“Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today. Imagine there's no countries: it isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for; and no religion, too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace.”
This is the postmodern dream, of perfect vacuity -- of the serenity we imagine will sweep over us like sleep. All we need do is abandon everything of value in our heritage, everything for which so many of our ancestors actually fought and died. In this great zero, everyone will be equal, and no person will be better than another. The heroine and the harlot will be one and the same, great saints and great monsters indistinguishable. “Judgementalism” -- the aversion that one individual has behaved better than another -- is, among the vacuous today, the only crime remaining to be punished. And likewise, under the doctrine of “multiculturalism,” there is nothing to choose between one culture and another. They are all just fine, and so far as any particularity can still be distinguished, “everything is beautiful in its own way.”
Warren's article discusses Canada in particular, butCanada is not the only example of the confluence of all the leftist tripe that is overrunning the world.
The political left who promulgate this drivel are completely unaware of the bizarre contradictions they espouse so earnestly. For example, they claim that "all cultures are equally deserving of respect"; but that Western culture is uniquely destructive and bad. They insist that "all truth is relative"; but that postmodernism conveys absolute truth.
And so on. These are the "contradictory discourses" of postmodern rhetoric which drive reasonable people mad when they attempt to have any discussion with a committed leftist. What you get instead of logical argument is subjectivism and relativism in one breath, and then dogmatic absolutism in the next.
By its very nature, postmodern thinking not only facilitates the commonly observed aversion to "Judgmentalism", that Warren mentions, it also functions as an intellectual medium within which psychological denial, delusion, and paranoia thrive.
This last is important to understand because it represents the psychological link between the "Everything is Beautiful-Love-Peace" mentality, and the deranged, over-the-top rage and virulent hatred that breaks through whenever that mentality is thwarted in its goals.
Richard Hofstadter in his essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" states:
What distinguishes the paranoid style is not, then, the absence of verifiable facts (though it is occasionally true that in his extravagaant passion for facts the paranoid occasionally manufactures them), but rather the curious leap in imagination that is always made at some critical point in the recital of events....
The plausability the paranoid style for those who find it plausible lies, in good measure, in this appearance of the more careful, conscientious and seemingly coherent application to detail, the laborious accumulation of what can be taken as convincing evidence for the most fantastic conclusions, the careful preparation for the big lep from the undeniable to the unbelievable.
The singular thing about all this laborious work is that the passion for factual evidence does not, as in most intellectual exchanges have the effect of putting the paranoid spokesman into effective two-way communication with the world outside his group--least of all with those who doubt his views. He has little real hope that his evidence will convince a hostile world. His effort to amass it has rather the quality of a defensive act which shuts off his receptive apparatus and protects him from haavaing to attend to disturbing considerations that do not fortify his ideas. He has all the evidence he needs; he is not a receiver, he is a transmitter.
What is missing from the paranoid style is not facts, but sensible judgment.
The perteninent question is how can any judgments be made--let alone be sensible--when the postmodern constraints on thinking (discussed here and here) demand adherence to a code of moral relativity; and decree that all truth is subjective anyway.
Postmodernism practically celebrates paranoia, projection, denial and distortion as undeniable and fundamental truth.
One of the daunting aspects of the political paranoia that logically flows from the postmodern brain is that it is not entirely out of the realm of the possible; it is just unbelievable in its breathtaking scope to most reasonable people.
In order to believe it, a person would have to accept some pretty far-fetched underlying assumptions - many of them overtly contradictory or even bizarre.
It simply boggles the mind to contemplate all the conspiracy theories constructed about George W. Bush and/or Karl Rove's evil genius. They are blamed even for the sad foolishness of some Democrats' behaviors. Recall, as just one example, the proposed theory that Karl Rove was the originator of the "fake but accurate" Dan Rather/Mary Mapes memo. The idea of this theory was that Rove did it to make Democrats look foolish since it was so obviously a forgery; and that they were "entrapped" into believing it to be real. Except, of course, that the same people who say that piece of nonsense are also unwilling to admit that the forgery is fake and believe there is some "underlying truth" to its contents. Go figure.
Look at all the unbelievable contortions the political left is going through right now to make it seem like George Bush's recent commuting of Scooter Libby's sentence is somehow not an appropriate use of Presidential power, but that Bill Clinton's was.
But as Hofstadter has said, this is the hallmark of the paranoid style--and it is the hallmark of the contradictions inherent in postmodern cognition and rhetoric.
In this "great zero"; this perfect vacuity, there is not a lot that makes any sense. It is, as the Bard has said, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
And once the dream of perfect vacuity is realized for all, nothing will be all that remains.
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