Postmodernism, Nihilism, Racism, and Capitalism (2022)

The political left, like the political right, is comprised of various groups that do not always agree, and as such, it is often unfair to lump ‘the left’ together as if it were one unified school of thought. It should go without saying that when someone says ‘the left,’ they are referring to a thought that is more or less dominant on the left, and not to everyone who is on the political left, and there are various thoughts that do dominate leftward political circles. Most of these dominant ideas fall into a categorial envelope known as postmodernism.

According to postmodernism, people are naturally tribal. Tribalism drives us into identity groups. Identity groups compete for power, and as such, politics is invariably based on identity.

Because identity groups are in a constant struggle against one another for power, people, if left free, will oppress one another. Freedom is, quite literally, the cause of oppression. As such, freedom is not a value just people should strive toward. Freedom, even more than money, is the root of all evil.

Some postmodernists, like Richard Spencer, believe that culture and race are inseparable. Richard Spencer believes that different races should be separated into different societies, but most postmodernists reject this view, on the basis that people would only find other identity groups to associate into: blue eyed people vs green eyed, red heads vs blondes, etc.. Not only that, but postmodernists believe that having different races in different countries leads to nationalism, and war. To avoid war, most postmodernists seek to mix all races together into a single society.

The solution, according to most postmodernists, is to separate out a moral and intellectual elite, from the identity group structure, and to invest in this group all power. This group can then squeeze those at the top of the oppression matrix down, while simultaneously lifting those at the bottom of the matrix up, until all people are equal. Identity groups will become oppressive again if ever made free, so the moral and intellectual elite must have all power, forever.

(Video) Happiness in Postmodern, Late Capitalism

I’ve seen a number of people compare postmodernism with nihilism, but nihilists view suffering as the central constant of the human condition, whereas postmodernists view oppression as that central constant. Postmodernists, then, focus on forced-equity as the solution to oppression, whereas nihilists focus on the end of human existence as the solution to suffering. The two philosophies have a great deal in common, and both are anathema to enlightenment values, but they are not the same.

That said, most nihilists are also postmodernists who view oppression as one of the forms of suffering existence forces upon us. Nihilists, however, want to end existence to wipe out suffering, and most postmodernists do not want to do that.

Dylan Klebold was a nihilist. Dylan Klebold left a detailed journal before he and Eric Harris committed one of the worst school shootings in American history, in Columbine, Colorado. Klebold wrote that his one regret was that he and Eric Harris would only be able to kill the students in Columbine High School, when what they really wanted to do was to end all human life, everywhere on Earth. Ending human existence, Klebold believed, would end suffering, and while Klebold and Harris were happy to end the suffering of their schoolmates, they would have preferred to have ended all suffering everywhere, by eradicating humanity from the face of the Earth.

Nihilism is suicidal, but it is an especially pernicious form of suicide in that nihilists want to take other people with them. Nihilism would be much less problematic if the nihilists just wanted to end their own suffering, but sadly, they do not want to leave the rest of us alone.

People often compare postmodernist views on identity groups to racism. The two things have more in common than they have separating them, but again – they are not the same. Racists view race as something that makes some people superior to others. Postmodernists believe that race is a defining characteristic, and they believe that different races invariably compete for power, but they do not believe one race is better or worse than another. Postmodernists believe that different races compete for dominance whenever people are left free, which is very similar to racism (and just as evil), but it is not quite the same thing as racism.

(Video) Postmodernism is Dead

I find that the anti-capitalism narrative in postmodernism comes from the fact that capitalism limits neither success, nor failure. Some people find the notion that some may fail miserably, in free markets, while others do unbelievably well, to be a moral ‘bridge too far.’ This seems to be a dominant thought among postmodernists.

The left used to be content with a social safety net as a protection against failure, but postmodernist philosophers attack success as well as failure.

The narrative now is that success and failure are entirely determined by things that are outside the control of the individual, and that as such, it is unjust for some to do well while others do poorly.

An an example.. If someone is smart – they were born smart, purely out of luck. They did nothing to earn intelligence, and thus have no right to benefit from it over someone who, through no fault of their own, is not smart.

If someone is hard working, their work ethic is part genetic, and part an inheritance of their parenting. Since this person earned neither the genetics, nor the parenting, that gave them a good work ethic, they have no right to benefit from it over someone who, due to no fault of their own, is lazy.

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If someone has an education, then that education is partially a form of inherited wealth, partially the result of genetics (intelligence, etc.) and partially the result of societal help (teachers, etc.). This person did not really earn their education, as all of the things that went into it – including the ability to put forth the effort needed – was unearned. As such, the educated have no right to benefit from their education over those who are uneducated.

