How do you respond to someone who is determined to smear you for your alleged bigotry regardless of what you think and why? How do you win an argument against someone who willfully changes the meaning of words, maintains that the truth is completely relative, and feels perfectly justified in accusing virtually anyone of the gravest moral failure?
Enter the right-wing postmodern antihero. Unlike just about every other presidential candidate who ran on the Republican ticket, Trump grasps our postmodern culture intuitively, and put it to use with devastating effect.
Trump is the first political leader in the West to hack postmodernism. Sure, I’ll buy that.
The current Western ideological system is not uniquely ideologically vile because it’s built on lies and evil. That’s nothing new.
It’s uniquely vile because it’s built on postmodernism.
Postmodernism is the idea that real truth does not exist. The idea that there is no such thing as real evil, or real good; it all depends on context and the subjective perception of the observer.
The only sin in postmodernism is hypocrisy. Being inauthentic and inconsistent. If truth depends on your beliefs, then by betraying your own beliefs, you betray the only truth there is.
This has two effects which combine to give today’s West its uniquely hideous aspect.
First, it destroys the mechanism where, as La Rouchefoucald put it, “hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.”
Everyone has, at one point or another, compromised or betrayed his principles, assuming he had principles worthy of the name. The only thing one can do at such a point, until he repents and makes restitution, is to keep espousing those principles. This keeps him from sliding further, and pulling others down with him. The hypocrite knows his actions are wrong, does not pretend otherwise, and does not seduce others to join in. But in the postmodernist system, vice is prevented from even paying this tribute. In fact, such a tribute is the only thing that makes vice inherently vicious to a postmodernist.
Second, postmodernism reduces its adherents to the Crowleyan Satanist slogan of “do what thou wilt.” Since the only real evil in the postmodernist view is inauthenticity and hypocrisy, and the only truth is what one subjectively perceives, the ultimate good is to do what one wants to do, according to his perceptions.
Such a system, is, of course, completely incompatible with any moral systems based on the idea of absolute values, real truth and good. If it does not attack them directly, its products are corrosive to them.
Anyone who’s read Alinsky (who famously dedicated his book to Lucifer) and tried to imagine a society where Alinsky and his principles rule pretty much knows this.
This is, I think, why Ayatollah Khomeini called America the Great Satan. Also why Osama Bin Laden hated America so badly. You can’t have a system which is based on the idea of absolute truth and goodness coexisting with Beyonce at the Superbowl Halftime Show, or self-mutilated Bruce Jenner being praised for his courage on the cover of Vanity Fair. It’s one or the other.
This system was very effective in parasitizing the remainder of the old world order, which had come from a traditional (if hypocritical) value system and had been slowly rotting from the inside since, as Nietzsche put it, their god died. But it can’t stand on its own two feet. Postmodernism is deeply uncreative, as you can see from its art and literature. It’s boring and uninspiring. Its adherents may find it liberating individually, since it sets them free to pursue power without pesky moral concerns, but it’s difficult to imagine men sacrificing their lives for it. And every society’s existence is based on this, in the long run.
Trump is attempting to short circuit his society’s natural descent into Nietzsche’s Last Men or Wells’ Eloi, and the subsequent conquest by the Morlocks.
He’s doing this by turning its postmodernist dogma against itself.
“Do what I wilt? Well, okay.”
“I’m the bad guy? Oh, you bet. I love it. And the thing that I want to do is to use my evil for good.”
This is what I meant when I said that Donald Trump is Christopher Walken’s character in the King of New York made President.