The Truth About Liberalism, Conservatism, and Progressivism
LIke all political philosophies, liberalism is a complex thing. Liberalism itself is defined as the belief in freedom and human rights. The philosophy goes back almost 400 years to john locke, considered by many to be the father of liberalism, The ideas of liberalism were the basis for the glorious revolution in england, the french revolution, and, of course, the american revolution. Our founding fathers used these ideas in the creation of the declaration of independence in 1776 and the u.s. constitution in 1789. the bill of rights enumerates god-given rights and the limits of government that, without those who run the government being actual angelic personages, would naturally slide into tyranny. we feel it today in our own lives with things like political-correctness, hate speech being equated with physical violence. the libeeral things that came out of the founding fathers were things like: limited government, personal liberty, religious freedom, free-markets, and personal responsiblity.
as for conservatives, we've really never had a place for them. the first american conservatives wanted to stay with the crown; we called them "tories", or "loyalists". conservatives have always been defined as those wishing to conserve the status-quo, hence staying with the crown as opposed to establishing an independent state. Let's come back to this in a bit.
progressivism began as an independent movement in the united states. Theodore Roosevelt is considered the founding of its original ideas, that only government, benevolently used, could initiate lasting change for the better. Woodrow wilson, WAS AN ACADEMIC ELITIST, ASIDE FROM BEING PRESIDENT, AND HE BELIEVED THAT HUMAN BEHAVIOR IS CHANGEABLE - ESPECIALLY BY LEGISLATIVE MEANS. THIS COULD BE DONE AT THE EXPENSE OF LIBERTY. WITH THE ADVENT OF THE POSTMODERN WORLDVIEW,, ESPECIALLY WITH ITS COUNTER-RATIONALITY, RELATIVE TRUTH, AND IDEOLOGICAL IDEATION, PROGRESSIVISM HAS SLID OFF THE DEEP LEFT END OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM. IT PROMISES ONLY TYRANNY BECAUSE WITHOUT AN OBJECTIVE TRUTH, THERE ARE NO VALUES WITH WHICH TO BEGIN ANY CHANGE BENEFICIAL TO HUMANKIND.
tHE DEMOCRATIC PARTY -- FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON AND JAMES MADISON -- WAS THE ORIGINAL PARTY OF THE LIBERAL IDEAS THAT FORMED THIS COUNTRY. AS THE PARTY SLID TO LEFT, BEGINNING WITH fdr AND THE new deal, through the 1960s, picking up the postmodern worldview, it gave up every single liberal idea from the founders. IN THE EXCHANGE, THE CONSERVATIVES WERE FORCED TO PICK UP THE PIECES AND "conserve" the liberal ideas that formed this country.
this means that conservatives -- represented by the republican party -- are now the true liberals and the democrats have dropped off into postmodern progressivism and socialism.
Postmoder progressivism today is defined by socialism, social justice, and sexual identity. progressivism engages in identity politics, class warfare, egalitarianissm, deliberate and concerted attacks on western cultural values (e.g. religious freedom, limited government, personal liberty, etc.) and the intellectual subversion of education at all levels. None of it is any good for allowing human beings to reach their potentials. Difference is rewarding, competition is great for providing incentive, and the value of objective truths allows for a stable society.
An Alternative Perspective on White Privilege
By Robert Curtis, M.F.A
Rio Salado College
Sociology, like all of the social sciences, relies on scientific analysis, but also on perception, and even anecdotal evidence. The luxury of pure experimental results simply does not exist in the soft sciences where no exact quantification is possible. Human psychology is based largely upon observation with theoretical paradigms applied against it. This doesn’t mean that these soft sciences lack anything substantive, but those researchers in these soft sciences often appear to arrive at subjective conclusions, which often belie the vagaries of human nature.
In the case of White privilege, researchers, working within the context of the current racial reality in the United States, lean hard left into the mire of postmodern progressivism, and ignore a considerable amount of natural evidence. They most often simply ascribe a conspiratorial tone to the issue, in which all whites are either complicit or outright racist. Changes in the legal foundations of this country and in the attitudes of people within it have allowed for significant and positive effects, and yet, the media still reports racial relations as tense as ever, probably because it still makes good copy.
Where is the truth in White privilege?
History is ignored, social progression is ignored, and the great conspiracy that is White privilege is exposed in this paper.
Imagine, in this day and age, the whole of the Black population in the United States being labeled “inferior” by postmodern academicians, simply due to the color of their skin? The idea is absurd, why? Because we, as a nation, have advanced to the point where we have elected a [half] Black president identified wholly Black, Blacks sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, and there are Blacks who serve in both houses of Congress. There are great Black actors, athletes, musicians, military men and women, doctors, lawyers, and in occupations of every other kind.
Imagine, in this same day and age that the whole of the White population was called “privileged”, by those same academicians, simply due to the color of their skin. However, that’s what is happening among the postmodern progressive academic elites. In 1988, Peggy McIntosh, an associate director of the Research Center of Women Studies at Wellesley College, wrote the seminal manifesto on the concept of White privilege: “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. She described White privilege as: “like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks,” all metaphorical, of course.”
What she meant is that there exists a systemic set of benefits that are social, economic, academic, and historical, bestowed on people simply for being White.
To understand White privilege we need to understand what a system of privilege means. Allan G. Johnson, a sociologist and fiction writer calls it, “any advantage that is unearned, exclusive, and socially conferred.” Johnson gives us an example of White privilege when he states that White people are generally viewed as being law-abiding until they are not, whereas people of color, meaning Black people, are routinely assumed to be potential criminals. He offers no statistical evidence but the advantage for Whites is part of the inherent social privilege.
Here, however, statistics begin to illustrate a problem in the contention that White privilege exists. According to the FBI, many more Whites are arrested than Blacks for violent crime. In 2013, for example, 6, 214,197 Whites were arrested whereas only 2,549,655 Blacks were arrested. The first objection to this statistic is the correct one. According to the 2016 Census, 76.9% of the total population reported as “White Alone”, while 13.3% reported “Black Alone”. The plain fact is that there are many, many more White people in the United States than there are Blacks. Thus, the notion of White privilege doesn’t stand up well to the total number of arrests though the percentages of each in the total population provide a small window of possible contention: 68.9% of total arrests were of White people and 28% were Black. In and of itself, the disparity in numbers cannot conclude that White privilege exists. We must, however, ask the question: does this difference in White/Black ratio mean, a) the justice system conclusively targets Blacks, and b) are these Blacks not guilty of any crime and therefore unjustly incarcerated? Typically, racial activists will state that incarceration of Blacks greatly outnumbers that of Whites. Of course, the Bureau of Prison reports the following in Federal prisons: 109,502 White and 70,584 Black. The percentages of total population are consistent with the arrest statistics of 2013: 58.6% White and 32.8% Black. Thus, unless a significant number of Black inmates are innocent of any crime, the answer cannot lie with the concept of White privilege.
