Let me rant today about Postmodernism and the lack of critical thinkers it is producing…
The idea that merging ideas to form better ones in and of its self is not bad, in fact often times it’s in that combining of ideas that truly great ideas happen. Here’s the problem…(you knew there had to be a problem didn’t you)
The merging of the ideas only really works if you understand fully the two ideas you are merging. Most people don’t have this ability. They are intellectually lazy. This is part of my problem with independents. If you just take a little from each side or just pay attention to one side then you ultimately are going to not be fully informed on anything. Example…independents and others are furious over the debt ceiling debate. They think our spending and our increasing debt is a bad thing because that’s what’s being sold to them. Some economist like Paul Krugman think we should spend to get out of our recession see his letter to Obama at this link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/18/paul-krugman-letter-to-ob_n_158852.html
Look I only want informed debate, not half-baked, poorly thought out platitudes that do nothing to move the country forward. Postmodernism has, I believe taken over our political debate (for a good primer on Postmodernism go to http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/postmodernism/
I think the best way to say this is there are certain epistemological certainties. In other words there are political truths, scientific truths, and cultural truths. There are certain things we can not question their legitimacy. No one is going to argue against gravity, no one is going to question that democracy allows for more freedoms then dictatorship. Postmodernism is making us question the validity of our own epistemological realities. It is important to understand and take into account perspectives from all around the world and from all perspectives. But does that open us up to losing site of our truths? In other words if you open the door will everything fall out?
Look some people on the right get dinged for being to beholden to absolute truths. They have gone in the other direction and shut out the maddening voices of the postmodern revolution. I am not arguing that we do that; I am arguing for some critical thinking and understanding of the issues. Some reflective and substantial study on the political issues that face us, not everyone has to be a political genius and work at a think tank. But by your presence in this class you are expressing an interest in being one of those people who I believe should not solidify your own stance, to the determent of other views. You should not become rigid instead hold firm to your truths but allow other views to reach you and roll around inside you for awhile. This is not to say you are weak or feeble in your intellectual stance. Example…I don’t think anyone who knows me would call me weak are ineffectual in my political stance. I am not only firm in what I believe, but I am able to articulate and understand the opposing views. I will read editorials from Gerson and Parker two mainstay political conservatives who often challenge my assumptions in a good way. I am not going to run out and join the Tea Party, but I find reading the conservative columnist makes me rethink my beliefs and in so doing I become stronger in them. The views I hold in the realm of politics are an absolute truth for me. The views Kathleen Parker holds are an absolute truth for her. We do not let the muddiness of Postmodernism cloud our thoughts making them some lame semblance of a policy idea. No, instead we read and discuss ideas held by others and challenge each others assumptions.
Postmodernism is only good if we become critical thinkers, men and women engaged in the art of learning. To become a critical thinker we must be well read, and allow for growth of our own ideas as well as allow us to be effected opposing ideas.