Thanks for this response, lots of interesting ideas tied together.
Connie Vaughn
11

Yes, for many years I have worried that cultural relativism could lead to a strange version of alternative history revisionism. One way to approach this is to realize that the pogroms of the 1880’s in Russia, against the Jews, by Brownshirts, were thought to be isolated and couldn’t happen again.

It creates a sort of cognitive dissonance to think about Germany in the 1930’s as the repeat of something, an echo, which we are probably experiencing some elements of now. There has been push back against this idea, recently: that we shouldn’t cheapen the memory of what happened.

I still believe in elements of cultural relativism, although the whole Me Generation I’m OK, You’re OK what color is your parachute aesthetic maybe had issues with taking things to the extreme simply for the sake of taking them to the extreme.

Further, though, I actually side with those who question positivism or absolutism, in questioning the nature of reality: I go back to Kierkegaard in terms of a rational response to a phenomenology of existence. We don’t entirely create our own reality, neither are we entirely trapped in our experience like Sartre might argue, but you can’t necessarily prove a fundamental common shared existence or reality underlying the universe. Kierkegaard solves it by faith or a first cause argument.

I guess, in a popular sense I fall somewhere between Heidegger in Being and Time and the Wachowski’s vision of Virtual Reality in the Matrix.

Part of the reason the alt.right and their alternative fact universe drives me so fucking nuts is because of this though and then that construct is never talked about. It is so fucking manipulative.

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