Based on statistics alone and the social aspects of human nature, however, we can readily admit that society in the United States, fed by emigrants from England and Western Europe, is dominated by White people and therefore we can expect, by reason, social structures favoring the vast majority. This same logic would allow us to expect Chinese, or Asian privilege in China, African, or Black privilege in Africa, Indian, or brown privilege in India. However, a strange, perplexing fact is revealed when we attempt a survey the literature of racial privilege: the only privilege that is significantly investigated appears to be White privilege. We find no research on Asian privilege in China, no work on Black privilege in Africa, nothing on Indian privilege in India, Inuit privilege in Alaska, or even Muslim male middle-eastern privilege in any of the Middle-East countries. This kind of research would not only be reasonable but expected. If we search enough, however, we will find some research on Asians in the United States, this due probably to their great success academically and therefore in all other aspects of American society. There is some research on White privilege in Australia and England, but they are as cognates of American racial relations, both being White dominant societies.
Thus, we must ask the question: why? Because sociologists exist in all industrialized cultures, we must find similar or identical research as we do in the United States.
This leads any reasonable person to skepticism about to stated purpose of the literature on White privilege.
Looking at that literature, we find this from a CWS – Challenging White Supremacy – workshop held in San Francisco in 1995, in which, Sharon Martinas, co-Founder of the organization wrote a list of definitions to be used.
For “racist” she wrote: “a racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of a White supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all [emphasis added] White people (i.e. people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture, or sexuality.”
The technical definition for “White supremacist” is “an advocate or supporter of the doctrine that white people are superior to other peoples, and should therefore have greater power, authority, or status,” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com). Martinas’s use of the term, therefore, is at significant variance with the accepted norm leaving us to conclude that her re-defining of the word has an “other-than-scholastic” purpose; it demonstrates a political motive in which the term White privilege is used.
Martinas further wrote, “by this definition, people of color [Black] cannot be racist.” This means that the NAACP, the Black Panthers, and Black Live Matters have concerns other than about Blacks as a race in a predominantly White society.
In another instance, John Halstead writes about White privilege and Black Lives Matter: “One White privilege we have is that other White people listen to us. We can go into White spaces and talk to White people about implicit bias and institutional racism [emphasis added]. We can unapologetically proclaim that “Black Lives Matter.” The nature of the White privilege problem, in this case, is to use White guilt to convince other White people of their “implicit bias and institutional racism.”
A self-made millionaire, Jason Ford, echoes the words of Barack Obamas who said, “If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen,” when he wrote: “If my ancestors had not been White, there is a good chance I would never have been able to start a business. Just two generations ago mortgage and lending discrimination were widespread. It is unlikely my grandfather would have been able to start a business as a Black man. I probably wouldn’t have grown up the same neighborhood with the same schools as a result.” Again, we have an echo of the guilt to be attributed to White privilege. Guilt, of course, is an important weapon in the progressive toolkit.
Thus, however, we might have a less than scientific reason for even conjuring the term White privilege. We have some writers stating this suspicion outright.
Richard Kelsey writes: “America has a problem with race relations. It’s a human condition flamed by profiteers who gain from division either politically or economically.”
J.R. Dunn writes: “Like most PC concepts, “White privilege” has never been adequately defined. Quite deliberately so -- the idea is to have a concept so elastic and amorphous that it can be stretched to cover any given situation, distorted through multiple dimensions, and immediately changeable if necessary. White privilege is a tactic rather than an idea, and to ask for a specific definition is to ask for something that has never been and cannot be.”
The inimical Dennis Praeger writes: “A pillar of contemporary Leftism is the notion of “White privilege.” Given that, a generation of high-school and college students, are being taught that a great number of “unearned privileges” accrue to White Americans, the charge of White privilege demands rational inquiry. The assertion turns out to be largely meaningless. And, more significantly, it does great harm to Blacks.”
Thus, these are the two sides of the proverbial race privilege coin and we have many unanswered questions, some of which might give us an insight into the whole sordid issue.
The first question, what I call the “original question”, is: “why did Western Europeans sail the seas and not Africans or Native Americans, either north or south, especially considering that Africans appeared, according to paleontological records, some 125,000 years before Anglo-Saxons?”
The importance of this question is the basis for the issue of White privilege considering, as previously mentioned, that over 76% of the United States is White. If a White population exists, it is entirely reasonable to assume that, given human nature, social structures would largely be created by Whites and we might even thus concede that those structures favored Whites, if they actually favored anyone at all. Is this, in and of itself, unjust? Would not the laws of natural evolution govern the ultimate rendering of social structures? Friedrich Hayek, 1974 Nobel Prize winner hinted at this dynamic when stated: “Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.” This statement gives us a hint at the reasoning of natural occurrence of White dominance and, in turn, a reference to the actual nature of so-called White privilege.
However, for argument’s sake, let’s list the factors that might have accounted for such a vast dominance of Western Europeans. Here are reasonable hypotheticals:
- Rome expanded as far as the Hadrian wall in Britain (i.e. covering Western Europe).
- Romans, along with the Vikings, delivered sailing and navigational technology to Western Europe.
- Battles in Western Europe were fought using more advanced Roman weapons and tactics.
- The continuing desire for more and better weaponry spurred technological advance.
- The Apostle Peter went to Rome.
- The Emperor Constantine named Christianity the Imperial religion.
- When the Roman Empire collapsed, the Roman Catholic Church continued to rise among the Italian states.
- Kingdoms in Western Europe desired to expand along with expanding Church influence and power.
- Spain recovered the library from Constantinople containing all of Aristotle’s philosophy in Arabic, thus leading to advances in thought and science.
None of these things happened in Africa or in the Americas and represent the vagaries of historical development. Therefore, by laws extrapolated from Darwin’s processes of natural evolution, we might conclude that, given the historical facts, White cultural dominance is a natural sociocultural development. Of course, this does not ignore the moral nature of any events occurring during that dominance, but is merely intended to assuage the progressive conspiracy theorists that White privilege was conjured by a cabal.
Aside from Sharon Martinas’s very straight-forward assertions that all White people are racist, we find the seeds of a White conspiracy in McIntosh’s own seminal writing: “I thinks whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege,” and, “It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage is kept strongly inculturated [enculturated] in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all.”
This means that Black people cannot be expected to rise to the top of White-dominated culture simply because they are Black. Our history belies this. This also means that McIntosh does not believe that merit advancement exists in our culture.
