Joseph Campbell and Postmodernism

Joseph Campbell believed that "...each of us has an individual myth that's driving us, which we may or may not know." This forum is for assistance and inspiration in the quest to find your own personal mythology.

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Post by jonsjourney » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:46 pm

It seems that if one sees things as black and white, then things are black and white. It pretty much tosses aside the need for discussion. Just support the black...or support the white. Criticize the flexible thought as the trigger button of the destruction of all that is good and holy in the world...it will make you feel better, so just stick with it. The nice thing about walking in lock step with everyone else is that everybody gets to wear the same boots, which makes it harder for the person whose back is being trampled on to identify the trampler.
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Post by noman » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:53 pm

Romansh speaks the truth, ‘this pomo thread is becoming positively weird.’ But it could never come close to being as weird as pomo philosophy. But we must remember that Romansh’s ‘truth’ is only valid within a certain social system and language game.
noman,

It's been said time and again in this thread, and here goes again--"postmodernism" is not black-and-white. Not all "postmodernists" worship at the feet of Lyotard, Derrida, Foucalt, Baudrillard, or the others who early on offered the most radical perspectives and on whom you rely to form your arguments. And along this line I would encourage you to check out critical postmodernism and post-postmodernism.

Nope, I'm not trying to convince you of anything or offering a personal point of view, but I am encouraging you to look outside the box for the rest of the story.

- Cindy
Cindy – if there were a ‘box’ to be inside of or outside of, then pomo could be defined. And if it could be defined it could be criticized. But so long as it can’t be defined it can’t be criticized – because any criticism can be deflected by saying that whatever it is that is being criticized is not exactly what pomo is. Pomo supporters have been using this technique of saying something like it ‘isn’t so black and white’ from the very beginning. It is called obscurantism.

I have a clear and comprehensive understanding of postmodernism thank you. I’ve read the defenses and promotions of postmodern theory and I understand what can be understood. Noam Chomsky had the academic diplomacy and social grace to say that it may be possible there is something about pomo theory that he doesn’t understand. But he’s one of the greatest scholars of our time – in linguistics for crying out loud. Are we to believe that pomo has something to offer that is just so advanced and so difficult to grasp and so intellectually esoteric, that even Noam Chomsky can’t quite get it? Who do we think we’re kidding?

If you know something about postmodernism , Cindy, that I don’t - then inform me in clear and understandable English. Don’t refer me to more obscurantists who continue to play the same game of pretending to know more by defining less. It doesn’t matter if they call themselves ‘critical’ postmodernists or ‘post’ postmodernists. It‘s just more of the same sleazy game of evasion and pretense. And no, I’m not being narrow-minded about this. I know this game. It’s been going on for forty years. And make no mistake, the more recent stuff isn’t any different than what Derrida and Lyotard and all the other heavy-weights were doing. It’s all variations of obscurantism.

When thirty years of academia are invested in something it is hard to let go.

Needful-to-say - there is a big ugly creature that hides below the surface of this entire discussion. It is the politics of the culture war. Pomo is associated with liberalism and change – especially those changes that began in the late 60s and early 70s. So anyone railing against pomo secretly wants to scrap all those changes so that we can all live like Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver again - or something like that.

I have to insert a personal story here. I don’t usually do this but I think it’s so cute and it illustrates something.

My niece was fourteen years old in 2008 when she came home from school and told her mom about three fights that had broken out at school that day. Her mom said, ‘So what were they fighting over, girls?’ She said, ‘Mom, guys haven’t fought over girls since the Fifties.’

I hope I’m not the only one here that finds that comical. How the hell does a girl born in the mid-nineties know what the Fifties were all about? I’m not even old enough to remember the Fifties. But we all know the 50s. Some how, some way - we just know it. We have to. Because without the 50s we wouldn’t know what we are now. We can only know what we are now, as postmoderns, by what we were, (in our dreams anyway) back then. That’s why when you ask people about postmodernism they say ‘well its sort of this and sort of that, and it’s a lot of competing ideas and we’re sort of in a transition period…. and on and on and on and on.

It’s time for a very serious reality check.

