On Post-Modern Hoo-Ha
It deeply pains me that my generations infatuation with anti-scientific subjectivist, empiricist, post-modern petty bourgeois radical liberalism runs amok as neo-fascism is on the rise and the so called “Left” has failed to combat this but opted for buying into the McCarthyite anti-communist lies and distortions about the 20th century socialism and current day liberation movements. We have been told, no we have been force fed outright lies and distortions about the 20th century socialist movements. We carp on about the flaws of the various leaders and organizations from the U.N.I.A. (Marcus Garvey) to the U.S.S.R. and the Black Panther Party and revolutionary China but we still fail to understand that these movements did not come to a screeching halt or fail on their own principles per se but because of revisionism and state repression. Yet today, most of us have no clue what the state is or how it operates. Or capital as a social relation of domination over labor and nature. Yet we are stridently proud that there is some “new way” and the old way failed because of its own internal contradictions in and of itself.
These parasite ideology known as “post-modernism,” which is not just a non-Marxist ideology, but ANTI-Marxist (and thus anti-communist, in my opinion) ideology and decidedly a bourgeois ideology aimed at maintaining the status quo. The status quo cannot be maintained by any measure of linguistic or petty bourgeois intellectual gymnastics, it must be abolished. It is not only our lives that we are risking here, but the fate of the entire planet and life on it.
Post-modernism is a trend WITHIN bourgeois ideology that seeks to critique bourgeois society using ostensibly “radical sounding” yet obscuritanist terminology and ideological tools. In reality it is bourgeois ideology gone mad on its own decadence of a society where we are told “there is no alternative” (TINA) to the current state of affairs, this is the “best of all possible worlds” and “socialism has failed.” All of this is based on a defiantly explicit rejection of the rationalist Enlightenment tradition, of which our pale skinned Jewish brother Karl Marx comes from and has extensively critiqued and added magnificently to. Post-modernist rejection is rooted in theoretical discourse that are torn from empirical testing or scientific experiment. It is bolstered by a cognitive and cultural relativism that sees “science” and “truth” as impossibility and praxis is reduced to mere “narration and narratives” about social constructions wretched from a materialist analysis of society itself and the roots of these ideologies.
It is a decadent anti-scientific ideology whose breeding ground is the college campus or university where de-classed students have the luxury of studying the latest hogwash of bourgeois ideology under the veil of “post-Marxism” as if there are not social movements today, in the global periphery (Nepal, India, Peru, Philippines, Afghanistan, Brazil,) where the privilege of navel contemplation and naivety don’t blind the oppressed as to what power is or how it works as well as how to obtain it in a struggle for collective liberation. We hear of the latest new linguistic innovations and idealisms which demarcate those who are “progressive” and “reactionary” on the sole basis of being able to mouth off correctly and not engage in concrete revolutionary praxis to change the world around them. It seeks to put up new symbols and produce new un-informative “information” pompously claiming it is the latest in radical theory that is “more inclusive” than the past not realizing the social origins and sheer obscurity and impracticality of these new innovations bare no social weight on the daily lives of every day working class people.
Every ideology corresponds to actual concrete circumstances, i.e. the movement of people of all social classes. It is the conflict between social classes which moves society forward and produces new ideas and concepts and not the other way around. That would be vulgar idealism to suggest that new linguistic gymnastics would liberate the oppressed and exploited. If only they referred to themselves as “X” and not “Y” then their material reality would substantively change. This is not to discount that new terminologies are needed and are products of class struggle, but the social context is vital. Which class forces are in command? Bourgeois or Proletarian (working class)? Or somewhere in the middle (petty bourgeois)?
Today’s politics of post-modernism, or really “post-truth” that postulates that there are “multiple truths” meaning everyone has a right to spew utter bullshit and not get checked on it because it is their subjective individual “truth” is a total affront to the concept of truth, in its relativity and absoluteness. There categorically cannot be more than one truth. One cannot for example say that their individual truth is that when they as a white person goes into the Black ghetto they are ridiculed and use this as a basis for absolute truth. I myself as an organizer have been in many ghettoes of oppressed nationalities and have seen not a single incident of prejudice or discrimination against someone who is white (and organizing) or is a non-Black person of color. Certain fragmented social experiences cannot be the basis of any solid politic that even wants to posture as emancipatory. However, there are such things as absolute truths like “where there is oppression there will be resistance.” One need not even go into proving such a truth because it is our resistance to oppression and exploitation that has moved human society forward to this point now. Slaves were not slaves forever. Women did not cow to male supremacy forever. Black people did not allow police to terrorize them into submission forever, they rebelled as any human being would and should. Resistance to oppression is a universal truth and governed by historical laws of motion.
Today’s obscuritanists wear the garb of radicalism but accessorize with post-modernist fluff. Top hats, watches, chains, and other superficial bling bling in the form of “radical” linguistic innovations that change nothing for material conditions. They posture as if those who are unable (at the time) to accept their post-modernist hoo-ha are an enemy. In effect most people would be an enemy and in an inverted “elitism” would be reproduced all on the basis of language alone (among other things I won’t get into here) while still maintaining an image of “radical inclusivity” or even “intersectionality.” Cut off from the masses, they fail to see that true companionship and camaraderie are not based on whether one can say the correct phrases or quip the latest academic jargon, for our class enemies can also hide their reactionary politics and selves behind this jargon and be most detrimental to our movement than the every day person who isn’t able to hide behind linguistic curtains but is sincere in their efforts to change their conditions and others. By this I mean, not everyone who can mouth off the right things is necessarily a comrade and not everyone who doesn’t know or isn’t aware of these new jargons is an enemy, in fact they may be a strong comrade or would be comrade.
Ultimately, these new petty bourgeois and bourgeois academic trends situated at the apex of imperialist intellectual aggression: the college/university must be combatted before they cannibalize our social movements and splinter them in every direction. Practice should be primary and logic, rationality, and scientific methods of organizing against oppression and exploitation must be revived. I would argue along scientific socialist methods, as these are the only methods that have led to actual revolutions and the overturning of capitalist social relations which are the root of our oppressions. As the Russian Revolutionary V.I. Lenin matured he combatted many erroneous and reactionary trends from “economism” to anarchism and opportunism among others. He polemicized against these trends in the radical movement in Russia and laid the basis for the actual revolution culminating in the seizure of state power from the autocratic Russian Tzar. Today we have new liberalisms, opportunisms, economisms, and neo-anarchisms to challenge ideologically to lay the basis for a new movement that can synthesize the particular and the universal within social formations and create strategy and tactics that can lead to liberation and the ending of capitalism, the root of our oppression.
I leave the reader with this quote that encapsulates the danger of post-modernist thought and its anti-rationality.
“So long as authority inspires awe, confusion and absurdity enhance conservative tendencies in society. Firstly, because clear and logical thinking leads to a cumulation of knowledge (of which the progress of the natural sciences provides the best example) and the advance of knowledge sooner or later undermines the traditional order. Confused thinking, on the other hand, leads nowhere in particular and can be indulged indefinitely without producing any impact upon the world.”
~ Stanislav Andreski, Social Sciences as Sorcery