The question of whether or not White privilege exists to the detriment of other racial groups does not answer the sordid history of racial discrimination in the United States. We know that Slavery existed at the country’s founding. We know that some of the founders owned slaves. We often ignore the social conditions that existed then and the tremendous will it took to even achieve a Constitution and a Union. Progressives believe that these facts invalidate the entire American experiment, ignoring the fact that the principles of the founding, the inalienable rights given by Nature’s Creator, were ideal enough to eventually cause the breakdown of slavery: the Emancipation Proclamation was put forth and the nation fought a bloody civil war to allow it to stand. Jim Crow laws, codifying extreme prejudice and legal discrimination, existed in some form in most states, but the Brown v Board of Education, 1954 Supreme Court decision began the slow healing process by changing the legal framework from a discriminatory one to a legally-inclusive one. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson, waded into the legislative process and achieved the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This bill overturned all of the Jim Crow laws and forced states to comply. Finally, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was signed.
Thus, White privilege in the legal system was eradicated though the disproportionate number of Blacks arrested and incarcerated to the percentage of total Blacks in the population still might lead some people to believe that nothing was ever done about racism.
Here are some additional things in McIntosh’s work that presume are racially-charged and still active in the United States:
- “I can turn on the television or open the front page of the paper and see people of my race [White] widely represented.”
- When I am told about our National Heritage or about civilization, I’m showing people my color made it what it is.”
Again, with 76.9% of the total population, we would expect to see Whites dominate the numbers in this category. Doing otherwise would simply violate the factual nature of the population.
How does White privilege continue to manifest itself in our current society? Here are some examples of how White privilege continues to haunt and hound Black people:
- When I cut my finger and go to my school or office’s first aid kit, the flesh-colored Band-Aid generally matches my skin tone.
- When I stay in a hotel, the complimentary shampoo generally works with the texture of my hair.
- When I run to the store to buy pantyhose at the last minute, the ‘nude’ color generally appears nude on my legs.
- When I buy hair care products in a grocery store or drug store, my shampoos and conditioners are in the aisle and section labeled ‘hair care’ and not in a separate section for ‘ethnic products.’
- I can purchase travel size bottles of my hair care products at most grocery or drug stores.”
The author’s father explained the reason behind these items she listed in terms of typical economic supply and demand, but she dismissed it. The proposition of White privilege simply does not overcome such a truth. At nearly 77% of the population, Whites are considered a major market by all typical businesses in America. The “rules” of supply and demand economics dictate that the major market be supplied. A quasi-moral demand for more Black-oriented products should not necessarily fall on deaf ears but it also should not over-ride a free market business’s economic decision. Would a company who intentionally produced less White-oriented products make a moral statement? The Black population with specific needs for certain personal-care products stands at just over 13% of the population. That 13% is a significant niche for some business or individual who wishes to produce such products, but companies who don’t cannot, justifiably be dragged under a moral judgment, especially in this postmodern era in which relativism is a reigning principle. It’s free markets in America and a simple fact that almost 77% of the total population is White.
Let’s look at the Band-Aid question as an example of stymied logic in the question of White privilege. First of all, the skin tone of the human population in American spans a spectrum from very dark, Nubian black to very white albino white. To postmodern progressive academics, the color of the Band-Aid represents a clear case of White privilege, despite the 77% majority of Whites in the total population. Why? The range of skin tones in America might even average out to the color of Band-Aids sold in stores. As there are far more Whites than Blacks, that average would be stilted toward the lighter color of the spectrum though it actually probably falls near the middle of the spectrum. The fact is companies – small ones generally – do make black Band-Aids and Band-Aids in the darker range of colors. Why do larger companies make Band-Aids that only fall in the average? They don’t. I’ve seen boxes of neon blue, red, and green Band-Aids without there being a single person on the planet near any of those shades. Dozens and dozens of Band-Aids types reflect superheroes and fairies and even Doc McStuffins, a young Black girl whose mother is a doctor and who plies her own trade on toys.
Does this miss the point? No, businesses run on supply and demand, not the whimsical meddling vagaries of postmodern progressive academics.
This is simply not “White” privilege.
Another interesting item from McIntosh’s list of White privilege items is the following:
“I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.”
Her meaning is that, most of the time, she will not be followed or harassed at the store she shops at because she is White.
This kind of action by a store employee might be systemic, though I’ve been followed around a store and my DNA analysis states that I am White, White, extra White, almost completely White, with some Finnish, which, as we know is White. I never thought of myself as looking particularly suspicious but who really is to say? A system is basically a “collection of elements or components that are organized for a common purpose” (www.dictionary.com). Cultural systems exist and social systems exist but again, they nearly always grow out of natural processes. For White privilege to be such a system would require something more than the natural process of white dominance; it requires an intentional conspiracy.
Back to Jennifer Holladay, we find the accusation of White privilege in higher education, particularly in English Literature survey classes. She writes: “Since white folks have been in control for so long, we have determined what is valuable or interesting or useful in terms of education. Greek and Roman mythology, Chaucer, and other canonized works have been selected and revered through the ages as critical components of any “solid liberal arts education.” Additionally, she writes: “Why do we value Chaucer more than the literary offerings of Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, or Audre Lorde? Who assigns that value and on what basis?”
As an English professor teaching writing but holding an advanced degree that required a full course in literature, I believe I can offer something substantive in this regard.
Our place along the timeline of history is based entirely upon ideas and events that came before. In order to be able to investigate human development and understand the dynamics, we must rely on classical works, especially those in literature and philosophy. These works are important to understand how we got to where we are.
Replacing classical works like Chaucer with contemporary Black writers simply to assuage the question of White privilege, completely disrupts our ability to understand the past, because, on the one, hand classical literature is formative, and, on the other hand, contemporary Black literature is not, it cannot be, it’s contemporary.
Classical literature binds the canon because it has been vetted, studied, and written about throughout the centuries. Scholars gave classical literature value and that still stands today. The fact that classical literature is often transformed into other genres means that it has long become a meaningful part of our culture.
The plain fact is, not all literature is equal.
Black writers have not contributed to the formation of cultural structures to this point in history. They have created commentary along the path. If they are to become part of the canon in English/American literature, they will also be vetted, studied, and written about, and their importance will be judged by the universality of their themes and motifs by scholars of literature, not by sociologists or other postmodern progressive academics.
In the meantime, more will be accomplished in separate and specific literature studies such as: Native American literature, women’s literature, sports literature, Holocaust literature, and all other forms of gender and ethnic literature. Such separate classes allow students and faculty to explore common themes and the cultural meanings of the various types of literature.