This period, that began around 1970, that we call postmodernism, or post-post if you like, is not going to culminate in some new, revolutionary, myth-ritual system that no one ever thought of before. That is the hippie pipe dream that we need to discard. We have our meta-narratives. They are the same meta-narratives we had before the nightmare of pomo began. They simply have to be updated to reflect a new cosmology. But the sickness of pomo has us clinging onto this idea that any single meta-narrative is oppressive, and we can’t judge anything as being better than anything else because we might hurt someone’s feelings. This idea has got to be trashed lock, stock, and barrel.

Does this make me some 700 Club zealot? – NO! It’s just that we can’t keep pretending that there is something positive about postmodernist philosophy. There is nothing good about it. It offers nothing, nothing positive. Nothing at all. If you don’t believe me then explain to me in plain English something good in pomo philosophy. It is a philosophy that is and was reactionary from its inception. And just like the child that is reactionary to his or her parents there is a point in life where they have to stop ‘reacting’ and say, ‘What is it that I stand for? What is it that I truly believe? After forty years we need to answer that question.

What is it that we stand for?

The year is 2010.

It is time to answer that question.

- NoMan
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Post by jonsjourney » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:02 pm

noman...

Perhaps we would be able to define postmodernism if you/we could define what modernism was. Or define right. Or wrong. Or truth. Or beauty. Or any concept, for that matter. Postmodernism does not own the vague, it exists within it. Such is life. Speaking of life...define it...not literally, of course! :wink:

It's 2010. Perhaps we should get on with moving past the need to define everything around us in concrete terms that eventually end up leading to an infinite regress of everyone giving up and going to their own corner? 8)

I can understand why people do not like POMO, especially folks who like structure. What I cannot understand is the lack of understanding in the other direction. Maybe it is more about structure than understanding.

We need not necessarily like or dislike POMO or any concept. It is what it is. For my part...the value lies in the question, not necessarily the answer. The best part is that it does not matter one bit whether you, or anyone else, likes that. :D
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Post by Cindy B. » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:16 pm

noman wrote:If you know something about postmodernism , Cindy, that I don’t - then inform me in clear and understandable English.
With all due respect, noman, truly, there is more to "postmodernism" than your perspective. Folks who hope to learn something about the topic from reading this thread need to realize that, and I encourage them to research and learn on their own if genuinely interested. As for what I may or may not know, may or may not think about "postmodernism" in its many guises and expressions, it comes from self-study as well as from formal study during my university years, and it seems to me that if you are familiar with critical postmodernism and post-postmodernism, then you've dismissed many of the implications of those points of view. And please note that I did not say, "You just don't get it" as you've repeatedly said to those of us who might disagree with you in some way. :wink: I, instead, am giving you the benefit of the doubt. Last, in reference to your suggestion that I “inform [you] in clear and understandable English” what I might know or think I might know, well, I’m not interested for two reasons: first, the subject area is so vast that I couldn’t presume to do it justice even if I were inclined to put in the time, and, second, my sense is that no matter what I might put up for consideration, you would not give it due consideration because your mind is made up that--in your own words--“Pomo is pure evil.” There’s no room for genuine discussion when this sort of absolutist perspective underlies all, whether this topic or another, and if an understanding of “postmodernism” demands anything, it’s a willingness to suspend judgment and temporarily adopt a relativistic point of view. And please know that by “understanding” I do not mean “acceptance” or “validation,” but that being able to temporarily put oneself into the mind set of another enhances mutual understanding in the long run, even when folks ultimately disagree.

Cindy
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Clemsy » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:29 pm

Evinnra wrote:
Clemsy wrote:
I get the impression that pomo thinkers are like the navel gazing hippy who's vision gets blurred and only comes to realisation of the meta-narrative when a mosquito bites him/her.
You know Evinnra, I really hope that comment isn't directed toward anyone in particular. I really do hope so.
:roll: Oh dear, not again. :oops:

Clemsy, this comment was not directed at anyone in particular, :

Oh, good
. Because given your perspective on the matter, 'pomo thinker' and 'navel gazing hippy' can certainly be considered an insult, regardless of the reference to Buddhist thought, which is not explicit in your post.
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Post by romansh » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:51 pm

Evinnra wrote: You introduced the new word ' ignosticism', Romansh, was it a red herring? Or did we make it into a red herring? :?


