Overview: A far-left movement (opposed by classical liberals) claims the invalidity of logic itself, or truth, since the ideas of such were set forth by racists, sexist, perpetrators of the patriarchy. The relativistic metaphysical dogma of this movement claims that there are unlimited possible ways to interpret a given set of events or ideas (this is true) then takes it further to the point of denying the validity (truth) attached to one of the interpretations. (This is a self-refuting claim.) The idea of postmodernism is best explained by its constituents, in a letter students wrote to their university president. You will find the language echoed in the disciplines of the humanities as it is well known, those disciplines were taken over by postmodern Marxists in the 70’s. Language framing everything in the terms of a victim-oppressor, absolutist and dichotomous frame is a good indicator of the presence of the influence of postmodern thought.

From the letter: “The idea that there is a single truth–’the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.”

From Encyclopedia Britannica: “many of the characteristic doctrines of postmodernism constitute or imply some form of metaphysicalepistemological, or ethical relativism.”

Elder Holland has made several comments on postmodernism throughout the past decade. “The unacceptable alternative is to surrender to postmodern moral relativism, which, pushed far enough, declares that ultimately nothing is eternally true or especially sacred and, therefore, no one position on any given issue matters more than any other.” (CES Devotional 2012)

Postmodernists reject the fundamental tenants of Western Philosophy as a movement or school of thought directly opposed to (and some would consider it a reactionary movement against) the Enlightenment.

Against: Free Speech, Civil Debate, Intellectual Diversity

Proponents of postmodernism engage in the censoring of speech from those whom they disagree with. To give anyone who could be an ally of the opposing factions, be it from the right (Ben Shapiro) or the left (Dave Rubin), or independent centrists (Jordan Peterson) would be giving power to their opponents and since they view the world as a power struggle, they deem force as necessary to silence those “in power”. These people value subjective feelings over fact, and thus are willing to keep away opposing viewpoints for the sake of protecting the ‘climate of inclusivity, equity and diversity’ of a given space (usually university campuses). Hate speech is a term frequently used to describe speech that could harm (either physically or psychologically) a protected class (women, LGBTQ+ community, minorities, immigrants, etc..) and this cannot be allowed to be given a platform. This ideology has given rise to extremist organizations in the western world such as ANTIFA (Anti-Fascist) and BAMN (By Any Means Necessary).

Important thinkers:

  • Jacques Derrida
  • Michel Foucault

Resources to learn more about postmodernism

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