I…have referred to postmodernism as intellectual terrorism. Beware of those trying to impress you with confusing word salads.Gad Saad, The Parasitic Mind, p. 75
The nihilistic anti-value outlook of committed postmodernists turns them from self-interested producers and seekers of the good into parasitical entities lacking critical thinking skills and striking out blindly to destroy the good that they see in others. Postmodernism, when an attempt is made to adopt it as a functioning body of practical and life-sustaining ideas, leads to a form of cognitive impairment and debilitation.
At the extreme, if fully embraced and practiced to the extent it can be, postmodernism as an ideology reduces to naked emotionalism and an inability to cope with reality. It resembles cult-like commitment and behavior in its disregard for reason, logic, and conceptual integration, and its willfully malevolent embrace of cynicism, de-individuation and collectivism.
We can see that this body of postmodern ideas is gaining an increasingly visible foothold in the form of a widening circle of irrationalism in larger segments of our society. We can see it in the form of: increasing evasion, ignorance, emotionalism, and lack of self-control: hatred of reality and the desire to deny existence as such; engagement in self-righteous repudiation of justice and fairness (grounded in the principles of universality and reciprocity) in favor of theory and ideology; whim-driven verbal and physical attacks on others as a means of intimidation and punishment for failure to obey asserted dogma; and the willingness to sacrifice without empathy others who are seen as representative symbols of alleged oppression. All of this and more is engaged in as a righteous pursuit of authority and power over others.
We can see elements of these behaviors triggered by postmodernist ideologies held and endorsed by liberal arts professors, ideologically-driven or uncourageous administrators of institutions of higher learning, power-hungry politicians seeking to manipulate others, agenda-driven journalists pursuing activism above truth, newscast talking heads reading ideological scripts, and corporatist high-tech CEOs, executives, and their PR, communications, and marketing departments attempting to purchase good will and appease all of the above in order to left alone and free from persecution at the expense of established appropriate business and economic principles.
What brings these people together as a community of shared interest is their unrelenting quest for unearned and undeserved power and profit, despite any claims they may make about their honorable intentions. Postmodernist woke-ism provides these groups with the nihilistic fog they desire to justify and provide cover for their sometimes-unscrupulous anti-enlightenment ends. They seem to share an interest in controlling and manipulating information to secure wealth, power, and influence. They have aspirational desires to work with politicians and leverage the coercive power of government to engineer society over others whom they consider to be inferior as human beings because they refuse to turn over their minds, conform, and obey the approved orthodoxy. They have the capability to assert their coercive and manipulative power if they act together in illiberal and undemocratic ways, in concert with, and under the protection of, the political powers that be.
Postmodernism is soul-deadening and anti-human, to borrow a phrase from Jordan Peterson (see “If you Hate Jordan Peterson Watch This Video” https://youtu.be/eMo_20J1J1Y). To naively engage in its rhetoric and try to control the malicious irrationality it evokes and to come out on top unscathed is, as many have learned, a dangerous and uncontrollable endeavor. Ask Jordan Peterson. Ask Michael Rectenwald. Ask Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian. Ask Bret Weinstein. Ask the thousands of anonymous CEOs, executives, teachers, administrators, clergy, politicians, entertainers, scientists, and workers of every profession that have been taken down by the adventuresome and increasingly bold whims of the ideologically possessed malevolent postmodernist-influenced mob.
After studying the matter extensively, James Lindsey noted that postmodernists with grievances are seeking a political rationalization for social revenge:
It’s the politics of grievance. So they feel aggrieved, therefore they feel justified in trying to disrupt power they see that exists and to claim power for themselves. It’s social revenge. That’s what their animus is. That’s their moral justification…to chase the very thing they say is the great corruptor of man, which is power.Quote transcribed from Jordan Peterson, “Interview with the Grievance Study Hoaxers,” https://youtu.be/xWhuQOVTFGw, 23:38-27:30
Next: Part 4 – The Postmodern Road To Serfdom
Some video resources for further insight about Postmodernism on the march:
© 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.