Postmodernist Politics

Over at Architect and Morality is a discussion as to the political persuasion of postmodernists, querying as to why postmodernists are not conservatives.
Postmodernists (Post-Modernists, if you prefer) glory in their ethos of anti-ethos. Anything goes. Truth is relative. Your perspective and my perspective, though different, aren’t contradictory as much as just different sides of the same issue. This can wreak havoc for those in the truth business, especially the Church. (This may single-handedly be the reason I so adore the Catholic Church as a protestant: it does not hesitate to point out the evil of relativism.) But there may be advantages to such skepticism in the political world.

It Postmodernism has an inherent distrust of authority, of systems and leaders as being the arbiters of truth and order, why would any of them be liberal? (Liberal in the modern sense of the word, not the etymological.) Every day as I hear about scandals in DC, corruption in politics, and power-hungry men and women seeking more power at whatever cost, I think, “This is why government should be small.” This is the easiest solution to the problem of sin in politics. Keep government small enough so as to minimize the amount of damage that can be done. And thank God for the Bill of Rights, which kept big government at bay as long as possible.

The Conservative Movement is still willing to talk about small government, even if NO ONE in Washington seems willing to listen. (Please note, I am not saying Postmodernists should be Republicans, but conservatives. In terms of government spending philosophy, there seems to be an enormous bridge between the two at times.) Isn’t this ideal for Postmodernists, who favor local choice, freedom and autonomy from overarching policies applicable to all people?

Yet, it seems these Postmodernists to the core favor liberalism, the DNC, the party of “choice” and “tolerance.” I wonder if they don’t see the contradictions to their own ideology, the way they end up supporting a growth of government at all levels to somehow ensure more “rights” and “freedom” for all citizens. So instead of favoring Social Security reform, tax cuts and a reversal of Roe v. Wade (which would make it a state issue), they want just the opposite: high taxes, high social security and a federal judicial monopoly on abortion. On the one hand, you will hear these Gen Xers and Yers demand autonomy, and on the other hand demand big government. Maybe they’re just not bright enough to recognize their own contradictions. Is this what Ayn Rand meant when she said there can be no contradictions [if the ideology is sound]?

My response:

Modernists say that there is a new way, a better way. Postmodernists reject modernism because the new way tended to be frequently very western, where modernism originated. In doing so, postmodernists reject not only the old ways as did the modernists but declare that there is no way better than another, whether new or old, east or west. Postmodernists cannot be conservatives. Conservatives are by definition tradionalists and thus is anathema to postmodernists, even worse than the modernists.

With regard to politics and government, political conservatives believe that the old ways of traditions are well ingrained in the individual, as the old ways represent the nature of man, thus a large government is not necessary. Political liberals are like the modernists, believing the old cultural mores are outdated, whether it be the concept of rewards for merit (rather than for just being) or the nature of marriage. As the masses must be made to transition to the new way, the government thus must take steps to enforce the new way. Postmodernists are like the ACLU now, that any restriction of absolute freedom (to be any way at all) is wrong, as it would tacitly endorse a, or a few, ways over others.

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