It appears to me, that many of the writers and thinkers who are lumped under these, largely nonsensical, monikers, are missing the Point.
While I find many of their Critiques of Modernism quite compelling, it feels, mostly, Reactionary. I, too, am coming around to reject the Universalism that was inherent in the Enlightenment Project…as I’ve said, the EP inherited this from the Religious Certainty that came before…and, it seems, in order to supplant that Unenlightened Order, it was felt, however unconsciously, that the ability to Universalise Everything was essential.
I disagree, for the most part.
While Natural Science, and Mathematics do, indeed, seem to fit well with Universalism (2+2=4, in all corners of the universe, or Gravity is the same, everywhere)…I think that it is hubristic to insist on this standpoint. We can suspect, but not Know what is happening on the “other side” of the Universe…we cannot even Know that there Is another “Side”.
In my Thinking on these matters, I keep coming up against this Wall of Unknowing, where most Philosophers begin Freaking Out, and making all manner of Assumptions, that they then disguise as “Analysis”. Although I find this terribly Dishonest, I do not think that it is Meant to be so…it’s part of the Way we do things…part of the “Structure” of our wrestling match with the Universe.
Man has never been comfortable with Not Knowing…and this has driven all of our exploits and triumphs, from the wheel, to Einstein. Every hundred years or so, someone stands up and announces that we , finally, Know It All! We Have It Figured Out! So, Relax!
Sometimes it’s Political, like Fukyama’s “Last Man” standing at the “End of History”…more often, it seems to be an unconscious Weariness with the Chase after Understanding….when someone happens upon a Theory that seems to satisfy whatever new discoveries, or events, had thrown everything once more into doubt, it is cheered as The Answer.
Unnoticed, and not always Willfully, is the presence of Assumptions.
Even Kant, with his Rigor, was subject to Assumptions.
The world is exceedingly Complex, after all.
Neitzsche, in my opinion, comes closest to getting at the Roots of it all, and leaving the World open for new discoveries and ideas.
But, that is just my Thinking on the matter…based on my own Assumptions, of course.
What gets me on to this, today, is further reading in relation to the last Post…about Alienation, Anomie, etc
Beyond all the Theories and Assumptions that we use to try and understand the World, a new thing has been born…perhaps it’s not all that new, just more obvious to those who are looking on…that is, the Fundamental Disconnect, between what We Believe, and What is Real.
I’m speaking, here, from my own Perspective, of Outsider, looking In.
It has become mostly clear to me that Western Civilisation is built upon a Foundation of Assumptions..that we all believe, implicitly…but that are, for the most part, False.
This is where Occupy# meets the Opposition. Dollar as Fetish…Free Speech Rights, meet the Storm Troopers…American Dream, meet the Nightmare.
Is it just to call all of our Assumptions, all of the Building Blocks of our Civilization, “Lies”?
In my experience, it would appear so…and this is compounded by the almost Universal Denialism that was extant, up until very recently.
These complaints, now all over Wall Street, and Main Street, even a year ago, would have been met with disdain and belittling. Faux News, et alia, are , indeed, conducting a smear campaign rooted in disdain for the tearing down of their Essential Assumptions….and the ad Hominem Belittling that has become their hallmark. Does this lend credence to my own Assumptions? I think so. The fact that Faux’s Meta-Critique of the “Movement” has been largely ignored, if not dismissed, by a seeming Majority, certainly makes it seem so.
It remains to be seen.