In a survey course, however, not only would such a substitution of contemporary Black writers for Chaucer be unnecessary but even inappropriate and irresponsible in terms of the pedagogy. In the case of Chaucer, particularly, he was considered the father of modern English poetry. His work was seminal and he wrote his lines in a form of English similar to our own; he was the first to do so. Thus, Chaucer is of special importance to the curriculum of English literature. This can be said of Shakespeare and the other playwrights, and the great poets like William Blake, or Percy Shelley, or the Brownings, but it can’t be said yet of contemporary Black writers and poets like Langston Hughes. None of them have had enough time to contribute to the overall cultural structure and meaning of our society. It is not White privilege; it is the logic of the pedagogy.
We read of several attempts to quantify White privilege. In one article written by Joe Prinsker, two researchers arranged a social experiment using Australian Aborigines, likening “the racial overtones of Queensland’s history to those of the American South.” Any likening of one social circumstance to another might be considered arbitrary and empirically questionable. The comparison is disparate in that aborigines were not forced in mass from their own country and thrown into slavery. While the United States was formed during this time of slavery and it was completely inculcated in its rhetoric and economic factors, Queensland was not. A more vivid comparison might be Native American tribes and Australian Aborigines, of which several studies exist. Still, the experiment yielded some discrimination upon which we might reflect. For example, an experiment was conducted where people of all different ethnic backgrounds were asked to board a bus, and state to the driver that they did not have the fee but only needed to travel a mile down the road. Of those allowed completing the ride, only 36% were Aborigine and 72% were White. The difficulty here is that 73% of East Asians were allowed to ride. While discrimination was clear, we can’t be assured if the result was due to White privilege or East Asian privilege. Obviously, more work is needed. We also were not given the races of the drivers, which may have affected the experimental paradigm.
The second phase of the experiment was conducted in the same manner though participants were told to wear business attire or military uniforms. In both cases, Aborigines in business attire and military uniforms were significantly allowed to complete the ride over Aborigines in casual attire. In all cases, however, Whites had a greater percentage of riders allowed that Aborigines, though the ratio was significantly smaller than when participants all wore casual clothing. East Asians, for some reason, were not included in the experiment. The percentages were as follows:
- Casual attire – 36% Aboriginal, 71% Whites
- Business attire – 68% Aboriginal, 92% Whites
- Military uniform – 78% Aboriginal, 98% Whites
Thus clothing alters the parameters and the results while evidence of White privilege, though significant, is not a singularly conclusive factor. People still like their soldiers.
Michael Harriot did some work on the quantification of White privilege by looking at education, employment, income, and spending. In education, his conclusion was that Black students in the United States were far more likely to attend high-poverty public schools than were White students. In fact, Black students were six times more likely to attend a high-poverty school than white students. He conceded that people who studied school funding could point to lower property values as a factor but that it still concluded White advantage was measurable.
I have no real argument except that educational quality obviously begins at a lower point than the school itself. We must look at the family, the employment, the property values, and then at school funding. Where does White privilege enter to the exclusion of all other factors in these other areas?
Harriot next looked at educational level vs. unemployment rates. For people without a high school diploma, the unemployment rates were: 16.6% Blacks, 6.9% Whites. For people with a diploma, the rates dropped significantly for Blacks at 9.6% and slightly for Whites at 4.6%. For people with some college, the rates were: 7.4% Blacks, 4.0% Whites, and for people with a Bachelor’s degree and higher, the rates were: 4.1% Blacks, 2.4% Whites. An important consideration here, to me, would have been the delineation of Master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s to the unemployment rates in both classes. As we can see, however, disparity does exist but is it simply White privilege – the color of one’s epidermis – or are there many other factors involved?
In the end, however, we might admit that some sort of White privilege exists even though it cannot be readily and singularly quantified. However, we need to understand that it is more a natural socio-cultural evolution than it is any social conspiracy in which all guilt and complicity can be assigned to every White person in the United States. What we generally read in academic papers espousing the pernicious existence of White privilege is often just a large dose of postmodern subjective emotionalism. The logical remedy for the problem of White privilege, according to these kinds of academic works, are that White privilege be torn down in order to satisfy cultural and social egalitarianism. This would mean demanding that people not follow Black people around a store suspiciously and providing some kind of legal penalty if it happens. This would mean that Black people being given jobs despite their lack of qualifications and that Black children be allowed to attend any school they want – i.e. school choice and Affirmative Action. This means that such demands as were written by a Black Lives Matter leader, to give money and property to Black people, should be expected.
The truth of the matter is that we need to teach colorblindness to our children, to move them away from racial differences that exclude one or another ethnic class. But even this idea is often considered racist by postmodern progressive academics. For example: “Racial issues are often uncomfortable to discuss and rife with stress and controversy. Many ideas have been advanced to address this sore spot in the American psyche. Currently, the most pervasive [emphasis added] approach is known as colorblindness. Colorblindness is the racial ideology that posits the best way to end discrimination is by treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity.” And while colorblindness as an ideology may be pervasive, one person treating another person as equally as possible is not. It cannot be. Racism is caused by the view of different ethnicities as different enough to make decisions of superiority or inferiority based on race. Take that away, and any person should expect to be treated the same, which will work to eventually bring down racial bias. Colorblindness, as an ideology, is a way in which postmodern progressive academics can continue to produce problems between the races, to maintain power in academic and political circles. Martin Luther King, Jr. was right in his “I have a dream” speech; it is right, moral, and just to treat people as equals, just as it is stated in the Declaration of Independence as an ideal that has slowly begun to change the face of the culture in the United States, and just as it is put forth in Christian religious tradition that all people are equally the creation of God.
We’ve seen thus, that what postmodern progressive academics call White privilege has a more natural evolutionary origin than a conspiratorial one, not one of malicious intent like the pre-Civil War and the pre-Civil Rights Act legal system surely was. We’ve seen that the founding ideals codified in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were such that they reached for the universal ideal of human freedom and that, despite the fact some founders owned slaves and that slavery was allowed to exist at that time, and that universal ideal would one day allow for massive social change, by way of correction, which is what Brown v. School Board, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, are – a legal system corrected and made more just.
Human nature, being what it is, still exhibits an underlying suspicion of racial differences. Again, this is natural to the human person and we need to work on allowing ourselves to let go of that suspicion. It is, at the same time, irrational and learned. Look at crime statistics, arrest and incarceration, which record a disparity in the percentage of Blacks held in the justice system. That fact, however, is not singularly indicative of social injustice. What we must always ask is: are those incarcerated guilty or not guilty of the crimes of which they have been convicted. If they are not guilty, it’s injustice, but if they are, then it is not. Then we have to ask: why are a greater number of Blacks committing crimes? Is it because of White privilege? Is it a learned reality that Blacks, by percentage, commit more crimes? Isn’t this what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about, reducing the police tendency of shooting young Black men while those leaders don’t face the reality that young Black men commit, again by percentage, more crimes and resist arrest more and that some of the officers doing the shooting are also Black? This approach sounds similar to the postmodern progressive academics’ approach to White privilege – failing to face the realities of history and social development.
