The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Exploring ‘Explaining Postmodernism’ By Stephen Hicks 4: Poisoned Enlightenment

Posted on | November 29, 2011 | 4 Comments

by Smitty

Poisoning the Enlightenment for fun and excitement
Our last post was about the first half of the 20th century. Things were nearly interesting with the Postmodernists when, at last, even they realized that Karl Marx was a false prophet. Fortunately for the human race, they PoMo weenies repented of their ways, sought enlightenment, and–wait: which history is this? The PoMo weenies doubled down on dumb, and resurrected an idiot older than Marx.

Postmodernists are not individuals who have reached relativistic conclusions about epistemology and then found comfort in a wide variety of political persuasions. Postmodernists are monolithically Left-wing in their politics. (Hicks, 84)

In other words, shouldn’t we see at least some libertarians? And why couldn’t you be a Postmodern conservative?

The initial Marxist symptoms:

  1. Capitalism is exploitative: The rich enslave the poor; it is brutally competitive domestically and imperialistic internationally.
  2. Socialism, in contrast, is humane and peaceful: People share, are equal, and cooperative.
  3. Captialism is ultmately less productive than socialism: The rich get richer, the poor get poorer; and the ensuing class conflict will cause capitalism’s collapse in the end.
  4. Socialist economics, by contrast, will be more productive and usher in a new era of prosperity. (Hicks, 86-87)

These rectal plucks of the Marxists looked great, until they encountered Economics, History, and the people who drive both. By the mid-20th century, even the biggest rejecters of truth had run out of bogosity.

Responding to truth with crap:

Postmodernism is the academic far Left’s epistemological strategy for responding to the crisis caused by the failures of socialism in theory and in practice. (Hicks, 89)

I disagree with Hicks here. In my opinion, he affords too much benefit of the doubt to the Postmodern, Commie bastards who have really been all about poisoning the capitalist well. They are crapflooders, and deserved to be ignored.

. . .a large part of the explanation of postmodern thought is a shift toward Rosseauian themes by thinkers who were were originally inspired by Marx but who are now increasingly disillusioned. (Hicks, 92)

Civilization is thoroughly corrupting, Rousseau argued–not only the oppressive feudal system of the eighteenth-century France with its decadent a parasitical aristocracy, but also its Enlightenment alternative with its exaltation of reason, property, the arts and sciences. Name a dominant feature of the Enlightenment, and Rousseau was against it. (Hicks, 92)

Rousseau preached that corrosive Noble Savage myth, which has always seemed to be a left-handed way of talking about the Fall in Genesis.
To which I say: shut up. There are plenty of pre-technological places left on the planet. If actually bothered by all this bad, bad technology, then hie thee thereto.

That kingdom of God these Christians await: we can make our own

Passions are an appropriate foundation for society, since onf the the deepest desires tit to believe in relition, and, Rousseau believes, religion is essential to societaly stability. That desire to believe can and must override all Enlightenment objections. (Hicks, 97)

So Rousseau seems to preach a right-brain nanny state as a remedy to all that left brain Enlightenment liberty. Presumably that nanny state will be run by a few enlightened experts, unwind the Fall of man, and usher in Utopia, or at least the European Union.

Where are we now?
To recap, the primal scream of Marxism against the Enlightenment ran out of air in the mid-1950s. Rousseau was used to re-inflate the Bogosity Bubble of Marxism. The #Occupy movment, to the extent it points in any coherent direction, points to a Cloward-Piven course toward Rousseau’s notion of a clean slate for the state.
Meanwhile, it’s all bunk. If a culture is a fine meal for its people, these Postmodernists are the flies, mold, and vermin bent on reducing the culture to nothing. Arguably they are a component of nature.


  1. Introduction
  2. Counter-Enlightenment
  3. Reason Is Over-rated


4 Responses to “Exploring ‘Explaining Postmodernism’ By Stephen Hicks 4: Poisoned Enlightenment”

  1. Anonymous
    November 29th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    Keep going, Smitty!

    But can you put a link up that give Stacy the jingle-jingle when I buy the book?  (do you need a special link for the e-book version?), or at least link me to the link from any post I may have missed?

    Also, thanks for the “Previously” section.  That’s helping me catch up.

  2. Anamika
    November 29th, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

    Consider the ‘hippy days’ of the ’60s, with mind-blown nihilists deliberately ganging up to ‘perform’ in-your-face plays and music for the ranks of hapless ‘straights’, those knuckle-draggers and beer-swilling know-nothings called ‘the great unwashed masses’. ‘You can be anything! See, I am!’ was the party line then.

    Too bad for those who after blowing it all out, had to set out to find it again, but now, in ‘original and perhaps spiritual form’. Nowadays those ‘retired hippies’ form the main mass of sentimentalists, whose nostalgia-gland is over-amped and whose nihilistic attachment to ‘post-modern freedom’ is merely the continuation of an excuse that was never needed in the first place!  

    So first we had ‘surrealism’ and now we have ‘morealism‘, which was founded by Moe of the 3 Stooges. Yep, a poke in the eye and few slaps in the face, capped by a coconut-sounding ‘bonk’ on the head with a giant mallet; that is the gate to ‘Moe-realism’, alright. Just ask Curly!

  3. smitty
    November 29th, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    If you click the link at the bottom of the post and purchase a copy of EP, I actually get a bit of change.

  4. Anonymous
    November 29th, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    Good!  You are the one doing the work with this topic.  Will do.

    Stacy needs to embed some links in his regular posts.  Like the one about the “Redoubt” should have had a mention of, say a decent supplier of dried foods, or some good books, …like the one the author he linked is selling.  I know it takes more work, but so does making out my damn time and expense sheet every two weeks.

    I love this topic, BTW.  I’m noodling on a similar set of articles for a site dealing with Revel’s writing.  If I can get some time.