Only if we think god is a red herring?

Just a reminder ... the original context of how ignosticism was used.
rom wrote:
Evinnra wrote: ... Second, postmodernists can not even claim to have an accurate monist view of reality as only God can have such view. Despite their wishful thinking , postmodernists are not God.
This is where ignosticism comes in useful,
noman wrote:But we must remember that Romansh’s ‘truth’ is only valid within a certain social system and language game.
Just a clarification ... this is not Romansh's truth, it is just his opinion, an enlightened, erudite, effective and educated one maybe, but just an opinion
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Post by bodhibliss » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:19 pm

Evinnra wrote:I get the impression that pomo thinkers are like the navel gazing hippy who's vision gets blurred and only comes to realisation of the meta-narrative when a mosquito bites him/her. :lol:
I don't want to pile on, but I am a postmodern thinker and a navel-gazing hippie, Evinnra, and feel quite comfortable with my realization of the meta-narative. I know many many navel-gazing hippies, Buddhists, Hindus, and Taoists, none of whom seem to fit the negative stereotype you advance above. I do believe you mean well, but suspect you are confusing drug burnouts with hippies, who in my experience are industrious, productive individuals contributing to the societies in which they live.

However, I do understand that combatting mistaken projections is about as effective as stapling shadows to the wall.

I'm also reticent to be the one to break this news to you, but you and Noman seem to fit your criteria of a postmodern thinker as well, so you might want to think twice before tossing brickbats.


Thanks,
bodhibliss
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Post by Clemsy » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:01 pm

[Clemsy opens the thread... reads.... looks around at the familiar topography... shakes his head. "Yup,' he mutters. "Been here before." Exits, stage left.]
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Post by bodhibliss » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:14 pm

jonsjourney wrote:It seems that if one sees things as black and white, then things are black and white.
Point well taken, Jon. I think of two quotes from Joseph Campbell. The first is from an unpublished draft:
The world reflects the disposition of the human mind: the man within who is troubled resides in a troubled world; who within is brutal meets brutality from every hand; who within is at peace, experiences a harmonious ground-meaning, even in the midst of catastrophe. And precisely the neglected sphere, the despised, will be the agent of Nemesis, for the horizon of one's sympathy is the boundary of one's fate.
And those who see a postmodernist behind every bush?

Campbell expresses the same thought on page 196 of Creative Mythology:
The modern reader will think of the Rohrshach Test, with its inkblots in which different people see different forms, symptomatic of the psychology of their own fantasizing minds. And the world itself, it is said by some, is such an inkblot, into which people read their own minds: the ordered universe, the great course of history and evolution, the norms of human life. There is a great passage to this effect in Ulysses, in the scene where Stephen, in the library, is arguing a point with John Eglinton. "We walk," Stephen states, "through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves."

Stephen Dedalus, in this conversation, has just quoted a line from Maeterlinck: " 'If Socrates leaves his house today he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend.' "
A rather intriguing explanation of shadow projection ...

Some complain that postmodernists believe life has no meaning, no purpose (though that might be confusing existentialism with postmodernism) - a thought with which Campbell is indeed comfortable:
I don't believe life has a purpose. Life is a lot of protoplasm with an urge to reproduce and continue in being. (Power of Myth, p. 284, small paperback edition)

...The mind has to do with meaning. What's the meaning of a flower? ... There's no meaning. What's the meaning of the universe? What's the meaning of a flea? It's just there. That's it. And your own meaning is that you're there. (ibid., p.5)

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. (A Joseph Campbell Companion, p.16)
That is why Campbell points out that what we really should be seeking is not the meaning of life, but "the experience of being alive."

Such thoughts, uttered by someone else, would be labeled "postmodern" (which appears to be used as a pejorative by those doing the labeling). True enough - what postmodern doesn't value the experience of being alive over a nonexistent "objectiive" purpose or meaning to life ...

