTURALLY DOMINANT IDEAS, including science, reason and universal liberalism.

(5) These are Enlightenment values which are naive, totalising and oppressive and THERE IS A MORAL NECESSITY to smash them.

(6) Contemporary Western societies are all oppressive "phallogocentric" / "Eurocentric" ( i.e. white European, male dominated) patriarchies that are grounded on false Enlightenment values. In addition, Western nations maintain capitalist economies which cruelly exploit and oppress the marginalised and disempowered groups in their societies (e.g. minority racial/ethnic groups, those who identify as LGBTQI, women, immigrants from non-European/non-white majority countries like Mexico, Africa or the Middle East, individuals who follow the Islamic faith, etc.) and are therefore profoundly immoral. For these reasons, Western civilisation MUST be destroyed. ( That includes "Blighty", Belinda !)

(7) Far more important are the lived experience, narratives and beliefs of "marginalised" ( i.e. oppressed, alienated, disempowered, minority) groups, all of which are equally "true" but must now be PRIVILEGED over Western Enlightenment values (and, of course, cisgendered, "bourgeois", heterosexual, white, male capitalist SCUM !) in order to reverse a tyrannical, unjust and entirely arbitrary social construction of reality.



I am sure that any expert scholar in the field of Postmodern philosophy would agree the seven notions I have listed above are valid as common, core ideas that can be found in the work of any major/important 20th century Postmodern theorist.

I think your view that Postmodernism is not a political ideology would be difficult to defend, Belinda. For it seems to me that Postmodern theory clearly embodies a revolutionary political ideology that has much in common with classical Marxist theory. Postmodern theory effectively exhorts its devotees to SMASH THE WESTERN STATUS QUO. I have a problem with that, chiefly because the fact of the matter is that over the past 1000 years, Western civilization has succeeded in realising the greatest - (i.e. most OBJECTIVELY superior) - cultural achievements that this world has ever witnessed: the most beautiful, the most ingenious, the most liberating, the most humane, the most intellectually enlightened, the most morally noble, the most powerfully life - affirming culture in all of human history. Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard, Rorty and co; however, are intent on seeing all of it - every piece of it - mindlessly destroyed. They have no real reason, ultimately, to offer in justifying this destruction, and they are not- (as a matter of principle) - prepared to sit down and talk things over to see if they, and men of good will who disagree with their project, might achieve some kind of reasonable reconciliation. For the Postmodern philosophers/political activists there is nothing to discuss. These people only acknowledge the importance/relevance of one thing, and that is power. Their goal is to weaken the power of the world's Western States by actively undermining their cultural traditions, institutions, moral norms and social mores using a variety of strategies and tactics which simultaneously augment the power of what they regard to be the "marginalised" and oppressed social groups in Western nations. When the balance of power finally shifts in favour of the latter they will ruthlessly and viciously destroy what we call currently refer to as Western society. They will take great pleasure in this because they have long been taught to hate the West for the way it victimised them and their down-trodden forebears; for how it was responsible for making them suffer as second-class human beings.

The truth of the matter is that the founding fathers of Postmodern philosophy were bitter and twisted men. They had all been Marxists - "true believers" of the most puritanical/sanctimonious kind - and when communism failed in the 20th century, their worlds were shattered. They took it all very personally. With every successive triumph of Western capitalism they became more vengeful and angry; more infected with Nietzschian "ressentiment" and its seething, toxic venom. They wanted pay-back. They wanted to hurt the West - to tear it up into shreds in a fit of violent fury. This is the motivation that underpinned all their theorising. They did not give a toss about the oppressed and marginalised social groups in Western society, they merely sought to cynically manipulate them - to radicalise them into a fighting force that would ultimately have the combined power to successfully destroy Western society. To lash out, to smash and destroy in the name of pure poisonous, egocentric revenge, that is what motivated Derrida and Foucault and their Marxist confederates to create Postmodernist theory, nothing more.

I regard any form of leftist politics as dangerous and offensive (morally). With regard to my own politics, I am a traditional social Conservative. More particularly, I would describe myself a "One Nation" Tory in the sense that , for instance, former British Prime Minister John Major was, and before him, Benjamin Disraeli. When "Citizen John" (Major) was in Downing Street, I joined the British Conservative Party for the first time, I was proud to call myself a Conservative, and I even did some "Door knocking" for the Tories in my own constituency (in Hertfordshire) in the run up to the doomed 1997 General Election. Anyway, to continue. As someone who is a Tory I am absolutely convinced that the status quo in Western society should always be deeply respected, revered, and for the most part, maintained. It is inevitable, of course, that from time to time reform will be necessary, but any prospective changes to the existing order must: (1) always be incremental and kept as small as possible; and (2) only ever contemplated after a process of long and rigorously prudent deliberation by senior statesmen of the day. ( In fact, I even sent a series of letters to the BBC years ago -when it was very much a left-wing mouthpiece - vigorously protesting the decision to take "The Basil Brush Show" off the tellie in 1980. I did this because not only was "Basil Brush" clever and "lol" funny, he was also very much a British Institution, - an important and much loved symbol of the status quo in Blighty. I felt Basil Brush (and Mr Roy) ought be kept on the air in order that future generations of young people (and adults !) would be able to enjoy his quintessentially English comic genius. Four years later he was back on the BBC in 1984, so I expect many other Conservatives must have complained ! :D )