We’ve seen where the postmodern progressive political establishment created the concept of White privilege, elevated it to the position of evidence, and then gave it circuitous logic stating, essentially, that Whites cannot discuss White privilege because they are White and that even if they are aware of it, they cannot discuss it because they aren’t aware of it, the conspiracy being what it is. On top of all this, many of the academics writing about White privilege and establishing its boundaries are White.
We can see that the postmodern progressive academic approach to White privilege will do nothing to advance the cause of racial understanding any more than Black Lives Matter, with the inherent exclusivity of their name, will. What all these folks are suggesting – and in the case of a BLM leader stating – is that we scrap the reality of Western European dominance, that we ignore 76.9% of the population for some egalitarian utopianism, and that we elevate 13.8% of the population to cultural mastery. This is not justice; this is the modern Democratic Party platform.
We’ve offered up a method of dealing with each other fairly and justly, despite the fact that these same postmodern progressive academics call the solution simply another form of racism. The things that these academics want to do are part of the principles of political progressivism but cannot exist in a free society. Those things require an authoritarian form of government that demands – through force – the egalitarian utopian ideals be implemented. The free society needs to recognize the problems, accept the steps to correct the problems – including the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil Rights Act of 1964, etc., and continue to hobble on.
 See Peggy McIntosh’s, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Wellesley College. 1988, p.1.
 See Allan G. Johnson’s, “What is a System of Privilege?” at http://www.agjohnson.us/glad/what-is-a-system-of-privilege/
 Reference the DOJ, “Crime in the United States 2013.” https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43
 US Census Bureau. 2016.
 Federal Bureau of Prisons. “Inmate Race.” FBOP, 29, July, 2017.
 See Sharon Martinas,’s, “Definitions.” Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, 1995.
 See John Halstead’s, “The Real Reason People Say ‘All Lives Matter.” Huff post Blog. 25, July, 2016.
 See President Barack Obama’s campaign speech in Virginia, 13, July, 2012.
 See Jason Ford’s, “The Real Reason My Startup was Successful: Privilege.” Tech Diversity Files, 1, November, 2016.
 See Richard Kelsey’s, “Fixing the Race Problem in America: It’s Black and White.” 14, July, 2016.
 From J.R. Dunn’s, “A Brief History of White Privilege.” American Thinker, 4, September, 2015.
 See Dennis Praeger’s, “The Fallacy of White Privilege.” National Review. 16, February, 2016.
 See Hayek's essay, "The Results of Human Action but not of Human Design," in Studies in Philosophy: Politics and Economics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967), pp. 96-105.
 See Peggy McIntosh’s, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Wellesley College. 1988, p.1.
 Ibid, p. 6.
 Ibid, p. 6.
 See Jennifer R. Holladay, M.S.’s, “White Anti-Racist Activism: A Personal Roadmap”. Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Inc., 2000
 McIntosh, p.2.
 Holladay, p4.
 Reference Joe Pinsker’s, “White Privilege, Quantified.” 26, Feb., 2015.
 See Micahel Harriot’s, “Yes, You Can Measure White Privilege.” The Root, 14, April, 2017.
Read Monic T. Williams, Ph.D.’s, “Colorblind Ideology Is a Form of Racism.” Psychology Today. 11, December, 2011.
A Note on Study
This postmodern worldview is born of philosophies that stretch back to the 12thcentury and the philosophy of nominalism – the idea that there were no universal truths, all the way up to the late 19th century and Karl Marx. Thus, to thoroughly understand the foundations of the postmodern worldview, we must study almost the entire history of philosophy after the ancient Greeks.
And we don’t have time for that.
This postmodern worldview, therefore, is a model, hardly theoretical, but proven adequately through the literature, current cultural models, and logical deduction.
This model has not been vetted academically. If it is our purpose, however, for us to understand what is happening in our culture, especially in relationship to the Church, and the Order, and its mission of preaching the good news of Christ, then this is the way to go.
It would be my greatest honor to have challenges to any of the nine main aspects of the postmodern worldview (nominalism, relativism, solipsism, secularization, counter-rationality, ideological ideation, rhetorical reductionism, tendency toward reification, and word-brewing) and discussions along that line would probably be interesting and most assuredly critical.
The whole point of understanding, at least from this model, is to help us understand what things we need to do in order to increase our knowledge about our culture and to take a more vital role in the mission of the Order of Preachers.
The only thing I can say is that this course of study is not for the proverbial faint of heart. It won’t be particularly fun, we won’t garner as much joy as when we play charades, but we can take solace in the fact that this is a serious approach to help us do our very small part in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. THAT should give us joy.
What do these political changes mean for the church?
The postmodern worldview is specifically and deliberately secularizing. the reason for it is clear, in order for relative truth to supplant objective truth, the font of objective or absolute truth - christianity - must be scoured from the public arena. Values like individual dignity, fairness, justice, etc. are christian values that are one of the foundations of the success of Western culture. adherents of the Postmodern worldview know that they must bring down western culture in order to manifest their tyrannical philosophies. THE CHURCH, THUS, IS ALWAYS IN THE CROSS-HAIRS ON EVERY FRONT. MATERIALIST SCIENCE, FOR EXAMPLE, ATTEMPTS TO SET UP AN ABSOLUTIST CONFLICT - THE IRONY - BETWEEN SCIENCE AND RELIGION WHEN THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF SCIENCE IS TO HELP US UNDERSTAND GOD'S CREATION. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES, LIKE SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM - BOTH STATIST - DESIRE TO REPLACE CHRISTIANITY WITH THE STATE. ARISING FROM THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FOUNDATION OF THE POSTMODERN WORLDVIEW - MALIGNANT NARCISSISM - AND ITS INHERENT COUNTER-RATIONALITY, SUCH STATIST PHILOSOPHIES ARE SOMEHOW SELF-PROPHESYING, INTENDED TO ELEVATE THE POSTMODERN INDIVIDUAL TO THE LEVEL OF gOD. (See veritas sessions 11 for more detail on the differences between the christian worldview and the postmodern worldview)
Descent into Chaos: the Postmodern Worldview
Robert Curtis, MF.A.
Rio Salado College
For years now, evidence that our culture is on the brink has been growing. At first, it was students and activists in the 1960s, the Vietnam War raged, and the lies told by the government that sent over 52,000 men and women to their deaths, were revealed to the American populace.
Now, it’s socialism, social justice, and sexual identity.
Many scholars have tried rational explanations, precipitated debate after debate, trying to get at the source of our cultural decline. Some have been successful on one or another of the points that account for our difficulties, but none have really taken a step to construct a discernible and comprehensive worldview model.