So do we condemn Campbell too? I don't think so, for his thought is far more nuanced than fits in the the black-and-white box Jon references - and the same is true for a broad range of postmodern thought. Literalism, after all, seems the lone unpardonable sin in the Campbellian universe ...
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Post by jonsjourney » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:17 pm

Stephen...

Thank you for sharing that unpublished draft. It expresses eloquently Joe's "Thou art That" viewpoint in another way. We walk where our feet take us. Not only are we "it" in terms of being an individual manifestation of the divine, we are also "it" in how we see the divine.
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Post by Evinnra » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:54 am

romansh wrote:
Evinnra wrote: You introduced the new word ' ignosticism', Romansh, was it a red herring? Or did we make it into a red herring? :?


Only if we think god is a red herring?

Just a reminder ... the original context of how ignosticism was used.
rom wrote:
Evinnra wrote: ... Second, postmodernists can not even claim to have an accurate monist view of reality as only God can have such view. Despite their wishful thinking , postmodernists are not God.
This is where ignosticism comes in useful,
noman wrote:But we must remember that Romansh’s ‘truth’ is only valid within a certain social system and language game.
Just a clarification ... this is not Romansh's truth, it is just his opinion, an enlightened, erudite, effective and educated one maybe, but just an opinion
OK, if you are back on track and 'ignosticism' was not a red herring .... I think I am back on track too. Loved it how you described you wife's reaction to the question regarding the meaning of life on the other thread. :lol:

Indeed, as long as we know that our opinion is just that and Truth is something else, we have the fundation for good communication. 8)
'A fish popped out of the water only to be recaptured again. It is as I, a slave to all yet free of everything.'
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Post by Evinnra » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:53 am

bodhibliss wrote:
Evinnra wrote:I get the impression that pomo thinkers are like the navel gazing hippy who's vision gets blurred and only comes to realisation of the meta-narrative when a mosquito bites him/her. :lol:
I don't want to pile on, but I am a postmodern thinker and a navel-gazing hippie, Evinnra, and feel quite comfortable with my realization of the meta-narative. I know many many navel-gazing hippies, Buddhists, Hindus, and Taoists, none of whom seem to fit the negative stereotype you advance above. I do believe you mean well, but suspect you are confusing drug burnouts with hippies, who in my experience are industrious, productive individuals contributing to the societies in which they live.

However, I do understand that combatting mistaken projections is about as effective as stapling shadows to the wall.

I'm also reticent to be the one to break this news to you, but you and Noman seem to fit your criteria of a postmodern thinker as well, so you might want to think twice before tossing brickbats.


Thanks,
bodhibliss
:oops: Please accept my most sincere apology if my words offended you Bodhi. :oops:

You must know that I love you like a brother, as a matter of fact, I've been stalking your posts on this board for over 6 years by now! If that does not prove how highly I think of your person then what does? Your knowledge of Joseph Campbell's work and your delicious 'verbosity' is one of the two main reasons why I am keep coming back here. :)

However, I must respectfully disagree with you on your claim that NoMan and my self are postmodernists without knowing it. I'd rather think that it is you who is not really a postmodernist while you might think that you are. I would think that a postmodernist is a person who is happy to leave questions open without so much as attempting to find resolution. A person - hippy or not - who admits to have values therefore can't really be classified as postmodernist. A hippy might be a free and liberal thinker, but it does NOT necessarily follow that s/he is a postmodernist as well. I too fancy my self to be a free and liberal thinker and do not equate liberalism with postmodernism at all. If I am not mistaken that is what NoMan intended to highlight as well, that liberalism is not the same as postmodernism. It is neo-liberalism that advocates free market policy that rely in turn on postmodernist justification of endless rhetoric to conceal lack of content. As I see it, Liberalism stems from the modernist ideal of the Enlightenment project and although it is true that absolutely any ideal can be used and abused, as I know you I think you too would agree that lack of positive direction ought not mean that embracing anarchy is justifiable.

