PostModernity: A Perpetual State of Modernity

(Philosophical)

What I am presenting here is my oversimplified Theory of Postmodernism and Modernity.

Postmodernism, a terminology that requires no introduction for my present discourse, is a philosophical movement that has rooted itself deeply into every spectrum of academic discipline from which it has transformed the actions and beliefs within institutions of power from governments to corporations around the globe. Postmodernity—is the argued period in which we live within a postmodern society versus that of Modernity (1500-?). I join Jacques Barzun’s timeframe found within his book, From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present (500 Years of Western Cultural Life). The Protestant Reformation changed the nature of power forever. Humanism and Protestantism shared a three-legged pedestal as Catholicism ruptured underneath the cataclysmic abrasion that has been festering decades prior to the Reformation. Modernity gains its preeminence from the idea that mankind with the use of science, reason, and technology can be improved at a nearly limitless potential. A product of thought that the Enlightenment took forth as their lamp for the future. While Luther, Calvin, Knox, and Zwingli believed that human nature was corrupt under the weight of sin that only Jesus Christ can redeem, it was their revolution that transferred the role of interpretation and potential over to the common. For good and for bad this set into motion our present state of late modernity—a perpetual state.

Perpetual State Theory

Simply put, I am arguing that postmodernism is a reflection of reality, not the actual source but a still water or a mirror that is reflecting the present state of the human mind. Modernity has not ceased to exist. Modernity has successfully entered into a warp state, a state of the hyper-real; hyper-individual; and hyper-sensitive. Postmodernism is the warp state of modernity. Modernity is a product of its own success which solidified four core essential elements of existence into the modern psyche: 1) Secularism; 2) Liberalism; 3) Socialism; and 4) Capitalism.

Out of this cycle, modernity was able to produce an unreal state of human existence outside the last five-thousand plus years of human civilization in only a short span of time. Capitalism slowly removed the old walls of government control and sustenance into a market state. Liberalism prides itself on the might of the individual. Socialism was and remains a reaction to both as it calls for community and regulation outside of a total free-market state. Lastly, secularism alone is not new, however, it gained popularity as cultures shifted from industry to post-industry and decadence. Science and technology play central roles in all four elements of modernity. Lastly, religion remains, almost as an antagonist, yet also a tool in the modern utilisation of puissance. Social justice, Critical Race Theories, Feminist movements, Gender studies are all examples of this layering of the Self as the quintessence of time and fortune.

Anti-liberty entities whether under the names of Fascism, Communism, Socialism, Maoism, or Totalitarianism; it changes nothing in that the present reality stands between two polars, a state of liberty or tyranny, liberalism or illiberalism. Social attitudes are now forced to conform under a perpetual state of flux. Late modernity has birthed neoliberalism, a merger between capitalism and liberalism, that can also include another ism—Corporatism.

Corporations are the High Churches of Modernity; the Cathedrals of yea or nay. Under a neoliberal market state the general public has great difficulty in explaining differences between private or public, real or fake, good or evil. Everything runs together into a stream of confusion at a speed that no single person can maintain without a collision, a collision of ideas and values and beliefs. This is now constantly happening as society is confronted with insurmountable conflicting differences; a wrecking of contradictions.

In a Secular Hyper-state, the only apparent resolution is a totalitarian reaction. Modernity cannot principally escape itself. There is nothing beyond Modernity except Pre-modernity. If liberalism and capitalism represent freedom then all other opposition is bound to represent oppression. Now that is not an absolute statement. There are “third-way” examples of communitarianism or another alternative of Theonomy that argue a way out of the cycle but truthfully they all fall prey to the dilemma of rights of the individual, liberty for all, and freedom without restraints (again not an absolute statement).

So what we are left with, I am arguing, is a discourse of conflicts: nature versus mankind; eat vegan or you are a horrible person; give up your religion; don’t tell me what to do; join the movement; hate speech… it all blends into an in-cohesive state, the perpetual state.

Thy Week, Thus Far

Wednesday September 1, 2020

A Weekly Wednesday Dose of Truth

Zeno of Elea by Carducci or Tibaldi

Articles, Podcasts, and Videos

Ricochet (Podcast) an audio network of leading conservative podcasts has several excellent conversations going this week. From The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour (One of two Hillsdale College’s podcasts that I am aware of) had an interview this week with Adam Carrington, Roger Kimball, and Kathleen O’Toole. Adam Carrington is assistant professor of politics at Hillsdale College and discusses the history of political conventions. Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion and president and publisher of Encounter Books, discusses his recent essays on the rule of law amid protests and riots in America. And Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 education at Hillsdale, talks on Covid-19 and the coming school year. First Things from First Things Magazine (which I subscribe to and suggest everyone should) produced an interview with Dr. Lawrence M. Mead III a professor at New York University and a leading thinker on welfare and poverty who now faces the wrath of cancel culture for producing a paper titled, Poverty and Culture, where Mead suggests that racism alone does not explain poverty in black and hispanic communities but rather an adopted non-western, un-individualistic norm may be their root cause for poverty. Mead’s views are accused as racist and unscholarly in nature as his paper faces retraction, for additional insight see a report by Retraction Watch. While I do not necessarily agree with Mead’s assessment I do support his right as a scholar to produce work that can be either proven or disproven in the open without retraction or threats. Finally, The Roth Effect with Carol Roth interviews model Danisha Carter on “Connecting with Gen Z on Capitalism” over the rise of Socialism taking place.

Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation It is with great honor to introduce the late Sir Roger’s Foundation that will serve future generations of conservative thinkers like myself. Please apply to their emails and be on the look out for their upcoming events, seminars, and initiatives. As part of a tribute there a two articles that caught my eye: 1) Chaos Creates Conservatives and 2) Live Notes on the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation Webinar both by Timon Cline.

First Things (Web/Magazine) has a web exclusive section that includes an article by Iranian columnist Sohrab Ahmari, The Books Behind The Rage. Ahmari argues that leftist academia whose works include On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder has produced a false, antifascist narrative as he describes, “If someone sincerely believes that Trumpism, and analogue movements across the developed world, aren’t just conservative-nationalist or populist but fascist or Nazi-ish, then he has a right and even the duty to oppose the elected government of the United States militantly, to help strangle in the cradle the 21st century’s equivalent of the most odious tendencies of the last century. While I understand the sentiment the issue goes both ways concerning extremism and the rise of threats. Radicals of the left are being accused of being Neo-Marxist for example. President Trump is not a fascist yet several cabinet members were connected to the alt-right movement. Ultimately people must be able to make decisions freely or they face being wrought by propaganda and control though anti-conspiracy, fact checkers, and bans that claim to “know better.” Granted conspiracies arise regardless of restriction. I believe it is a deeper problem than Admari suggests but a short read worthy of consideration.