To today’s left, everything is based on luck, and it is unethical to allow some people to be wealthy when others are poor, when everything that contributes to both wealth and poverty, is the result of some cosmic game of chance.

There is nothing anyone can ever have, or do, that a postmodernist cannot attribute to genetics, parenting, society, or something else they will say is outside an individual’s control. Everything is luck, including skill, and as a consequence nothing is earned, and nothing is deserved. Those who have should feel guilty, and those who do not have should feel outraged.

Postmodernism, Nihilism, Racism, and Capitalism (1)

According to the same modern philosophers, there is plenty of wealth in the world for us all to survive with some modicum of comfort, as long as we share that wealth equitably. The only moral choice we can possibly make is to share everything with everyone.

(Video) Mark Fisher: Capitalist Realism

Also, being born in one nation over another is purely based on luck – nobody chooses the place or condition of their birth – so it is grossly unfair that some nations are more wealthy than others, or that some people live in one place rather than another. Wealthy nations should pay to move anyone wherever they want to live, and should take care of all of those people’s basic needs once they get wherever it is that they want to go.

And from there, capitalism is evil, and must be eliminated, even if death and depravity are the only other options. Socialism is a moral imperative to the postmodernist, and the morality involved is vastly more important than such notions as what does, or does not, work.

Postmodernism is a complete rejection of the enlightenment. Postmodernists reject the cultures and values that grew out of the enlightenment, and postmodernists hate the religions (primarily Christianity, but also Judaism) that gave birth to the enlightenment.

Note that truth, reason, the scientific method – all of these things came from the enlightenment, and are rejected under postmodernism. We all have our own facts, and the reasons to pick some facts over others, or to use reason in a debate – the only purpose of doing so is to perpetuate one’s own identity group over others. As such, each identity groups has its own ‘facts’ and ‘truths,’ and the ‘facts’ and ‘truths’ of the more oppressed groups are the only ones that matter.

Nobody can prove what does, or does not, work, without relying on facts, truths, and logic. Facts and truths are subjective, and logic only exists to perpetuate the current, oppressive Western patriarchal structure. Who is to say that Venezuela is starving? Who is to say that socialism does not work? Capitalism works great when you have white privilege, but what about everyone else?

(Video) Did South Park Turn Anti-Capitalist?

See how easy that is?

This is the heart of the postmodernist world, and it is almost as uplifting as it is logical.

FAQs

Is postmodernism a nihilist? ›

Postmodernity can be seen as a nihilistic society on Vattimo's analysis because history has ended; the West has lost its grounds for historical meaning.

What is the philosophy of BoJack Horseman? ›

As mentioned above, existential nihilism is foundational to BoJack Horseman. If life is truly meaningless, then how are we supposed to deal with it? The series presents to us three ways: by distracting ourselves, radical freedom, and by embracing the Absurd.

What is postmodernism Lyotard? ›

Lyotard famously defines the postmodern as 'incredulity towards metanarratives,' where metanarratives are understood as totalising stories about history and the goals of the human race that ground and legitimise knowledges and cultural practises.

What is postmodernism in theory? ›

postmodernism, also spelled post-modernism, in Western philosophy, a late 20th-century movement characterized by broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a general suspicion of reason; and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power. Jacques Derrida.

What is postmodern nihilism? ›

Nihilism in Postmodernity is an exploration of the nature of the problem of meaninglessness in the contemporary world through the philosophical traditions of nihilism and postmodernism.

What is the opposite of a nihilist? ›

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for nihilist. optimist, Pollyanna.

Is Rick and Morty nihilistic? ›

While Jerry is the common alienated and powerless individual of the working class, Rick is the existential-nihilist whom, despite knowing the inherent problems of the system, prefers to embrace the meaninglessness of life.

Is BoJack a nihilist? ›

BoJack suffers the nihilism of the postmodern age and refuses to reflect. What is interesting is that it is pop culture that tries to force him to reflect, be it the memoir or “Philbert”, yet a major focus in the Philbert narrative is how pop culture acknowledges the bad things that powerful men do and defends bad men.

Is Rick and Morty philosophical? ›

The series, which has earned universal acclaim for its take on various aspects of life, primarily focuses on the meaning and purpose of our existence, an idea that various philosophers, writers, and directors constantly explore in their works.

What are examples of postmodernism? ›

The clearest example would be the death bunny scene where a rabbit slaughters men. Intentional or not, these works of art belong on the Postmodern film list because they subverted expectations and gave audiences something they couldn't have anticipated long before that was more en vogue.

Which type of capitalism is found in postmodernism? ›

Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism - Wikipedia.