Liberalism;

In general, the belief that it is the aim of politics to preseve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice. In common with socialism and conservatism, it emerged from the conjunction of the Enlightenment the Industrial Revolution and the political revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Liberalism retains a faith in the possibilities of improvement in present social conditions, which is related to the idea of progress widely accepted in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. That idea embraced the prospects for developments in knowledge, in welfare, and in morality. Although the confidence in the prospects for progress in some of these respects has now diminished (see post-modernism), liberalism remains an ameliorative ambition. The Enlightenment also shaped liberalism's perception of human agency, conceived as (at least potentially) rational and responsible. ....

(Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan (1996) The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics, Oxford University Press, p.309)
It is still a puzzle for me; why can it be claimed that if one is not endlessly deconstructing the fundations of one's own epistemology, then one is not a free thinker? I could go as dogmatic as stating that there is God and all ought to beware of how they go about conducting their lives, but a dogmatic stance like that still would not stop me asking questions if I wanted to. Were there no thinkers before postmodernism?
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Post by noman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:28 am

…in [NoMan’s] own words--“Pomo is pure evil.” There’s no room for genuine discussion when this sort of absolutist perspective underlies all...

- Cindy


* * * * * * *

I'm also reticent to be the one to break this news to you, but you [Evinnra] and Noman seem to fit your criteria of a postmodern thinker[s]…

- Bodhi
By Jove, you two have got it. I can’t speak for Evinnra here. Only myself. And Bodhi and Cindy are in no way obligated to agree with each other. But I respect both of them for their education and smarts. Cindy said that in order to understand pomo one must have, “a willingness to suspend judgment and temporarily adopt a relativistic point of view.” In other words one must become a pomo thinker in order to understand postmodernism. Try that with any other 'ism'. In order to understand communism you must temporarily become a communist thinker. In order to understand epicurianism you must first become an epicurian thinker. I feel as though I can understand an 'ism' without becoming one. Only in pomo philsophy does the distincition between knowing and being become blurred. Because there is no doctine or values as such. There is only skepticism of philosophy and 'a willingness to suspend judgment and adopt a relativistic point of view'. That actually sounds like a pretty good definition of pomo. I know what it is. I just don't like it. The way I don't like the ancient Cynics philosophy for example. I understand Cynicism. (the ancient philsophy, not the modern connotation)

Cindy also says I have an ‘absolutist perspective’. Then Bodhi adds that I fit the criteria for a pomo thinker. In Bodhi’s and Cindy’s assertions a better example of pomo philosophy could not be found. I can be an absolutist, AND be a pomo thinker all at once. I agree with both of them. (But not with Cindy that I don't understand pomo philosophy.)

I keep going back to what JJ said, but it is only because it is such a great example. There are millions of people that would say the same or similar things.
I have to say that your characterization of postmodern thinkers is offensive. Nobody called a modernist thinker a narrow-minded, bible-thumping, sexist/racist, land-stealing, genocide committing, slave-owner.

- JJ (page 1)
He was defending pomo in contrast to modernism. But I haven’t found anything peculiar to pomo philosophy that expresses values to improve the human condition. Socrates, Erasmus, Voltaire, and Chomsky have all questioned authority and the status quo. I’ve never heard anyone identify them as being postmodernists, but rather as people expressing values they felt were superior. Philosophy is all about questioning the status quo. My take on pomo is no less passionate than JJ's:
Pomo is pure evil.

Pomo is reactionary and destructive. It is also self contradictory and self-destructive. It advocates nihilism and anarchy, anti-rationalism, anti-intellectualism, and judgmentaphobia. It is the manifestation of what T.S. Eliot called ‘the wasteland’, and what Spengler called ‘the decline of the West’. Reality is denied. Truth is denied. Value is denied. Progress is denied. Humanity is no better than inhumanity, no better than no humanity because it’s all, like, relative man. If God is metaphorically represented by infinity, pomo is represented by negative infinity, because there is always more to deconstruct, always more to label as absurd. When anarchy and chaos rein all distinctions, all thoughts, and any rationalizing that is left – they too will be dissolved into an amorphous mass of meaningless memes. (page 3)

- NoMan
From a postmodern perspective, both JJ’s view and my view are equally valid.

