People who whine about “post-modern neo-Marxism” or “Enlightenment values” generally don’t understand either


If only philosophical SWAT teams existed…although the members would probably spend more time arguing with each other than battling those prominent boobs with bad philosophical imaginations.

The commentary is good, too.

There are a large number of people who spend a good majority of their time and energy worrying about something called “postmodern neo-marxists”, while rather amazingly, not being able to name a single one, or describe what they believe. Apparently though, these mysterious postmodernists think that “everything is as true as everything else” (a position that no one has ever held), and are engaged in some kind of systematic plot to destroy Western Civilization, by using…linguistic relativism, or something? It’s kind of hard to say.

I don’t know about you, but my plots are all more chaotic than systematic.

Comments

  1. quotetheunquote says

    Yes, sure would be great if some of these great free-thinkers would occasionally read a book^. Not holding my breath, though.

    ^(Well, maybe I should say, “another book” – I note that 12 Rules for Life is still on the Canadian non-fiction top ten best selling book lists, after all this time. Sigh.)

  2. says

    As soon as I read the words “philosophical SWAT team” I began designing a tactical armchair. Obviously it would be black and uncomfortable, with velcro Molle(tm) patches everwhere for accessories such as ranging lasers, refutation shields, and sarcasm dispensers. Perhaps even a laser that was tuned to deliver sarcasm at a distance. I’m not sure where the chablis dispenser would go and whether it should be a nasal intubation, or an anal pump. The back would have a rotating shield with all the virtues on it, for deflecting basic arguments, and the front would be pleasantly open for respectful exchange of views.

    Now, picture the philosophical SWAT team being wheeled down the hall, pushed by teaching assistants.

  3. says

    @2

    You forgot the most-important feature of a tactical armchair: The dongle that forges a dean’s signature rejecting any demand from the library for return of long-held (“overdue”) books and journals. Which is not (nevernevernever) purchased from any online/podcast-based store with a Famous Pundit…

    It’s both interesting and entirely unsurprising that the people labelled “postmodern neomarxists” are, more often than not, either postmodern neoconservatives/”social conservatives” who support one (or perhaps two) positions with which the accuser disagrees (and unthread those positions and you’ll find that “personal financial advantage” is usually behind them), or rigidly-Victorian/Existentialist/textualist neomarxists whose stated factual basis is so radically different from the accuser that they would actually agree if the fact patterns were identical (and, again, unthread those positions and there’s more than a hint of “personal financial advantage”). Because if there’s one ultimate exemplar of purely postmodern reasoning out there, it’s the relativism of market value being the true value of anything (Theranos, Mr. Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?).

  4. andiek712 says

    While I see the worth of this when it comes to philosophy, can we get a Biology SWAT team that forces politicians (sorry, but especially male ones) to understand the basic facts of the female reproductive system before they make draconian abortion bans first?

  5. Jazzlet says

    andiek712
    i think we need the Biology SWAT Team to team up with a Medical Swat Team to perform an active and continuing action on such politicians so they go through all of the things that women do when they are pregnant. We can distribute gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and other real nasties to those who seem resistant to change. Oh and when the nine months are up we make them feel like they are bleeding every month too.

    Once all that has been done we need to bring in the Social Adjustment Team to make sure some of them are let go, that all of them remaining have a down-grading of their work status, etc along with the cost of having the baby being taken out of their earnings of course.

  6. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “a Medical Swat Team to perform an active and continuing action on such politicians that are anti-Choice, but forcing a cantaloupe up their butt.

  7. says

    Snarki, but many of them might well enjoy that.
    The resulting gaiety requiring them to be stoned in the proper Biblical way.
    ….
    So it’ll all work out right in the end.

  8. Dunc says

    “Aristotle was not Belgian, the principle of Buddhism is not ‘every man for himself’, and the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.”

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dunc @9: Intro to that bit:

    Wanda: But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?
    Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it!

  10. blf says

    The London Underground is “a key strategic weakness in metropolitan living.”

  11. Rich Woods says

    I don’t know about you, but my plots are all more chaotic than systematic.

    Mine are all garden.

  12. gijoel says

    They need those weird helmets from a clockwork orange that forces the eyes to stay permanently open.

  13. dianne says

    i think we need the Biology SWAT Team to team up with a Medical Swat Team to perform an active and continuing action on such politicians so they go through all of the things that women do when they are pregnant. We can distribute gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and other real nasties to those who seem resistant to change. Oh and when the nine months are up we make them feel like they are bleeding every month too.

    “You are far too nice,” the medical oncology SWAT team says, putting on their chemo-proof gloves. “We, however, have a long experience in dealing with unwanted cell proliferation and a vast knowledge of the effects of unwanted cell growth.”