Why is postmodernism a condition? ›

best-known and most influential work, The Postmodern Condition (1979), Lyotard characterized the postmodern era as one that has lost faith in all grand, totalizing “metanarratives”—the abstract ideas in terms of which thinkers since the time of the Enlightenment have attempted to construct comprehensive explanations of ...

What is the main focus of postmodernism? ›

As a philosophy, postmodernism rejects concepts of rationality, objectivity, and universal truth. Instead, it emphasizes the diversity of human experience and multiplicity of perspectives.

What are 5 characteristics of postmodernism? ›

Thus, the postmodern outlook is characterized by self-referentiality, epistemological relativism, moral relativism, pluralism, irony, irreverence, and eclecticism; it rejects the "universal validity" of binary oppositions, stable identity, hierarchy, and categorization.

What does postmodernism mean in simple terms? ›

A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality.

What is the difference between postmodernism and nihilism? ›

Postmodernism is the stance that meaning isn't universal and outside ourselves. Nihilism is the stance that meaning is essentially a fiction.

How is modernism different from postmodernism? ›

The main difference between modernism and postmodernism is that modernism is characterized by the radical break from the traditional forms of prose and verse whereas postmodernism is characterized by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions.

Is Existentialism a nihilist? ›

Existentialism differs from nihilism because individuals can create meaning in their lives, which is impossible under nihilism. Both meaning and morality can be constructed in existentialism, primarily in conjunction with the acceptance of existential anxiety and the use of free will.

Does nihilism believe in free will? ›

Not at all. It makes no sense. Free will implies we are more special than we are. We are not special at all in a mystic sense.

How can you tell if someone is a nihilist? ›

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.

What is an optimistic nihilist? ›

Optimistic nihilism views the belief that there is no underlying meaning to life from a perspective of hope. It's not that we're doomed to live in a meaningless universe–it's that we get the chance to experience ourselves and the universe we share.

How do you use nihilism in a sentence? ›

Nihilism in a Sentence 🔉
  1. The rebels urged the people to grab hold of nihilism and remove all government officials from office.
  2. In the 1970s, the hippies embraced nihilism and ignored many of society's rules and laws.

What is the point of Rick and Morty? ›

The series follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his good-hearted but fretful grandson Morty Smith, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures that take place across an infinite number of realities, often travelling to other planets and dimensions through ...

Is Rick and Morty existentialism? ›

Rick is perhaps one of the quintessential personifications of existentialist ideologies. He exists only for himself, and thinks only for himself. However, there is doubt within his own self as to his ability to be so free in this world.

What is the difference between nihilism and absurdism? ›

Nihilists, specifically passive nihilists, believe that there's no intrinsic meaning in life and “it is futile to seek or to affirm meaning where none can be found”. That's where the philosophy essentially ends. Absurdists, on the other hand, hesitantly allow the possibility for some meaning or value in life.

What is cosmic nihilism? ›

Cosmic nihilism is the position that reality or the cosmos is either wholly or significantly unintelligible and that it provides no foundation for human aims and principles. Particularly, it may regard the cosmos as distinctly hostile or indifferent to humanity.

Whats the meaning of Rick and Morty? ›

Rick and Morty explores two solutions the conflict between the scientific image and the manifest image. Let's call them neuro-absurdism and neuro-existentialism. Neuro-existentialism believes that we should seek our own meaning in life while confronted with the inherent meaninglessness of the universe.

What is a synonym for philosophy? ›

dogma, gospel, ideology. (also idealogy), testament.

How does postmodernism affect society today? ›

Postmodernism affects views and lifestyles, which in turn affects the young adult's performance of roles and his interactions within all his different social systems. A strong attachment to family and home, as well as the importance of roles as sons/daughters were found.

Does postmodernism still exist today? ›

Indeed in the previous decades before us, postmodernism was in vogue in the academic settings of our country and in the Western world. It's not necessarily that way today. You still find it in literary departments. You still find it, unfortunately, sometimes in theology departments.

Are we still postmodern? ›

However, most scholars today would agree that postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s. Since then, postmodernism has been a dominant, though not undisputed, force in art, literature, film, music, drama, architecture, history, and continental philosophy.

How does postmodernism relate to capitalism? ›

2 Postmodernity then corresponds to a phase of capitalism where mass production of standardized goods, and the forms of labour associated with it, have been replaced by flexibility: new forms of production – 'lean production', the 'team concept', 'just-in-time' production, diversification of commodities for niche ...

Who refers to postmodernism as the logic of late capitalism? ›

In his most wide-ranging and accessible work, Frederic Jameson argues that postmodernism is the cultural response to the latest systemic change in world capitalism.