"Postmodern" has become a buzzword - a Rorschach inkblot into which we pour our own projections, pro and con.

- BodhiBliss
Yes! And it seems to me that what’s good for the gander is gravy for the goo… I mean… what’s gravy for the gander, or the goose… … oh, y’all know that saying. You can’t have your goose and eat it too. And that is what pomo is all about. I know this attitude. I know this game. I grew up with it. Especially in California. It makes me sick. Relativism when needed. Absolutism when needed. And both are perfectly legitimate according to postmodernism. It became a legitimized form of hypocrisy through the power structure of the universities and also a form of intellectual pretentiousness. Anyone like me who would ‘call their bluff’ so to say, would be dismissed (as Cindy dismissed me) as a person who doesn’t really understand all the nuances of postmodern philosophy. Anti-pomos, such as myself, return favor:

…critics of "postmodernism" claim for themselves the right to define postmodernism, claim those who don't accept their premises "just don't get it,"…

- Bodhi
I understand why Cindy wouldn’t waste her time trying to explain it to me. That’s a lot of work. But I can also understand why she wouldn’t even to bother to direct me to books or authors that know pomo well and get it right and could lift me out of my ignorance. Because it’s futile. From a pomo perspective all that matters is ‘the will’; the will to go with it, the will to deny it, the will to power.

Objective knowledge, objective truth, or objective justice isn’t going to be respected or acknowledged in pomo philosophy. From what I've read, this game has ravaged the humanities and social science departments in American universities for over thirty years and has taken its toll on society at large.

There is one quote in this thread that will haunt me for a long time to come. America has a handful of the top universities in the world. One of those universities is UC Berkeley. And a well known philosophy professor at that university for several decades was
John Searle:

By definition, a university has to strive for the best. But the best means that some things are better than others – some professors are better than others. Some books are better than other books. Some ideas are intelligent other ideas are stupid. And a university has to be committed to quality…. (1999)

- John Searle (from page 1 of this thread)
It’s almost incomprehensible that a university professor finds it necessary to say something like this. Yet I understand why he said it. For all our competitiveness, we still like to maintain a myth that no one thing is better than anything else; not aesthetically, not ethically, or any other way.

Our postmodern culture has made accessible to us the myths of every cultureand gives equal weight to each.

- BodhiBliss (italics and bold BodhiBliss’s)
Head-hunters in New Guinea. Large scale, institutionalized, and brutal human sacrifice of captured enemies by the Aztecs. How the west was won, Amerindians decimated by EuroAmericans. The mythology of Nazi Germany in the 30s and 40s. All of these mythologies have ‘equal weight’ according to pomo. This is what pomo philosophy advocates; the complete devaluation of objective values. It applies to statements of fact as well. We mustn’t judge.
The world is a mess, it's always been a mess, and always will be a mess, so why the hell get so worked up over it?

- BodhiBliss
But according to pomo, why not get riled? According to pomo it was legitimate for JJ to complain about Western culture before pomo came to the rescue. According to pomo it was legitimate for me to rail against the nihilism of pomo. According to pomo, your attitude Bodhi, is legitimate as well: Why get worked up either way? That’s sort of what I had in mind when I wrote about ‘Pomo Paul’ in my opening post. That was the pomo attitude many of us adopted growing up on the west coast in the 60s and 70s. Just go with the flow and take care of ME.

Unfortunately, many who come to this forum interpret ‘follow your bliss’ in this way; as a mantra of Me-ism. I don’t believe that. I don’t think you believe that Bodhi. I don’t think anyone here truly believes that all values are equal; that for example, all judicial systems, that emanate from, and reflect a mythology, are equal. So why not cut the BS and admit it. The sooner we do, in my ad nauseating opinion, the sooner we will climb our way out of the nightmare of pomo.

- NoMan
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Post by Evinnra » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:15 am

noman wrote:
But I haven’t found anything peculiar to pomo philosophy that expresses values to improve the human condition. Socrates, Erasmus, Voltaire, and Chomsky have all questioned authority and the status quo. I’ve never heard anyone identify them as being postmodernists, but rather as people expressing values they felt were superior. Philosophy is all about questioning the status quo. My take on pomo is no less passionate than JJ's:
Amen to that NoMan.