In this paper, I intend to construct that cultural model that explains our social upheaval – the postmodern worldview.
Some may be skeptical that such a thing as a worldview in postmodern terms is even possible; after all, the essential nature of postmodern “philosophy” is questioning the grand meta-narratives of western culture. This is questioning, not downright rejection, though we will see this occurring more and more in society. For now, questioning the grand meta-narratives is a way of looking at the world, or, a worldview.
The Structure of the Postmodern Worldview
A worldview might be defined as a conceptual and intrinsic philosophical complex of attitudes, suppositions, and even conjectures concerning the intellectual construction of the vision of the world and its operative values.
In other words, it is how each of us views the world.
In order that a complex worldview exists, there must be an accounting of foundational modalities that function according to the manner in which human beings conceptualize and engage with external stimuli. In such cases, there must be a philosophical modality that allows for a systematic way of thinking about the world, there must be a psychological modality that provides internal drive to engage the world, and there must be an intellectual modality that moves from the philosophical to the psychological providing impetus for action in the world.
The postmodern worldview is imbued with all three of these operative modalities as illustrated on the Home page.
To understand the philosophical foundations of the postmodern worldview, we must go back roughly to the 14th century and William of Ockham. Though a couple of other theologians had dealt with vestiges of what would become nominalism, Ockham, a Franciscan Friar, held that only individuals exist rather than the universals or essences beyond the human form, that such things are mere abstractions that cannot exist in any physical form and are therefore of no consequence. Ockham, however, was not a nominalist in the true sense because he did not do away with objective reality; he did away with one part of objective reality: “forms—he did away with a fundamental principle of explanation for objective reality,” but is still credited with its rise. Meyrick H. Carré, defined nominalism as: “General ideas, universals, are merely names, nomina, and even noises, flatus vocis. The common nature which they assert is wholly subjective.”
It is this concept of nominalism that significantly led to secularism and according to philosopher Hans Ur von Balthazar, led to the “forgetfulness of beauty” and ultimately the de-humanizing of man.
If, as nominalism suggests, there are no universals, the notion of objective or absolute truth, the foundation of all our cultural metanarratives, would not be above skepticism. And this is what postmodernism, as a philosophy, is defined as by Jean François Lyotard, one of the pillars of that philosophy: “incredulity toward metanarratives.”
Some people, however, say that postmodernism is not particularly relativistic but, in order to disrupt the truths that are contained in society’s meta-narratives, or the grand stories, like religion, truth, and democracy, those truths must be either refuted, which they cannot be if they are truths, or they must be deemed relative in order to unseat the notion that they are universal and absolute.
Relativism is used to counter the notion that there are objective truths. Glen Ward states “the first feature is the collapse of the metanarratives. A metanarrative is “… and over–arching story, which can supposedly account for, explain, or comment upon the validity of all other stories, a universal or absolute set of truths, which is supposed to transcend social, institutional, or human limitations.”
One of the first most important elements of postmodernism as a philosophy, therefore, must be relativism. Stanley Grenz writes, “Some perspectives on truths blur the line between belief and reality. For example, postmodernism affirms that whatever we accept as truth and even the way we envision truth are dependent on the community in which we participate… There is no absolute truth; rather, truth is relative to the community in which we participate.”
Secularization is the process of marginalizing religious belief. We see it today in various forms: increased emphasis on the erroneous constitutional notion of the separation of Church and state in an attempt to push all religious belief out of the public arena. We see it in various incidents of religious persecution, e.g., Senator Dianne Feinstein, D–Calif, grilled Amy Coney Barrett, a Roman Catholic and nominee for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal, on her religious beliefs, effectively subjecting her to a religious test, which was always counter-indicated in Founding principles. Others are persecuted in similar ways on college campuses and in employment opportunities.
In a good and recent example of workplace bias, the Washington Post reports on the plight of Camille LeNoir, who was offered her dream job as an assistant women’s basketball coach at New Mexico State University: “She accepted the job, but two days before she was to board a plane for New Mexico, LeNoir’s phone rang. The Aggies’ coach, Mark Trakh, had watched an online video posted in 2011 in which LeNoir discussed her playing career, her religious faith and her sexuality.
For most of her basketball career, LeNoir identified as gay. Now she’s not. In fact, in the video, she said homosexuality was “wrong” and “not worth losing your soul over.”
Trakh retracted the job offer, LeNoir said, and advised her to remove the video if she ever wanted to work in college basketball. LeNoir said she was devastated. She felt she could be an effective coach regardless of what she’d said in that video. And besides, LeNoir figured, hadn’t she already accepted the position?”
She was denied the position because her religious beliefs had changed and made her look at her own sexuality differently. Currently, she is suing the New Mexico State University in federal court.
Aside from being harassed on campus for their beliefs, students are sometimes even denied admission based on their beliefs: “One student, Brandon, was denied admission because when asked in an admissions interview what the most important thing in his life was, he replied simply, “My God.” In rejecting his application, Radiation Therapy Program Director Dr. Dougherty informed Brandon, “I understand that religion is a major part of your life. . . however, this field is not the place for religion. . . If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.”
Some thinkers believe that because secularization was largely attributed to Enlightenment rationality, it could not be a concern of postmodernism. The argument could be accepted, historically at least, that postmodernism would be also post-secular because secularization was a goal of the Enlightenment, however, because religious faith is both a meta-narrative and the font of absolute truth, postmodernism is less likely to tolerate it as part of the culture. The font of absolute truth must be marginalized in order that the other goals of postmodernism are achieved.
Solipsism is defined as the notion that one’s own mind is the only thing that can be known to exist. We can credit the Greek philosopher, Gorgias, Rene Descartes, and George Berkeley. Because only the mind could be known to exist, and one mind could not communicate with another, objective reality was an impossibility. And because objective reality or objective truth does not exist, this leaves only one’s own mind resulting in two things: narcissism and subjective emotionalism. Solipsism is, at first, malignant narcissism relying on subjective emotionalism that is defined as looking at things from an altogether emotional position. In the case of the postmodern worldview, solipsism effectively becomes the arbiter of truth. Once the idea of objective truth is rejected along with the methodology of arriving at objective truth, there isn’t much left with which to define truths, especially those for the individual.
Thomas Merton took up this question with regards to the objective truth of the symbol of the cross, when he wrote, “on the contrary, while a definitely subjective quality of truth is demanded subjective emotionalism tends to lessen the true force of the symbol of the cross, and to create a diversion in favor of the dramatic appeal which is not universal.”
