If nothing is real, then reality is whatever you want it to be. Right can become wrong, and wrong can become right.
People are attracted to postmodernism becomes its revealing canon establishes moral universalities as fallible – allowing the individual to reconstruct reality in one’s own arbitrary image. What was once seen as axiomatically good can be scoffed at and pushed aside in favour of some convenient alternative. It is an ideology which enables the individual to abandon the responsibility of contemplating reality through objective principles. Instead, subjectivity becomes entrenched in the moral mind, and with that any action can be justified as moral through solipsistic reasoning. Morality can then come from within a person’s own dark self-interested precepts, as opposed to the outside world through congenial societal interactions and realization of the golden rule. Any means to an end can be justified, and any action can be condoned – so long as it revolves around the subjective moral reasoning of an individual who seeks to gain.
Postmodern thought is complementary to Marxism because its deconstruction of western culture and society provides an ideal platform to further critique the wealth inequalities created by capitalism. Conventional logic would tell one that every societal system produces inequality – since every individual in society is different according to their intelligence, capability, acumen, work ethic, needs and desires. Even communism, as a centralized power based system, creates de facto inequality.
When postmodernism is applied to assessing reality, basic functions of human existence get thrown out the window. They are instead replaced with purely idealistic concepts relating to human equality. Wealth, success, hard work and skill acquisition are merely reduced to social constructs, and therefore seen as illegitimate forms of oppression. Since everything is a social construct, then the wealth inequalities generated by capitalism can be simply viewed as a form of disproportionate theft by those with institutional power.
When reality and morality are deconstructed, then it must be replaced with something else. The mind becomes fertile and ready to be seeded by new constructs. In modern academia, teachers and professors (usually of a Marxist or left-wing leaning) use this to their advantage in pushing certain ideologies.
Professors in academia deconstruct the fragile minds of their students and replace their previously held notions with new dogmas. If these professors were righteous and virtuous, they would assume that they themselves knew nothing, and would encourage their students to apply the Socratic Method (continually ask questions of the society they live in).
When postmodernist academics work in new absolutes, the premise of their arguments become contradicted. They prime and fill the emptied minds of their students with their own biases and ideological worldview – insinuating that they have all the answers. Needless to say, this is a highly hypocritical act. Right after reasoning to their students that nothing exists, they immediately turn around and plant the seeds of their own personal vision. This is where postmodernism in academic circles fails.
This phenomenon comes from a conveniently bastardized version of a philosophy which is highly relative to begin with. It was deconstructionist and postmodernist philosopher Jacques Derrida who famously coined the term: “There is nothing outside the text.” This statement means that every piece of philosophy ever written only exists as a series of contradictions, and must not be treated as absolute. They must rather be assessed as paradoxes, and what is absent from the text must be contemplated in order to fully comprehend it. For Derrida, all texts possess “aporias” – contractions, impasses and puzzles which must be constantly navigated in order to gain sufficient interpretation. Needless to say, Derrida’s approach becomes increasingly convoluted when his own standards are applied to his work.
Derrida also saw written works of philosophy as the result of privileged forms of communication. Singularly adhering to mainstream conventional philosophical works is a failure to realize the lesser forms of communication by the historically under-privileged. Therefore, since western society is founded on western philosophy, then all aspects of it are social constructs born out of European cultural dominance over the less privileged. The solution, for Derrida, is to take a nuanced approach to everything and too not always operate logo-centrically (regarding words and language as fundamental forms of expression in external reality). This insinuates that empiricism based on the senses is not valid in valuing one culture over another.
Left wing intelligentsia today rejects the structure of the Western civilization, regarding it as an oppressive social construct. They take Derrida’s coined term of “phallogocentric” (privileging of the masculine), and use it to view the West as entirely self-serving and evil. The major problem with this assessment is that when compared to other cultures, the West has been the most successful in providing freedom and equality for its citizens – despites its flaws. They adopt a phallogocentric assessment of the West in order to critique its social dominance hierarchies. However, they do not realize that other cultures, which have not reached the same innovative pinnacle as the West, exercise their own dominance hierarchies as well – and conveniently do not deconstruct them in the same way.
