Ideological Rebranding

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the only one you @version mentioned that's really a conscious rebranding in the sense you mean is postmodernism equals "nothing is true"

that process began decades ago with campus reactionaries i.e. people like Allan Bloom

often aided, it has be said, by many postmodernists' love affair with obfuscatory, impenetrable jargon etc
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
there are individual postmodernists for whom nothing is true is accurate - i.e. Paul de Man

but that says more about Paul de Man than it does postmodernism, as someone correctly said in another thread awhile back
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
telephone effect baby

discourse gets diluted as it trickles down, this is the inevitable way of things, no original seed goes un-mis-represented
there's an originator tier
disciples tier (inner circle)
outer circle
grifters
ted talks
dilettantes
college kids at home for turkeyday
You can go more or less directly to the original tier though. People just don't bother to. You don't need Jordan Peterson to tell you what he thinks postmodernism is. You can just go and read Jameson or whoever.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
The Nazis actually being on the left's a more recent one
"socialism's in the name"

of course they and their predecessors spent the entire post-WWI era through the mid-30s fighting pitched street battles with the actual Left

that idea's been around for awhile, I remember people like Dinesh D'Souza peddling it 10 years ago or more

I'd bet it long predates that too
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I always wonder how many people taking these positions genuinely believe the talking points themselves and how many are just consciously trying to sow discord and pull the overton window to the right.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
You can go more or less directly to the original tier though. People just don't bother to. You don't need Jordan Peterson to tell you what he thinks postmodernism is. You can just go and read Jameson or whoever.
no, the compression/synopsis is important, it's about how it gets synopsized
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
Jameson isn't even the person to understand postmodernism; if you wanna understand the gestalt JBP is gesturing at you gotta read Lyotard, Butler, Bourdieu, Foucault, Derrida, and get a sense of their philosophy and how it's changed thinking in the humanities/social sciences (multiple of those names are among the top most cited thinkers ever; the influence is real). that's a big project. it isn't reasonable to expect everyone to do that project, when there are so many projects, so many schools and positions
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
I suppose I'm slightly contradicting myself by saying the influence is large, and also there are many things to know about, but, it's true! their influence is large, and there are many things to know about, and none of those thinkers are accessible; they take context, a sense of the progression of ideas that led to them; you need to understand how their positions are situated—as reactions to structuralism & modernism. it's not so easy as saying "oh, just go to the text," come now
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
anyway, it doesn't matter what some hypothetical individual "should" do, the reality is that serious engagement requires serious engagement; every idea is just waiting to slip out of context and cause mischief; every idea is just waiting to be watered down and resold; everyone wants the sparknotes, no one wants to do the homework; this is how life is, how could we complain about it?
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
by the time it hits the mainstream, the moment's already changed; the thirty-year delay means the medicine no longer fits the ailment; it's a tricky pill. Latour talks about this in "Why Has Critique Run Out Of Steam"
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Fair point. I think at some point you do have to just go to the text though. You can only read around something for so long before you just have to read the thing itself. That assumes a certain amount of good faith engagement though whereas I get the impression the people railing against postmodernism via Peterson aren't really interested in learning about postmodernism.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Fair point. I think at some point you do have to just go to the text though. You can only read around something for so long before you just have to read the thing itself. That assumes a certain amount of good faith engagement though whereas I get the impression the people railing against postmodernism via Peterson aren't really interested in learning about postmodernism.
Yeah I tend to think that, in general, its tough to meaningfully oppose something if you don't understand its momentum - or at least begin to understand it. Without understanding it, your conception of it can hardly amount to more than a straw man, no?

And suspendedreason is right about the postmodern and poststructural stuff and how dense it is. At certain depths there, you're pretty much having to systematically contrive the ground on which you walk, each step an assertion - seeing as the whole lot of it is mired in psychoanalysis, school of suspicion, no?

And its easier to disregard it if you don't understand what is trying to be done. What is trying to be done? Systematically finding the "whys" of numbingly circuitous and nebulous things, like how the psyche formulates the world, cleaving to the zero-point of meaning, breaking out of hierarchical sensibilities, etc.

Things that have theoretical value, and can meaningfully change how you think about things. But a lot of it seems to be meant for readers already primed for its density, rather than oriented around ground-level intuitive explanations.

@suspendedreason what ends can you discern among poststructural discourse? Are these ends the result of some phase shift undergone by the ends of modernity? What use are they to those among us who aren't versed? Common/intuitive lessons to be extracted?

Can we think of "postmodern" as describing the placement of the discourse in the meta-narrative, and "poststructural" as describing the impetus of the discourse?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Oh yeah, I'm not saying its unreadable, just that you have to care enough to have the patience to get through it, especially when a given text has thirteen antecedent texts across some number of disciplines.

I'm not too concerned with Peterson, all things considered. If he can function as a gateway to this stuff, good. As you say, he hardly suffices as a substitute.

But that depends on what kind of understanding you need, what you are trying to do. If you are trying to sound like you know what you are talking about, perhaps Peterson will suffice. I'm sure that end is met quite nicely by many of his viewers.

But if some part of you is locked up in trying to understand this stuff, the most someone like that can give you is an initial boost, no?

I watched a whole course-worth of his lectures, without even knowing he was a thing. "Personality and its Transformations", University of Toronto. Appeals very strongly to game-oriented advancement of spirit/mind.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
On whose part? Has postmodernism ever actually said that?
my original comment was in reference to guys like Baudrillard, Delueze, Pynchon, Gaddis- all types to explicitly talk about the phenomenon of information becoming a caricature of itself as it spreads, e.g. simulacra, simulation, entropy, or Gaddis's existential tip.
 
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