Subjective emotionalism, as the arbiter of truth, demands an irrational relativistic acceptance of feelings on any topic, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It also separates people from the ability to reason, recognize absolute truth, and even define morality.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith writes, “if the objective truth is not inherently or ideally or conceptually linked with personal life, then personal life is thought of as not to be linked with objective truth, or indeed within the standards. A price that we have paid for divorce in objective truth from sincerity is to divorce subjective emotionalism from all discipline – and from community cohesion. We have made the truth amoral; the next generation has made self-expression amoralistic also. This makes for social disorder, and for personal loneliness, and lostness. Just as we cannot have a basketball game without honesty, so there can be none without rules. It is a sorry society where the only two activities seem to be organized dishonest contests on the one hand and the chaotic fragmented plea of private bacchanalia on the other.”
Subjective emotionalism is much more than a rejection of objective truth. It separates individuals from external things so that justice can never be truly done to them, it does not allow the individual to adequately judge the value of any object, and, as Rudolph Eucken observed, “The subjective emotionalism fails also in achieving its own distinctive end, and the attainment of an inward self-sufficiency; for it is only when the human organism is inwardly growing, steadfastly rooted within an inner world and nourished at the sources of the inner life, that such self-sufficiency is realizable.”
At first I had a feeling in the back of my head that in order for postmodernism to work, narcissism had to be the fundamental psychological and personal element, however, I was a bit trepidatious at researching the concept. My question was: did a fundamental psychological principle fit into a philosophical dynamic? The fact that postmodernism was transformed from a simple philosophical view to a full-blown worldview made it possible.
Lonnie J. Jarrett writes in Eros and Kosmos: Magazine of Interval Liberation and Transformation, “narcissism is of such epidemic proportions that it was actually considered for elimination as a diagnostic category in the DSM, V. Simply put, narcissism is having a pathological focus on one’s own self. “Pathological” in this case means that it is causing unnecessary suffering to one’s self and to others. Narcissism exists on a continuum from those who would fit the old psychiatric definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder possessing a megalomaniacal sense of self-importance to the average self-absorption that is so prevalent in culture.”
Thomas Krannawitter added, “long before modern clinical psychologists wrote detailed definitions of narcissism, the Roman poet Ovid penned the famous account of the legend of Narcissus. The phenomenon of human beings being emotionally disconnected from others, or being unable to distinguish one’s self from others – what might be described as total self-interest and self-regard and nothing but self-interest and self-regard – is even older than that narcissism by any name is as old as human nature itself. Some thoughtful minds have argued that we live in an age that is more thoroughly narcissistic than ever before, that our modern culture seems to fuel and feed and encourage narcissism. Others, equally thoughtful, have argued that we live in a “postmodern” age, that ours is a postmodern culture where the notion of objective truth is mocked and scorned, where moral relativism and philosophic nihilism have become common prejudices among most people, the learned and un-learned like. Postmodernism believes that all belief systems are equal; science is just another way of explaining reality. To the narcissist, postmodernism is another way of distorting reality to fit their beliefs. Because there are no rules, they make the rules.”
Thus, by allowing subjective emotionalism to act as the arbiter of truth, intellectual chaos and the breakdown of rationality is assured.
We’ve seen where solipsism aids in breaking down rationality, thus serving the goals of postmodernism, but now we turn toward a more aggressive element that deals with the breakdown of rationality – counter- rationality. Counter-rationality implies a sense of intent and it exists in direct opposition to Enlightenment rationality. It has often been used throughout political history. The Nazis and the Communists, for example, were particularly good at it. A well-known, but foundational deliberate counter-rationality is often attributed to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda minister, who quoted Vladimir Lenin, “a lie told often enough becomes the truth.” This notion appears in various political books, even before Lenin, and was supposedly used by Mao and in Cuba, and we see it occurring in our modern politics. Think of term, “fake news”.
During the Enlightenment, rationality was the primary method of informing the truth. Different parts of a problem or an issue were explored and then logic was applied to arrive at a rational conclusion. The conclusion was the truth and it was objective.
With the advent of postmodernism, truth has fallen from its objective pedestal and so what passes for the truth in postmodern thinking is nothing more than the amblings of emotionalism. Power still needs to be accumulated, but it can never be achieved by objective truth – such as with the Founding Principles – and thus the darkness of human nature reduced to the mere animal still seeks to rule.
Counter-rationality is a key component for postmodernists especially in the United States, because the principles binding the country were born in objective truth and were specially designed to provide for the potential of human flourishing. Postmodern thinkers are quick to try and point out the oppression, repression, persecution, and slavery that occurred after the Founding of the nation. However, nothing of the moral failings of human beings, however, since the Founding, invalidates the objective truth of the matter; the Founding Principles remain independent of human actions.
The postmodernist is saddled with the responsibility of undermining the Founding Principles in promoting an agenda that renders the human being as a mere statistic, a mere cog in a soulless social machine.
The line must be told enough times and it must become the whole truth.
Without Counter-rationality to counter the objectively true things that made our country and culture what it is – imperfect and yet better than any other example thus far in history – postmodern adherents have little chance of upending the proverbial cart, unless we allow them.
John Locke, not the famous philosopher, revealed that originally contemporary postmodernism was, “another intellectual movement that grew out of irrationalism. Postmodernism is an anti–realist philosophy (rejects notions of absolute truth) and that human nature is socially constructed to provide that meaning lacking in the meaningless world.”
Further, he states, “really out of the Romantic movement, irrationalism was a deep intellectual movement – mostly contained to the European continent, but it had some British adherents, who rejected the rationalism, empiricism, and individualism of the Enlightenment. Irrationalism, like Romanticism, emphasized passion and emotion over reason, and were otherwise skeptical of the epistemological claims that reasoning could produce sufficient knowledge. In essence, the irrationalists believed reason to be faulty, and that human emotion, feeling, faith, and passion are superior tools to coming to understand the true knowledge. From this purview, irrationalism was Romanticism, to philosophy (Romanticism was a broad movement that extended in many fields, irrationalism is a philosophical school).”
Thus, we can see that Counter-rationality is not just an element of postmodernism but it is one of the main postmodern tactics to be used in changing the cultural landscape; one which we all must be aware and battle in the arena of ideas.
Ideation is something that we all do, a consequence of normal mental process natural to human beings and probably many other animal species as well. The key to the process of ideation is knowledge and information inflow. As information flows into our active cognitive processes, to connect bits and pieces to other bits and pieces ideation takes place and ideas are generated. The more reading, traveling, conversation, and visual stimuli are experienced, the more the brain gathers information. From our reality, thus, come the normal ideas we use in our everyday lives.
Ideology is a term often compared to worldview. We all have dominant or parts of existing ideologies that help us make decisions, primarily economic or political.
Ideology is roughly defined as a system of normative ideas and ideals, especially ones which form the basis of economic or political theory and policy. Ideology is connected to our moral systems. The postmodern worldview characteristic element, ideological ideation is, “system–justifying” (system justification theory).
