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Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault By Stephen R. C. Hicks

Postmodernism is something I think everyone already knows about but perhaps they don’t know that is what they are seeing. Everyone seems to know that the meaning of words is changing, that reality is being bent, that once respected institutions are being called wrong and evil and oppressive. People see this going on. There’s a reason and a name behind the driving philosophy of these changes, it’s postmodernism. That’s the name you can put on your despair. knowledge is the best weapon against it. That starts with understanding your enemy.

It reminds me of this quote from Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

This book is one piece in your battle plan against the encroachment on your liberty. They hope that people won’t see it coming or that they will accept the loss of freedom as a necessary evil required to give X-group equality and justice from your oppression of them.

“Tracing postmodernism from its roots in Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant to their development in thinkers such as Michel Foucault and Richard Rorty, philosopher Stephen Hicks provides a provocative account of why postmodernism has been the most vigorous intellectual movement of the late 20th century. Why do skeptical and relativistic arguments have such power in the contemporary intellectual world? Why do they have that power in the humanities but not in the sciences? Why has a significant portion of the political Left – the same Left that traditionally promoted reason, science, equality for all, and optimism – now switched to themes of anti-reason, anti-science, double standards, and cynicism? Explaining Postmodernism is intellectual history with a polemical twist, providing fresh insights into the debates underlying the furor over political correctness, multiculturalism, and the future of liberal democracy. This expanded edition includes two additional essays by Stephen Hicks, *Free Speech and Postmodernism* and *From Modern to Postmodern Art: Why Art Became Ugly*.”

Here’s the short primer on a very long topic.

Premodern (Medievalism) – Deity/Supernatural – God – Original Sin – Predestination – Faith – The world explained through the lens of God

Modern (Enlightenment) – Individualism – Reason – Nature – Observation and Perception – Human Autonomy – Religion still exists – Classical Liberalism – Equality of Class – Democracy – Anti-Racism – Anti-Sexism – Anti-Slavery – Free Market Capitalism

Postmodern – Rejects Modernism – Says age of Faith and Age of Enlightenment are dead. Rejects reason. Rejects individualism. Must attack results of those things. No natural reality. Subjectivism. Collectivism (class, race, groups). Communism. No meaning. No objectivity. Rhetoric.

Of course there is much more to it than that. You can listen to the author read his own book for free or purchase a copy of the book for yourself. I’m a reader so I own the book. It’s not expensive. I like to go back, highlight things, and share quotes so that’s best for me. If you are good listening in your car, then the audio is for you.

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