To continue. ( And, BTW,"I do beg yer puddin' for straying off topic, Miss Belinda - Boom, Boom !! :D ) When Derrida and his 21st century Postmodern progeny tell us they want to SMASH THE STATUS QUO - when they tell us that they want to destroy so-called "phallogocentric" Western civilization, as a Conservative and an Anglophile I take a very dim view. Let me explain. The desire to smash the status quo, to challenge widely held values and institutions and champion the marginalised is - I am sure you'll agree - absolutely liberal in ethos. Opposing it is resolutely Conservative. This is the historical reality. But, could I point out to you Belinda, that we are at a unique point in history where the status quo is fairly consistently liberal, with a liberalism that upholds and defends the values of freedom, equal rights and opportunities for everyone regardless of gender, race and sexuality. The result is confusion in which many life-long liberals wishing to conserve this kind of liberal status quo will find themselves considered Conservative, and those wishing to avoid Conservatism at all costs will find themselves defending irrationalism and illiberalism.

While the first and second generations of Postmodern theorists/academics (in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's ) mostly challenged discourse with discourse, what we are seeing now is that activists motivated by their ideas are becoming increasingly authoritarian and following those ideas through to their logical conclusion. This is particularly evident at present in the United States. Freedom of speech is seriously under threat in America because speech is now understood to be dangerous. So dangerous that people who regard themselves as being liberal can now justify responding to it with violence. The need to argue a case persuasively using reasoned argument is at present often replaced with references to identity and pure rage.The dangers of Postmodernism are not, as you suggest, limited to isolated pockets of society which centre around academia and Social Justice. It is a mistake, I think, to imagine that the political activism/influence of the Postmodern -Left today is restricted to the ridiculous antics of pimply, teenage SJWs on American college and University campuses. I agree with you, BTW, that SJWs are just kids - callow, immature, inexperienced, highly impressionable and typically very spoiled little brats, many of whom are merely, as you say, pursuing personal validation and engaging themselves in disingenuous arguments as opposed to acting out of any deep-seated convictions. They are 95% harmless and I must confess that although their behaviour is cringeworthy, I do often find watching video-clips of SJWs protesting/demonstrating quite funny as well. (Sometimes, the way they carry on is so very silly , I can't help but "lol").

In my opinion, Belinda, the ideas of the Postmodern - Left have infiltrated mainstream Western society to a far greater extent than you might imagine. Relativist ideas, epistemological scepticism, hyper-sensitivity to language and a focus on "tribal" identity over humanity or individuality have gained dominance in the wider society. It is currently much easier to say what you FEEL than rigorously examine the evidence. The freedom to "interpret" reality according to one's own values feeds into the very human tendency to confirmation bias and motivated reasoning.

As you are a person on the Left (the liberal Left, that is) my advice to you, Belinda, is that you ought be very afraid of what "your side" has produced in the Postmodern - Left. Take the Democrats in the US, for example, right now they are fragmenting and starting to look increasingly more incoherent, divided and disjointed every day. In order for them to regain credibility, they will need to recover a strong, consistent and reasonable liberalism. They will need to confront, and out-discourse the Postmodern-Left. They will need to meet the inconsistencies, irrationalisms, zealous certitude and tribal authoritarianism of these political imposters and mountebanks; meet their oppositions, divisions and hierarchies with the universal liberal principles of freedom, equality and true (not "social") justice. The Democrats must, as a matter of urgency, adopt a rigid policy of being 100% consistent in using liberal principles to counter all attempts to evaluate or limit people by race, gender or sexuality. In the same vein, when it comes to the big issues of immigration, globalisation and authoritarian , tribal identity politics that are currently empowering the Conservatives, the Democrats must start to understand that calling people "racists", "fascists", "Nazis", "Islamophobes", "homophobes", "white supremacists", "sexists", "privileged white scum" (take note, Greta, because these are the kind of deplorable and despicable terms you frequently use to attack me on this forum - nasty, PoMo-leftist woman that you are :D ) is a losing strategy. It plays right Donald Trump's hands by making the left appear vulgar, violent and unreasonable, and it will likely encourage many white, middle-class Americans who voted Democrat in 2016 to vote Trump in 2020.

Finally, I think that Western civilisation has entered a phase of decline, just as Oswald Spengler, the German philosopher of history predicted it would in the early 1920's. America is the flagship of modern Western civilisation, and when America goes down, the rest of the West will go with it. It is inevitable that the liberal, democratic republic of America that was officially ratified in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers is doomed.Sadly, the seeds of its destruction were sowed by Democrat President, Lyndon Johnson, in 1965 in the form of insane legislation that opened the floodgates for mass immigration into the US from non-European nations. For the sake of my son and his family I am hoping that the process of American decline can be retarded as much as possible. Trump was a Godsend here, and I am hoping he will serve a second term as President. I think there is a good chance that he will, because The Postmodern-Left, - while I absolutely abhor them -, are, thankfully, doing an excellent job right now in terms of making the Democrats unelectable. Moreover I think the Democrats are just plain stupid to work out what they need to do to become serious contenders in 2020, i.e; purge the Postmodern-Left from their Party.


Regards


Dachshund

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