Saturday, January 13, 2018

Marxism & Postmodernism (Pt. 1)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse (right shoulder) and back scratcher 
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader (left shoulder)

"Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies." -H.L. Mencken

Dear (eventual) Stickies & Great-Grandstickies,

In a few years some of you, possibly/hopefully anyway, will be going to college. Others, those of you not yet born at the time this is being written, may be cyborgs by the time you read this and will have to google (access the hive mind?) the phrase "going to college" to discover the meaning of this archaic expression.

But for now -- although this could change as rapidly as recorded music went from vinyl to tape to CDs to digital downloads to _______ -- colleges and universities are still viable (if wildly overpriced) institutions.

I'm not overly worried about costs (in spite of the fact that as things stand at the moment, I won't be able to offer much help). In fact, the fact that you're going to have to go to someplace you can afford without accruing crippling debt and major in something that has a reasonable chance of paying off are both healthy constraints in my view.

[I'm aware that as long as The Gummit keeps handing out loans like candy you can choose to major in art history, go into debt up to your eyeballs and make your loan payments via your tips from Starbucks. Follow your heart. Don't worry about killing me or your parents and ruining your life. Follow your bliss. I understand I like art too.]

However, as to certain strains of intellectual/cultural/etceterical weeds that seem to have recently bloomed  -- Snowflakism, political correctness, Critical Theory, safe spaces, Antifa, "democratic" socialism, Intersectionality (my personal fave), _______phobia, personal pronouns, Women's Studies programs, I identify as _______, ad infinitum, ad nauseam -- it turns out that they've been thriving in hothouses of higher education for quite awhile.

["Intersectionality is an important paradigm in academic scholarship and broader contexts such as social justice work, but difficulties arise due to the many complexities involved in making multidimensional conceptualizations that explain the way in which socially constructed categories of differentiation interact to create a social hierarchy." -Wikipedia's Intersectionality article

Relatively recently speaking, I've found/I find myself mildly obsessed with the much in the news Social Justice Warriors/Warriorism (SJW), terms I use here as a sort of catch-all for the phenomena (and the people involved) listed two paragraphs back.

As I suffer from a severe case of cognitive dissonance due to my split personality -- one-half happily heterosexual cranky old white dude and cheerleader for Western Civilization and one-half sassy, lesbian, African-American H. sapien named Coco trapped in the body of said cranky old white dude -- I went looking for original sources to help me resolve, or at least learn to live with, my conflicted self.

Which led to me academia and although I'm still highly conflicted and probably entitled to some sort of disability income or at least a settlement of some sort if I agree to sign the papers and go away, I serendipitously stumbled on some things you might also want to consider when deciding on whether/where to go to college.

[Gentlereaders: Deep breath. Please note that my drop-dead gorgeous muse and world-class back scratcher, Marie-Louise, has inspired me to simultaneously provide some practical advice to the Stickies while also  alerting them, and you, as to the source of the epidemic of SJWs biting the hands that feed them in spite of the fact there's an organic, free-range chicken in every pot and a computer in every pocket. Exhale. Cranky gives you your money's worth. Tell your friends.] 


America, and my readers from around the globe, ever wonder what happened to the campus radicals of the 60s and 70s who didn't become yuppie scum (HT: J. Jones) after their 15 minutes was up? After the war ended and they found themselves with the oft more or less useless degrees they acquired (or oft hadn't quite acquired) while they were professional students trying to avoid the draft and/or getting a Job job?

A bunch of 'em chose a path that eventually would result in their becoming tenured professors.

[Please note: I've no problem with people that didn't want to go to Vietnam, I was one of them. I didn't have to go or/and decide what to do to keep from going simply because of dumb luck. The party, and the draft, was over shortly before I would've been confronted with that particular reality check and my misspent yute continued without interruption.]

Anyhow, (very) long story short, and at the risk of sounding like a member of the John Birch Society (which I just discovered still exists, yikes!), a bunch of  'em were/are Marxists. But applied, traditional Marxism (communism) -- having killed 100,000,000 souls (more or less...) and trashed the economies of several nations -- had/has lost a lot of its street cred.

Well... at least among the historically literate. Others, not so much.

[For the record, Xi Dadda and Li'l Rocket Man ain't communist dictators, they're traditional Far Eastern emperor types who don't have to be bothered with the Mandate of Heaven scam. Raul Castro and his ilk are just thugs hiding behind a discredited philosophy they've never actually taken seriously.]

So, what's a Marxist to do? Easy Peasy. Change the famous bourgeoisie (the bosses) vs. everyone else meme to happily heterosexual caucasian males vs. everyone else. All non-heterosexual caucasian males, all women, and all people of color including various/sundry subgroups and sub-subgroups.

Everyone else.

Bottom line: A tiny but fiendishly clever and relentlessly ruthless minority consisting of pasty white weenies who self-identify with the outdated gender stereotypes rampant among non-H. sapiens are, and have been, exploiting/enslaving/etceterating everyone and everything else for thousands of years.

They're the only thing standing in the way of a socialist paradise wherein that bogus social construct they thought up to maintain power over everyone else, equality of opportunity, will be replaced with equality of outcomes.

That's my (as usual) oversimplified (and in this case, conflicted) take on things. We'll do Postmodernism next week. If you don't know much about it, well, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day.

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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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