Not much this month. Two quotes that made me think.
- Sam Freeze, one of my followers (see https://en.gravatar.com/dilatedideas), writes about my last contribution in which I measured postmodernism against the promises of modernity: „Interesting take on postmodernism. I’m not sure postmodernism ever promised a fulfilled modernity though. As I’ve come to understand it, postmodernity didn’t promise (nor did modernity for that matter), it simply became. Things changed enough to be given a new name.“
That’s true. Postmodernism could simply be anything other than modernity. And it could have simply given up the promises of modernity. The idea, however, of simply giving up these promises or having already given them up – at least the most serious of them: universalism, for example, or human rights – this idea frightens me. So in my opinion, postmodernism should also be measured against the promises of modernity.
Every historical epoch must, to a certain extent at least, be measured against its predecessors (we simply have no other yardstick; Le Goff’s „history without epochs“ doesn‘t convince me at all). So postmodernism is either a new epoch, or it is not. If it cannot be measured against modernity, it is not a new epoch either. If it can be measured against modernity, it must put up with being perceived as a catastrophe.
This leads me to my second quote.
- Paul Mason writes in Clear Bright Future (cf. https://www.freitag.de/autoren/der-freitag/werdet-unregierbar): „The universal rights guaranteed by the UN treaty are being punished with lies in torture camps, refugee camps and commercial prisons. If you find this enduring, always remember that the postmodern left has paved the way for it in a 30-year campaign against universalism.“
I find that convincing. I have nothing against the left. I am one of the left too. But I have something against the postmodern left with all its relativism, which it would like us to see as pluralism, and against its tendency to deny, for the sake of maximum political freedom, the ethical freedom of the subject to such an extent that actions can be excused and justified that clearly fall behind the humanism of modernity.
This humanism can be seen as an ideology. There are enough indications that those who believe this humanism to be true are at the same time trampling it underfoot. But an ethical truth – beyond the suspicion of ideology – does not become untruth because no one seriously follows it. And I find it downright pathetic that the few people who seriously follow it are denigrated as „naive“ or „politically correct“.