The Postmodern Road to Serfdom

Postmodernism: A Primer for Reasoning Minds | Part 4: The Postmodern Road to Serfdom

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.

George Orwell

To see everything through a lens of power, social class, and identity politics dynamics is a fundamental tenet of Marxist authoritarianism. Postmodernism has its roots in Marxism, and thus the obsession with power dynamics and identity grievances remains as a paradigm for social conflict as a means to bring about collectivism as a utopian vision of social control and do away with any recognition of individual rights and individual self-interest. 

The postmodernist standard of value is a Marxist moral vision of power hierarchies amongst classes or abstract groups devoid of the particulars of individuals and universalizable characteristics. Martin Luther King’s vision of a society in which people are judged by their character and not by the color of their skin is exactly the political outcome postmodernist theory opposes. Postmodernism embraces fracture and conflict in existing social institutions as a revolt against the establishment.

Marxism and postmodernism are collectivist ideologies that require groups/collectives who are virtuous and villains, winners and losers, oppressed and oppressors, victims and victimizers. Victims of oppression always need to be liberated and the power hierarchy always needs to be overthrown through psychological coercion and physical violence The theory is parasitic and can be effective and “relevant” only as long as there exists a sufficient degree of personal political freedom in a democratic framework. Postmodernist political theory “works” only until a new totalitarianism exists with its ruling dictators, at which point no dissention is tolerated and no freedom is needed. It is only when this goal is achieved that the work of postmodernist theory will be completed.

Postmodernism parades as open and benevolent but the ethic it embraces is aggressively closed and malevolent. Postmodernism asserts that if in the midst of the culture of the enlightenment you remain oppressed when you should be free and in possession of what you believe you are entitled to by virtue of your emotions, then the villain is the culture of the enlightenment and those who continue to favor its existence and stand in the way of the entitled resolution of your grievance. 

For postmodernists with their Marxist lineage, one need not apply logic to reach this conclusion; one need only tap into one’s visceral emotions. Emotions reveal that the culture of individualism, i.e., Modernism in the form of discoveries and application of free-thought and political freedom emanating from Enlightenment thinkers, and those who support and endorse independent thinking and freedom of action because it serves their position of power and unfair or inequitable advantages over the dispossessed, must be overthrown and made to pay for their heinous moral indiscretions and thought crimes. 

It is in this way that the conclusion of all postmodernist theory, regardless of the particular faction or particular sub-culture, remains the same: a social and cultural reformation via destruction of modern western culture to be replaced by an ill-defined identity-constructed socialist totalitarianism to be funded by those deemed to have been advantaged by privilege (where the evidence of privilege is the fact that you possess wealth or knowledge to be confiscated by your “victims” as their just dessert and your deserved punishment and torment as retribution per the arbitrary prescriptions of “social justice.”

Next: Part 5 – Postmodernism Welcomes You to the Wrecking Ball of Reason

Some video resources for further insight about Postmodernism on the march:

1. Steven Hicks, From the Falsification of Marxism to Post-Modernism, 2017.

2. Jordan Peterson’s Critique of the Communist Manifesto, 2021.

3. Do Free Societies Need Postmodernism? A Debate (Stephen Hicks & Thaddius Russell), 2019.

© 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 Follow him on Twitter @BizPhilosopher.

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