What is end stage capitalism? ›

Late stage capitalism is a popular phrase that targets the inequities of modern-day capitalism. It describes the hypocrisy and absurdities of capitalism as it digs its own grave. It spotlights the immorality of corporations using social issues to advance their brand.

Who invented postmodernism? ›

“Postmodernism” was a term coined by Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) early in the century to refer to the last quarter of the 19th century, a time where capitalism and imperialism and Western civilization in general began to decline.

Is postmodernism a philosophy? ›

Postmodernism is a philosophical movement that began in the late 1970s. The postmodernist philosophy rejects traditional concepts of logic, objective truth, and human nature. Postmodernists believe that there are no universal truths or objective realities and all meaning is constructed by each individual.

When did postmodernism begin and end? ›

Postmodernism is one of the most controversial movements in art and design history. Over two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, Postmodernism shattered established ideas about art and design, bringing a new self-awareness about style itself.

What is the difference between postmodernism and nihilism? ›

Postmodernism is the stance that meaning isn't universal and outside ourselves. Nihilism is the stance that meaning is essentially a fiction.

Is Nietzsche a postmodernist? ›

Friedrich Nietzsche is generally considered the precursor of postmodern philosophy (Erickson 2001: 84), the basis of which are: Antichrist (rejection of all attachment to God) and a call for a re-evaluation of all values, a negation of conventional metaphysics, an insistence on perspectivism, a rejection of ...

Is Existentialism a nihilist? ›

Existentialism differs from nihilism because individuals can create meaning in their lives, which is impossible under nihilism. Both meaning and morality can be constructed in existentialism, primarily in conjunction with the acceptance of existential anxiety and the use of free will.

How is modernism different from postmodernism? ›

The main difference between modernism and postmodernism is that modernism is characterized by the radical break from the traditional forms of prose and verse whereas postmodernism is characterized by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions.

What is the connection between nihilism and postmodernism? ›

Nihilism postulates that there is no fundamental truth or meaning. Postmodernism postulates that because we all filter reality through our senses, nobody has reliable access to objective reality.

What is the difference between existentialism and postmodernism? ›

Existentialism is a philosophy of individuals, while postmodernism is a theory focused more on society and less on individual existence.

Does postmodernism believe in God? ›

Eclecticism and non-dogmatic theology

Postmodern religion considers that there are no universal religious truths or laws. Rather, reality is shaped by social, historical, and cultural contexts according to the individual, place, and/or time.

Are we still in the postmodern era? ›

However, most scholars today would agree that postmodernism began to compete with modernism in the late 1950s and gained ascendancy over it in the 1960s. Since then, postmodernism has been a dominant, though not undisputed, force in art, literature, film, music, drama, architecture, history, and continental philosophy.

Who is the founder of postmodernism? ›

The term “postmodernism” first entered the philosophical lexicon in 1979, with the publication of The Postmodern Condition by Jean-François Lyotard.

What are the 2 types of nihilism? ›

Passive and active nihilism, the former of which is also equated to philosophical pessimism, refer to two approaches to nihilist thought; passive nihilism sees nihility as an end in itself, whereas active nihilism attempts to surpass it.

Who is a famous nihilist? ›

2. Friedrich Nietzsche and Nihilism. Among philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche is most often associated with nihilism. For Nietzsche, there is no objective order or structure in the world except what we give it.

Is nihilism a paradox? ›

Ethical nihilism

According to Jonna Bornemark, "the paradox of nihilism is the choice to continue one's own life while at the same time stating that it is not worth more than any other life". Richard Ian Wright sees relativism as the root of the paradox.

What does postmodernism mean in simple terms? ›

A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality.

What is the purpose of postmodernism? ›

Postmodernism is associated with relativism and a focus on ideology in the maintenance of economic and political power. Postmodernists are "skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person".

What replaced postmodernism? ›

Metamodernism is the cultural code that comes after postmodernism.

Videos

1. Bookclub: Social (in)Justice - Chapter 2: Applied PostModernism (Part 1)
(Thoughts on Things and Stuff)
2. Stephen Hicks - Explaining Postmodernism In 2018
(The Free Speech Club)
3. Heated Debate On Capitalism with America’s Most Prominent Marxist Economist - Richard Wolff
(Valuetainment)
4. Postmodernism in a nutshell - Jordan Peterson
(Dose of Truth)
5. Jordan Peterson Debate - Capitalism, Marxism and Socialism
(Authentic Videos)
6. Post-Satire Capitalism | Renegade Cut
(Renegade Cut)

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