Some Thoughts On Post Modernism - Poem by Joseph Narusiewicz
Camus wrote The Stranger and The Plague his last book was the myth of Sisyphus, dealing with the absurdity of rolling a rock up a hill just to have it come back down at the top of the hill. He believed in trying but yet it was hard to find a definitive reason why in a propositional sense. What does it all mean in the midst of the absurd and 'benign indifference of the universe' his last words in The Stranger. How do we have a moral defense if there are no universals? How do we band together against 'The Plague' if our existentialism is so personal that we can back nothing in any dogmatic or religious sense?
The collective becomes a real problem as far as banning together to stand against tyranny and evil when individuality is so amorphous and undefined ethically and morally. When we claim there are no boundaries and we are 'beyond good and evil' it is difficult to make a unified stand.
When the subjective and personal doesn't have any standards that are ostensible it is difficult to move collectively. When the road has no instructions and there is no defined side to drive on it is easy to have problems. When your existentialism doesn't match with mine and there is no referee or standard we both accept how do we agree? ?
When social Darwinism refutes democracy and says' the strong survive' the weak perish' biology and natural selection is ruthless and bug eats bug and we as mammals are subject to these laws of nature, when 'love thy neighbor as thy self' and ' do on too others as you would have them do on too you' are looked at as spiritual maxims but are really not universals in nature, how do we say and define what is oppression, exploitation, and inhumanity with any real authority?
What makes 'might equals right' wrong when it is endorsed by natural law? ? How does ethical and moral authority survive when we really don't have a conscience? ? If a human being is 'atoms' bio-chemistry' molecules and the laws of physics' When he is nothing more or less than a material being subject to the laws of nature and he has a myth of conscience where does it stop and what and who gains the power? ? THE STATE, THE SUPERMAN, THE WILL TO POWER, Stalin, Hitler, Major corporations, Global economies, States with nuclear weapons!
We are in troubled times and past ideologies go hand in hand with how and why we got here. Camus, Sartre, Jaspers and many other not so well known existentialists owe there background from Soren Kierkegaard from Denmark who wrote against Hegel's collectivism and State power and was one of the first to really point out what Europe and western civilization was heading for with the new rationalism and definitions from the age of reason and the enlightenment. Faith and conscience go hand and hand and they both transcend organized religion and traditional institutions.
Kierkegaard died in 1855 right around the time Dostoevsky moved to St. Petersburg and started to write 'Notes from the Underground'. Dostoevsky fought the coming religions which he and Nietzsche both knew as 'political ideologies'. Marx and Engel's published the communist manifesto in 1847, six years after Hegel died. They definitely were greatly influenced by Hegel and the belief that the state is the height of collective immanence of culture.
They broke from Hegel in several major ways especially over any spiritual mystical Christian religious viewpoints.
They believed it was all 'NATURE". Feuerbach was a Hegelist that was a minister's son who rebelled against Christianity and said all theology has to become anthropology and religious conversation should become 'political conversation'. He greatly influenced Marx and Engel's. Kierkegaard was aware of all this new collectivistic thinking and adamantly opposed it. Dostoevsky was a Marxist for awhile and after he was sent to a Siberian camp he changed and became a Christian. He was a well read man and new of many of the issues of the day. Charles Darwin published "Origin of the Species' in 1857 and social Darwinism immediately began to be written about.
The strong survive and the weak perish begin to be viewed in political ideologies and Dostoevsky begin to stand up for Christian and Platonic perspectives in his writings. This is when he wrote 'Notes from the Underground" He recognized that secularization was in process based on 2 plus 2 logic and freedom was going to be defined without spirituality and conscience. He saw 'The Herd man' coming in the arms of the STATE with a compromised church system embracing the secular with religious robes.
I see post modernism as a world below collapsing into chaos that eventually will result in a great totalitarian state replacing universals with its own steel agenda.
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