Perhaps the reason why pomo .... (avoiding bad word here :wink: ) think that only they can question the establishment is that they are so much against the validity of received knowledge from authoritative sources that it literally transforms them into super-anarchists. As a mother I do know what to do with a hysterical toddler when s/he trows a tantrum in the middle of a shopping centre. But I don't know what to do with grown adults who are eloquent, manifestly capable of rational thought and probably exceeding me in size - other than try to appeal to their common sense.

By definition, a university has to strive for the best. But the best means that some things are better than others – some professors are better than others. Some books are better than other books. Some ideas are intelligent other ideas are stupid. And a university has to be committed to quality…. (1999)

- John Searle (from page 1 of this thread)
This quote is worth repeating again. If universities are run by the politically correct, the end result will be the general corruption of the human mind. To avoid that corruption, we could turn to the internet for education, just like we turn to the internet for keeping in touch with the world. Not long ago I remember reading the complaints of a good journalist that proper journalism is going to go extinct if the television stations do not allow for the survival of journalistic integrity.
Unfortunately, many who come to this forum interpret ‘follow your bliss’ in this way; as a mantra of Me-ism. I don’t believe that. I don’t think you believe that Bodhi. I don’t think anyone here truly believes that all values are equal; that for example, all judicial systems, that emanate from, and reflect a mythology, are equal. So why not cut the BS and admit it. The sooner we do, in my ad nauseating opinion, the sooner we will climb our way out of the nightmare of pomo.

- NoMan
Good point NoMan! One of the most striking features of postmodernist relativism for ME is that it creates 'politically correct' yet thoroughly un-lovable individuals. What can I actually love about a person if s/he is not a REAL person? If s/he is faithful to certain values, ideals, methods of discrimination, even if I happen to disagree with him/her I can relate to him/her quite easily. Relativism takes the spine out of the person hece the act of relating to this person becomes impossible - quite simply because there is nothing particular about a relativist/nihilist postmodernist. :roll:

I love loving people. :P
'A fish popped out of the water only to be recaptured again. It is as I, a slave to all yet free of everything.'
http://evinnra-evinnra.blogspot.com
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noman
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Post by noman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:15 am

Evinnra – pomo has fueled the dark side of Left. I have plenty of examples of truth and justice being ignored for the sake of ‘political correctness.’ But it’s important to keep in mind that the ‘Right’ has followed their act – in the name of conservatism. Sure, the media has been a strong Left advocate – before cable took over. (I don’t know what you call it there in Aussieland - 150 channels.) But two wrongs don’t make a right. The Right has no right to partake in the same disrespect for truth.

I agree with Bodhi when he said this phenomenon affects left, right, and center. And I didn’t intend this thread to be simply another culture war thread.

To understand the mythological undercurrent of what is happening, at least in America, superman comes to mind. Nietzsche’s superman was the man who discarded religion and all of that herd mentality stuff. He could rise to the height of his potential by way of his own inner strength and commitment. The only problem is that this philosophy of individual motivation and self-made purpose helped lead to one of the greatest herd mentality episodes in all of history with the rise of Nazi Germany.

A couple of comic book illustrators in the U.S. picked up on Nietzsche’s superman image. They designed a comic book character. He was at first a sort of evil genius. But in the course of the Second World War Superman morphed into a hero of American mythology, helping to defeat the foreign enemies. The old black and white films of Superman from the 50s always began with a slogan that Superman fought for ‘Truth, Justice, and the American Way.’

Well, in the modern versions of Superman in the 80s, after Vietnam and all, ‘the American Way’ sounded silly. After all, Superman is from another planet. The many cultures on earth each have their own mythology. And they are all of equal value.

I don’t know if Superman still fights for truth and justice. My guess is all those liberal pomos in the news room have convinced Clark Kent that ‘truth’ just isn’t worth fighting for anymore. Nor is justice. Not in a world that ‘is a mess, has always been a mess, and always will be a mess.’

Postmodernism has been more devastating than Kryptonite.

- NoMan
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