Date of publication: 2017-08-30 18:52
Postmodernism is not a movement, it's a general attitude. So there is no agreed list of characteristics that define postmodernist art. But we must start somewhere, so here are a few selected pointers.
The word Derbyshire emphasizes, in his own penumbra of commentary, and in antecedent writings, is not ‘flight’ or ‘panic’, but despair. When asked by blogger Vox Day whether he agreed that the ‘race card’ had become less intimidating over the past two decades, Derbyshire replies :
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In European classical antiquity, democracy was recognized as a familiar phase of cyclical political development, fundamentally decadent in nature, and preliminary to a slide into tyranny. Today this classical understanding is thoroughly lost, and replaced by a global democratic ideology, entirely lacking in critical self-reflection, that is asserted not as a credible social-scientific thesis, or even as a spontaneous popular aspiration, but rather as a religious creed, of a specific, historically identifiable kind:
Obama, forced to confront the failures of managerialism, seems to have sincerely sought to be a transformative figure outside of the conventional policy consensus. Indeed, in certain respects he even presented himself as a “nationalist.” But Obama mistook superficial partisan disputes (“Red America and Blue America”) for the fundamental fissure in American politics between the managerial elite and the rest of society. As a result, he more often than not served as an unconscious partisan of the managerial class and further entrenched managerialist policies.
Others went much further. At the Examiner, James Gibson seized upon “John Derbyshire’s vile racist screed” as the opportunity to teach a wider lesson – “the danger of conservatism divorced from Christianity”:
* Libertarians / constitutionalists account for 75% of the SPLC ‘Radical Right’ watch list (Chuck Baldwin, Michael Boldin, Tom DeWeese, Alex Jones, Cliff Kincaid, and Elmer Stewart Rhodes)
Still, it should not be forgotten that neoconservatism triumphed over the various forms of the “old Right”—probably because it at least contained some appreciation of the transformations taking place in the economy and offered some pragmatic policy responses to them. The old Right, whether it emphasized a purely libertarian aspect or one of the many shades of cultural traditionalism, avoided some of the contradictions of neoconservatism, but, insofar as it ignored the true nature and sources of economic power, it was always doomed to futility.
Google is overkill. A little link-trawling will get you there. It’s a ‘six degrees of separation’ problem (and more like two, or less). Start digging into the actually existing ‘reactosphere’, and things get quite astoundingly ugly very quickly. Yes, there really is ‘hate’, panic, and disgust, as well as a morbidly addictive abundance of very grim, vitriolic wit, and a disconcertingly impressive weight of credible fact (these guys just love statistics to death). Most of all, just beyond the horizon, there’s the black hole. If reaction ever became a popular movement, its few slender threads of bourgeois (or perhaps dreamily ‘aristocratic’) civility wouldn’t hold back the beast for long.
So what is this ‘problem’? How is it developing? Why should anybody outside America be concerned about it? Why raise the topic now (if ever)? – If your heart is sinking under the gloomy suspicion this is going to be huge, meandering, nerve-wracking, and torturous, you’re right. We’ve got weeks in this chamber of horrors to look forward to.
The imported cliché was not only easy to teach. “Less is more” unless less, already less, already little, becomes less than nothing at all and “much ado about nothing.”