The conceptual dynamic of ideological ideation is primarily the process of ideation that draws from established ideology instead of normal knowledge structures that arise from realistic informational input. An example of this would be the issue of income disparity. Income disparity becomes a conceptual reality (reification) without regard for the positive aspects of work, innovation, inventiveness, and even pure dumb luck. Such ideation can certainly lead to incompetence in decision-making.
Rhetorical Reductionism, in the postmodern sense, is defined as, “the belief that some identifiable kind of statements can be replaced systematically by statements or expressions of a simpler or more certain kind. For example, some philosophers have held that arithmetic can be reduced to logic, but the mental can be reduced to the physical, or that the life sciences can be reduced to the physical sciences.”
By reducing statements that make up metanarratives, postmodernists are able to attack the individual parts, and if they are successful in rejecting or, at least, casting doubt on only one part, then, of course, they believe the whole notion is rejected, successfully undermining the metanarrative.
Carlos Gershenson writes, “classical science and engineering have used successfully a reductionist methodology, i.e. separate and simplified phenomenon in order to predict their future; this approach has been applied in a variety of domains. Nevertheless recent decades the limits of reductionism have become evident in phenomena where interactions are relevant. Since reductionism separates, it has to ignore interactions. If interactions are relevant, reductionism is not suitable for studying complex phenomena.”
The importance of this statement is obvious, all of society and all of our culture is founded primarily in interactions, with each other, and with developing patterns of thinking. Therefore, reducing reductionism from the argument is generally not that difficult. It is also important to remember, that when we write about, think about, and talk about society and culture we must look at them in holistic terms;
reductionism interferes with the value of the whole.
Reification is a logical fallacy where abstract concepts – like love, fear, anger, joy, or such emotions and human emotional traits, are used to express concrete ideas or concepts. If postmodernism expresses Lyotard’s “incredulity toward meta-narratives,” then discussions about metanarratives must be constructed in the most general context possible. Any specific context opens itself to specific interrogation, which could legitimize the metanarrative.
According to a critical article on postmodernist, David Salle’s artwork, the abstraction, “accepts that meaning is flexible, and reality is subjective.” If meaning is flexible and reality subjective, then we find abstractions or generalities are perfectly capable of defining any issues as concrete. It’s when specifics are encountered that issues become subject to specific interrogation that the postmodern worldview struggles.
From the practical standpoint, once pessimism took hold of all the aforementioned philosophers, lesser thinkers, like political activists picked up portions of postmodern theories and changed them into action.
Saul Alinsky was very good that. He is considered one of the prime movers of postmodern progressivism (transformed from liberalism) and his Rules for Radicals is still a big hit among the meaningless crowd. His 11th rule is interesting and very familiar to us: “if you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Shades of Goebbels, shades of Lenin?
It takes seriously malignant narcissism to push a negative hard enough, to push a lie or an abstract concept as truth until it actually becomes an ersatz or erroneous truth.
Word-Brewing (transfer propaganda and lexical fabrication)
Word-Brewing is a time tested method of rhetorical interaction. In the case of the postmodern worldview, word–brewing makes use of both transfer propaganda and lexical fabrication.
Because the postmodern worldview is a recent philosophical, psychological, and intellectual development in western culture, a whole new rhetorical schema is necessary. This fact alone, allows us to understand that the postmodern worldview is completely countercultural.
One of the main elements of postmodern worldview word–brewing is called transfer propaganda. Transfer propaganda is a method of taking any piece of culture with its accompanying authority and transferring it to another issue in order to generate an emotional response, which is in line with the subjective emotionalism as the arbiter of truth element in the postmodern worldview. While transfer propaganda is used both for and against issues and a considerable amount in advertising, we should be aware of its dynamic in order to identify it when it is used under the auspices of the postmodern worldview. An example of this is Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Dem-MI) and her comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day (May 12): “There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, has been wiped out … in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time,” Tlaib said. “And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways.” Her political point was that the Palestinians have lost everything to the modern State of Israel and she does this by bringing up the horror of the Holocaust, transferring the same horror onto the State of Israel, making her people, the Palestinians, the new victims.
Lexical fabrication is something that occurs occasionally, as when a new word is claimed to represent some new situation or issue, but with the postmodern worldview, the structures are so countercultural that it requires a whole new vocabulary. Take words such as intersectionality,
transgenderism, cisgenderism, agender, aromantic, all of these words simply fabricated and given lexical content in or about the 1990s. The fact of the matter is that none of the people who fabricated these words have any more authority to do so then each of us; therefore, we may legitimately challenge them at any time. Once the language comes undone, the other structures of the worldview can also come undone.
The serious countercultural nature of the postmodern worldview makes it basically insidious; especially in light of the successful prosper fact. The reasons for the development of the postmodern worldview must be altogether negative, fueled by psychological state yoked and the results of the counter – rational is living in such culture, regardless of station or research search for identity or religious persuasion, is the very best that human beings to better develop the culture steeped in personal liberty, allows for the greatest potential, the cultural ability to correct mistakes and rise above itself.
Ultimately, the postmodern worldview is a very lonely place and a place without much meaning, susceptible to despair and hopelessness. It separates people from one another, conjuring utopias that have no lasting purpose, not having anything of substance that allows human beings to flourish and prosper.
For our own survival, the survival of our culture, and our own sense of hope, we need to look elsewhere then this postmodern worldview. We need to recognize the strengths freedom of Western culture, something that does allow human beings to flourish and prosper and protect it for future generations.
 Hochschild, Joshua P., address given to the 4th Annual Meeting of the Ciceronian Society at Mount St. Mary’s University, March 27, 2017.
 The God Question and Modern Man .
 Lyotard, Jean-François, The Postmodern Condition.
 Ward, Glenn. “Teach Yourself Postmodernism. McGraw Hill, 1997, 171.
 Grenz, Stanley. “A Primer on Postmodernism.
 Maese, Rick. “Basketball coaching hopeful was denied a job. She says it’s because she’s no longer gay.” The Washington Post. 1 Nov, 2017.
 Merton, Thomas. “Disputed Questions.” 1985.
 William Cantrell Smith.
 Rudolph Eucken. The Problem of Human Life as Viewed by the Great Thinkers from Plato to the Present. Reprint, 2015.
 Lonnie J. Jarrett writes in Eros and Kosmos: Magazine of Interval Liberation and Transformation
 Locke, John. Open Liberalism. 3 Sept 2015.
 Anonymous. "Postmodern Literature Dictionary".
 Gershenson, Carlos. “Complexity: the Limits of Reductionism".
18 Alinsky, Saul. “Rules for Radicals”. 1971.