They reject logic because they see it as an aspect of privilege and form of oppression. Logic is viewed as an attempt to control the dialogue. Controlling the dialogue is then perceived as an act to control the culture. With this in mind, Postmodernists do not see people as individuals, but rather as parts of group identities. Through the characterization of these groups, they then order people in rank of most oppressed. Every facet of society is seen as an aspect of oppression, and any reasoning which goes outside this realm of thinking is itself seen as oppressive and therefore illegitimate.
Postmodernist Marxists associate whites and white males as representing the ills and oppressive tendencies of the West and capitalism. Therefore, any arguments they make in rebuttal is seen as an illegitimate assertion of power over oppressed minorities. This mentality is highly regressive in practice, as it assumes that people operate in collective groups as opposed to individuals with their own personal experiences and ideas. Purveyors of this ideology assume that all minorities are automatically victims that need to be constantly fought for and assisted. This of course presumes that minorities are incapable of finding success on their own – a concept which subconsciously perpetuates the bigotry of low expectations.
This type of academic approach provides Marxist ideologues the perfect scenario to act upon their worldview. They instruct their students to disregard the benefits of Western society, and instead encourage them to adopt hatred toward phallogocentrically inclined white males. White males are seen as an oppressive force which must be silenced at all cost, since their entire perspective is constituted by their privilege. They then assume that the rest of society must be prioritized given historical power imbalances.
Modern left-wing intelligentsia attempts to reconstruct reality in a vision of new absolutes, while trashing the deconstructed old ones. Derrida himself even acknowledged that a nuanced approach must be taken in order to improve society, but Postmodernists conveniently do not operate according to this principle. They rarely acknowledge contradictory views that contribute to a centered approach. Instead, new absolutes are transmitted and formed in place of the old ones, and become combined with moral relativism to justify their positions beyond reproach – which is why so many students and professors on the left today are so dogmatic in their views regarding “white privilege” and the rejection of western values.
The individuals consumed with this ideology are hostile toward the society they live in. They show little to no gratitude, are often driven by resentment and engage in deceit to validate their actions. The relative prosperity of the West is focused on as a harbinger of evil and oppression, and not seen as a driver of progress in the world. The irony is that the liberalism and tolerance of the West is what enables free expression, and encourages the proposal of pluralistic and deconstructionist views.
Modern Marxist groups attempting to enact revolution use the deconstructed moral relativism of postmodernism to justify any and all actions. The adopt slogans like “By any means necessary,” and will resort to any action no matter how morally reprehensible. Because they begin with the premise that nothing exists, they can constantly redefine their views. Groups like Antifa justify the use of violence against those they deem as Nazi’s. However, they use the term Nazi as a pejorative and constantly redefine what it means in order to paint whomever they disagree with as such. Punching a Nazi becomes acceptable, but everyone they disagree with is a Nazi – so therefore anyone who opposes their ideology can be subject to violence. When nothing exists, reality becomes a blank canvas for those intent on furthering their personal agenda and ego.
It is true that entities associated with Western civilization have been a force for oppression in the world. However, these actions have historically been the results of massive exercises in state power – associated with mercantilism, colonialism and corporate cronyism. These are not ideals which make the West great and free. Instead they are the product of power brokers who have used the power of the state as a tool for their own gain, and have deceived their own people and the world of their true intentions. Ultimately the goal is power, a principle which has enveloped every society and culture throughout history. Those who oversee these expansions do not abide by any particular freedom based principle, but are self-interested and co-opted by the ever present drug of power. We have to collectively realize as a society that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Once this is fully realized, then our goal as a society should be to limit centralized power as best as possible in order to preserve universal freedom, and promote peace.
Ultimately, the true backbone and legacy of the West has fostered and emphasized: liberty, prosperity, philosophy, tolerance, freedom of the individual, freedom of religion, anti-monarchical sentiment, free markets, property rights, the non-aggression principle, civil rights, voting rights, women’s right and suffrage, secularism, the separation of church and state, an independent judiciary, separation of legislative and executive powers, and abolition of the global institution of slavery. The perspectives of other societies should of course be considered as well, but this does not mean we should deem the West as outright evil and illegitimate when being compared to other cultures. Western society has not been perfect, but all things considered – it’s pretty damn good.