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Thread: WHAT END DOES POST MODERNISM SERVE?

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    WHAT END DOES POST MODERNISM SERVE?

    Hi! I'm actually in the same class as Syretta and I also have a question regarding Post Modernism. Simply: What end does post modernism serve? It cannot be to identify truth because post modernists are the fastest to point out the arbitrary nature of truth. It can not be to find meaning because of the same reasons as before. So what end does it serve to prove that reality, identity, meaning and truth are all relative to one's own social, cultural and environmental "training" or "construct". Once you deconstruct just about everything including your own upbringing and what you were brought up with it seems that all you are left with is a meaningless mess. Or perhaps the post modernists main point is to show that everything really has no meaning unless we put meaning to it? Anyways I was just wondering what other people thought and would really appreciate help on this. Thanks!
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    Or perhaps the post modernists main point is to show that everything really has no meaning unless we put meaning to it
    That is exactly it. I think the postmodernists' aim is to make people understand that those big, amorphous ideals passed down through the ages are just ideals, not really meaningful in themselves. Human agency is what gives those ideas any meaning whatsoever.
    "I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."--Walt Whitman

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by KLO
    Or perhaps the post modernists main point is to show that everything really has no meaning unless we put meaning to it
    That is exactly it. I think the postmodernists' aim is to make people understand that those big, amorphous ideals passed down through the ages are just ideals, not really meaningful in themselves. Human agency is what gives those ideas any meaning whatsoever.
    In other words, postmodernism has no end. It's an interrogation that goes on forever----it has to. It tries to prompt change, but usually it just advocates a radical rethinking of everything. The term 'human agency' reminds me of Roland Bleiker. Bleiker says that actions such as political protest and legislation are entirely ineffective (they just mask the problem), the only way to get to the source of atrocities like racism and imperialism is to change the way we think about them. Oh, yeah, but if you ever tried to read Bleiker you probably wouldn't be able to catch that, he's a semantic nazi. So it goes . . .


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    Filling the coffers of paper magnates and inflating the ego's of college undergraduates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdoRinbo
    In other words, postmodernism has no end.
    Yes, postmodernism is completely pointless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrandy
    Hi! I'm actually in the same class as Syretta and I also have a question regarding Post Modernism. Simply: What end does post modernism serve? It cannot be to identify truth because post modernists are the fastest to point out the arbitrary nature of truth. It can not be to find meaning because of the same reasons as before. So what end does it serve to prove that reality, identity, meaning and truth are all relative to one's own social, cultural and environmental "training" or "construct". Once you deconstruct just about everything including your own upbringing and what you were brought up with it seems that all you are left with is a meaningless mess. Or perhaps the post modernists main point is to show that everything really has no meaning unless we put meaning to it? Anyways I was just wondering what other people thought and would really appreciate help on this. Thanks!
    Fatrandy and all the others who contributed to this thread above here - You are all absolutley right. Not only is it useless, but taken to its logical conclusion is nihilistic and detrimental to culture and society. You might all be interested in the debate that is going on in the thread titled "Language as Control".
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Does the fact that there is no one purpose to something automatically render it useless? Does everything have to have an easily identifiable goal to be meaningful?
    But the time ain't tall, yet on time you depend
    And no word is possessed by no special friend
    And though the line is cut it ain't quite the end,
    I'll just bid farewell till we meet again.
    - Bob Dylan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil
    Fatrandy and all the others who contributed to this thread above here - You are all absolutley right. Not only is it useless, but taken to its logical conclusion is nihilistic and detrimental to culture and society. You might all be interested in the debate that is going on in the thread titled "Language as Control".
    Isn't it ironic that something that professes to be marxist, to some degree, is fundamentally nihilistic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by beer good
    Does the fact that there is no one purpose to something automatically render it useless? Does everything have to have an easily identifiable goal to be meaningful?
    The apparent goal of postmodernism to to undercut everything.

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    Kindly plush cthulhu beer good's Avatar
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    So it does have a goal then? If so, how can it be pointless?

    (And apparent to whom?)
    Last edited by beer good; 01-08-2006 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Typed too quickly
    But the time ain't tall, yet on time you depend
    And no word is possessed by no special friend
    And though the line is cut it ain't quite the end,
    I'll just bid farewell till we meet again.
    - Bob Dylan

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    Quote Originally Posted by beer good
    So it does have a goal then? If so, how can it be pointless?

    (And apparent to whom?)
    Ironicly again postmodernism also seeks to undercut itself, which may be the a point, if the goal is nihilism. It is apparent to me.

    I will confess that I should have stated my assumption that I consider it pointless to attempt to defeat oneself.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL
    Isn't it ironic that something that professes to be marxist, to some degree, is fundamentally nihilistic?
    Isn't Marxism nihilistic? I always thought so since it never posits a meaning to life beyond the historical struggle to control materialistic factors. In that respect it's just as nihilistic as capitalist ideology, which believes that he who dies with the most wealth wins the game of life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starrwriter
    Isn't Marxism nihilistic? I always thought so since it never posits a meaning to life beyond the historical struggle to control materialistic factors. In that respect it's just as nihilistic as capitalist ideology, which believes that he who dies with the most wealth wins the game of life.
    If that's how you define nihilism, then everything is nihilism. If marxism "never posits a meaning to life beyond the historical struggle to control materialistic factors", then it is not nihilistic.
    from dictionary.com,
    Nihilism
    1A. " 1. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
    1B. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
    2. Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief.
    3. The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement."

    If one accepts those as valid definitions of nihilism, then postmodernism is nihilistic under definitions 2 and 3, but marxism is not nihilistic under any of those definitions.

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    Postmodernism, to me, has always seemed to be an artistic cop-out. Not to say that it is a bad one though. Some artistic mediums in the post-modern theory seem to be quite excelent to me, and do infact have distinctive purpose. I can't seem to find it in post modern poetry though. The poetry has always upset me because the beetnicks (and similar PM poets) are not nearly good enough to compose somthing as complex as a sonnet while getting across the main point or emotion. However, I do like post-modern music and some drama.
    The rest seems to be art (lit) for its own sake. In this way it plays artistically with the art, not the subject. All puncta and no studium.
    At least thats what i see in it ... so far.
    Irish poets, learn your trade!
    -Yeats

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL
    If that's how you define nihilism, then everything is nihilism. If marxism "never posits a meaning to life beyond the historical struggle to control materialistic factors", then it is not nihilistic.
    from dictionary.com,
    Nihilism
    1A. " 1. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
    1B. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
    2. Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief.
    3. The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement."

    If one accepts those as valid definitions of nihilism, then postmodernism is nihilistic under definitions 2 and 3, but marxism is not nihilistic under any of those definitions.
    Yes, I don't think Marxism is nihilistic, just bad economics. It's the post modern theory that if taken to its logical conclusion is nihilistic. I don't know if Marx would even agree with the post modernists if he were alive today. From what I remember, he seemed to disagree with the communists of his day too.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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