The emptiness of post-modernism
“Nihilism denies that there are any objective grounds for truth, especially regarding morality.” – Tom Lindsey
And Nihilism’s child is post-modernism.
Lindsey is talking about the recent outcry among liberal professors concerning the stifling of speech on campus due to … feelings. Lindsey continues:
True enough. But I wonder whether Schlosser or Kipnis, or most of academe, understand fully the depths of the Academy’s complicity in the atrocities they cite. Take for example, my own field, political science, which, like all the modern social sciences, is grounded in a radical distinction between “facts” and “values, “ according to which, facts alone are knowable, because “empirically verifiable” (provable using only the five senses). Values, in this account, are subjective preferences regarding facts. Hence, for social science, the terms “right,” “wrong,” “just, and “unjust” are unknowable by reason or science.
And there’s the rub: Neither the academic freedom for which Schlosser and Kipnis rightly plea nor political freedom can be defended authoritatively on the basis of the moral-cultural relativism (often termed, “postmodernism”) taught today in the social sciences and the humanities. Why?
If all “values” (moral principles) are equal due to being equally unprovable through reason, then the embrace in the West of values such as political liberty, tolerance, equality, and the rule of law are demoted to mere “subjective preferences,” which are no better or worse than their opposites—slavery, intolerance, inequality, and tyranny. But while the postmodern Academy asserts reason’s impotence at answering life’s deepest questions, it simultaneously denies that we are capable of the “moral neutrality” that seems to follow from relativism. Simply put, they teach that we have no rational basis to make “value judgements,” but neither can we avoid making them.
And that’s what we face today. As “Schlosser” said, “a simplistic, unworkable, and ultimately stifling conception of social justice” has produced “higher ed’s current climate of fear,” enforced through a “heavily policed discourse of semantic sensitivity.”
We’ve heard about the application in academia and how, now, some liberal professors are pushing back. But it isn’t just academia which is infected with this nonsense. Society at large is also becoming more and more infected with it – likely the product of the left’s constant pursuit of Nihilism since the ’60s at least. How many times have you been told that we are not “fit to judge” another’s culture or choices? How dare we assert “right” and “wrong”. It’s all relative. And thus everything is acceptable.
Except when it isn’t.
Take the case of Rachel Dolezel. The most significant “judgement” I’ve seen of her deceitful life is to be found in, of all publications, in Salon.
So this isn’t about being an ally, or making the family of your choosing, or even how one feels on the inside. It’s about, apparently, flat out deception. It’s about how one person chose to obtain a college education and jobs and credibility in her community. It about allegedly pretending to speak from a racial experience you simply don’t have. You want to live your truth, that’s not how you go about it. And it’s an insult to anyone honestly trying to do just that to suggest anything otherwise, for even a moment.
Even this denouncement is careful though. Note the qualifier – “You want to live your truth, that’s not how you go about it.”
Anyone know what that’s about? That’s about carving out an exception to the basic rule of the left that you can indeed make up your own “truth” if you go about it an acceptable way. I’m not sure who gets to judge what is “acceptable” in the world of non-judgement, but there you go.
Rachel Dolezal is a fraud and a fake. It really doesn’t make any difference what her intent was given she has lied and defrauded her way to her present position … or former position given she resigned from the NAACP. She is what she is – white bread as white bread can be. Even her art is a fraud.
So how did someone so fraudulent rise to the level she did?
Well, it’s the wages of being “non-judgemental”. Naively accepting. In this world, you just accept on its face the claims of someone like Dolezal. You let them invent their “victimhood” and revel in it. “Authenticity” is more important than the truth even if the authenticity is counterfeit. A good and useful story is much more important than facts.
It’s about “need” – on both sides. The “need” of Rachel Dolezal to be someone other than she is. And the “need” of those who are “authentically” black to have a “victim” to point too and say, “See! Racism”. She claims to have been the victim of “8 documented hate crimes”. How perfectly lovely. The fact that they pretty much all were found to be baseless isn’t important.
Why was she allowed to go on without questioning? Because she was politically useful. Because she represented a narrative that many want to perpetuate.
And, as with most liars who have told the story so often they begin to believe it, she’s now rationalizing her actions and denying a problem. Her rationalization “I’ve always identified as black” somehow justifies her deceit and she believes her declaration is all that is necessary to provide “truth” to the matter. To her it justifies all her actions, her lies and her misrepresentations. What’s awful and hilarious at the same time is she has allies in this endeavor.
The “deny reality” brigade have so programmed some that they believe that whatever you “believe” to be true is true, even if the reality that everyone else deals in daily says you’re full of beans.
And thus we’re at the point, now being discovered in academia by the left, where “feelings” rule over “reality”.
Lindsey provides us with a quote in closing (remember that he’s talking academia primarily);
“I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas. . . . I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America?”
Who is he quoting? Well someone Dolezal claimed we who wouldn’t “understand” about race should read – W.E.B. Dubose.
I wonder what he’d think of her sham life or the moral relativity she and others champion.
The quote says, at least to me, that he wouldn’t be too friendly to the idea.