Postmodernism posits that all knowledge is relative (no objective truths) while generating obscure and impenetrable prose that is tantamount to random gibberish.Gad Saad, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas are Killing Common Sense, p. 69
There is no “black mind” or “white mind,” no “white male way of knowing” or “indigenous way of knowing,” there is only one truth, and we find it through the scientific method.Gad Saad, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas are Killing Common Sense, p. 60
Postmodernism is a body of ideas loosely packaged together and set forth to purposefully attack and fracture rational and scientific metaphysics and epistemology, leaving mankind damned to a lifetime struggle against absurdity, chaos, submission, and sublimation of the individual into the collective.
It is a cauldron of naked intentionally consciousness-destroying ideas aimed towards psychological shock, disorientation and destruction of human comprehension of reality, knowledge, cause and effect, freewill, morality, political discourse, and wealth creation. It is incoherent, chaotic, and coercive, both in its means and its ends.
When taken seriously and applied as philosophic guidance towards achieving positive and life-affirming results in pursuit of human flourishing and well-being, postmodernism necessarily fails because it reduces politically to a uniquely modern form of collective authoritarianism and self-destruction.
As a body of prescriptive work, postmodernist politics rests on its nihilistic metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics and disregards individual rights and its basis in rationality, universality and reciprocity. When the abandonment of logic is laid down as an axiomatic foundation and first principle of a set of ideas to establish the validity and truth of a theory, the credibility of such a theory as a representation of the truth or a methodology consistent with the requirements to establish truth, is necessarily and automatically destroyed. When our survival tools of sense perception, logic and reason are willfully abandoned to avoid facing reality head on, consistency between thinking and action is eschewed, and actions are set in opposition to the ends they are intended and purported to achieve.
After studying the most influential postmodernist philosophers and academics extensively, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay describe some of the defining attributes of postmodernism in their book Cynical Theories:
At its core, postmodernism rejected what it calls metanarratives—broad, cohesive explanations of the world and society. It rejected Christianity and Marxism. It also rejected science, reason, and the pillars of post-Enlightenment Western Democracy.Cynical Theories, Kindle Loc. 153
Pluckrose and Lindsay find that a defining, yet troubling feature of Postmodernism is that it is “a mode of thought that prides itself on plurality, contradiction, and ambiguity.” (Kindle, Loc. 260)
This lack of intellectual clarity and reliance on the fog of ambiguity and vagueness results in allegedly justified anti-social behavior, “a malicious form of bullying and—when institutionalized—a kind of authoritarianism in our midst” (Kindle, Loc. 126). Pluckrose and Lindsay write:
Postmodernism has, depending upon your view, either become or given rise to one of the least tolerant and most authoritarian ideologies that the world has had to deal with since the widespread decline of communism and the collapse of white supremacy and colonialism.Cynical Theories, Kindle Loc. 92
This insidious “least tolerant and most authoritarian” ideology exists here and now and grows in our midst as a virus of the mind. This is becoming particularly visible in our universities from which these ideas emanate, and is becoming increasingly influential and destructive amongst “woke” executives and managers in the private sector as they seek to embrace political activism, political engagement, and political favours as a driving platform of their corporate and marketing strategies to win customers and increase shareholder returns. The motivations are different but similar in the government and social not-for-profit sectors. The postmodernist lexicon is more frequently invading the lexicon of Presidents and Prime Ministers who want to appear hip and modern and woke.
Next: Part 3 – Postmodernism’s Malevolent Embrace of Social Revenge
Some video resources for further insight about Postmodernism on the march:
1. Jordan Peterson, “Postmodernism in a nutshell.” https://youtu.be/el6TVEMnS3E
3. CBC, Teaching Assistant Reacts After Wilfred Laurier University President Promises Change, https://youtu.be/81f748gBaTs
© 2021, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved
Barry Linetsky is a Partner with The Strategic Planning Group in Toronto, Canada, where he and his colleagues have been helping executives and owners define and align their business purpose with customer values since 1994. Barry is the author of the acclaimed business biography The Business of Walt Disney and the Nine Principles of His Success (Theme Park Press). His two most recent books, Understanding and Creating Vision and Mission Statements and Understanding and Creating Strategic Performance Indicators and Business Scenarios, co-authored with Dobri Stojsic, are available from amazon. The third book in the series Understanding and Creating Critical Success Factors will be available soon. Barry’s thought-leadership articles have been published by Ivey Business Journal, Rotman Magazine, Mises Wire, and the Economist Intelligence Unit in conjunction with Harvard Business School. Barry is also a writer, researcher, analyst, photographer, and business strategy enabler. Read his blog and learn more at barrylinetsky.com. Follow him on Twitter @BizPhilosopher.