    Nine months of low dose 5FU should simulate both pregnancy induced nausea and pregnancy induced immunosuppression reasonably well. We may need to add a little something to get the fatigue right, though. Cis-platin now…

  14. dianne says

    susans@18: Go for it! Need more ideas on side effect simulation? Because I’ve got more ideas on side effect simulation.

  15. curbyrdogma says

    If “Postmodernism” be Bad, then one would assume “Premodernism” would be the more ideal situation. These folks, of course, are free to join an Amish community. There, they can enjoy their ideal hierarchical society centered around life-affirming myths; complete with nice submissive womenfolk makin’ lots o’babies. The caveat, of course, would be no cars, no electricity, no internet, or any other “modern” innovation that only invites complications. …Am really surprised these kids aren’t all lining up to head on down to the land of the horse-and-buggy.

  16. says

    I get that this is a comic, and it’s just supposed to be funny. Still, it’s obviously also designed to be dragged out as a rebuttal to something or other which I’ll get in to in a moment, and as such it fails in several ways.

    Let us clear some underbrush. It’s not a “large number of people” it’s Jordan Peterson, basically. I presume also a herd of his acolytes, which maybe edges toward “large” but I think that’s debatable. Anyways, the comic is a direct swipe at Peterson, who has earned it by being a dolt.

    The comic makes two significant errors, one technical, and one substantive.

    “Postmodernism” is a big tent, containing a pretty big pile of dumb ideas, a pretty big pile of good ideas, and an enormous pile of ideas no thinking human cares about even slightly. “neo Marxism” is a meaningless noise, which is where Corey Mohler slips in a mickey. He silently drops the “neo” because he wants to make fun of Peterson which, while it makes the joke work, is cheating.

    Setting aside the techical details that drive the comic, what these words mean colloquially (which is how Peterson uses them) is different and – this is important – not mutually incompatible. Postmodernism in this sense is merely a vague cloud of ideas surrounding cultural and linguistic relativism, and neo Marxism is just a sort of pejorative (in Peterson’s world) way of saying “leftie things”. Are there people who hold ideas rooted in various forms of relativism, and who also hold leftist ideas? Of course there are. There are lots of them. Me, for instance. It is painfully clear that it is to us that Mr. Peterson is referring, and to pretend that he’s not referring to anyone because “the dictionary says….” is absurd.

    Well, so what, it’s just a comic!

    But it’s not. It’s obviously intended as a response to Peterson, and as such it starts out by cheating, moves on to wilfully misreading, and wraps up with a masturbatory pseudo-intellectual punchline. Drag this thing out to rebut Peterson, and all you’re going to do is demonstrate how irritating and wrong-headed the very people Peterson is describing actually can be. This is precisely the kind of self-congratulatory, disingenuous, and completely irrelevant rubbish that the left has always loved to pass off as discourse. It is useless against the opposition, and inevitably leads to internecine warfare and the collapse — again — of any legitimate effort to make the world a better place.

    This sort of thing might not be the only reason the left is getting its ass kicked these days, but it sure as hell isn’t helping. As a leftist who is profoundly disheartened by the constant ass-kicking my side is receiving, this sort of thing irritates the hell out of me and I wish we could collectively knock it off.

    cf: Homage to Catalonia

  17. John Morales says

    Andrew Molitor, you amuse me.

    (Why you imagine Existential Comics represents “the Left” is left unsaid, I note)

  18. says

    John, that is an incorrect reading of what I wrote.

    I mean, I see where you might infer that if you squint, and it’s certainly true that if I were to guess I would guess that Corey Mohler is a leftie,

    But I didn’t actually say that and it’s not particularly implied by what I said. It’s possible that Mohler is a right-wing Trumpophile who happens, in this comic, to be engaged in more or less the same smug and fatuous logic-chopping that the left persistently impales itself upon. Either way, it serves an illustrative purpose.

    I wish it served a useful illustrative purpose, but in general people overly fond of being smug and fatuous are not particularly interested learning to do better. See, um, the entire history of every leftist movement ever for an endless parade of incredibly depressing examples.

  19. John Morales says

    Andrew,

    But I didn’t actually say that and it’s not particularly implied by what I said. It’s possible that Mohler is a right-wing Trumpophile who happens, in this comic, to be engaged in more or less the same smug and fatuous logic-chopping that the left persistently impales itself upon. Either way, it serves an illustrative purpose.

    Ah. You think the cartoon uses “more or less the same smug and fatuous logic-chopping” as that upon which “the left persistently impales itself”, so that to critique the cartoon is equivalent to critiquing “the left”.

    (From the way you express yourself, it seems evident to me you consider yourself an exemplar of the left, even though “the left persistently impales itself”)

    Have you perhaps considered that you might be overthinking this, and that PZ merely found it droll?

    I wish it served a useful illustrative purpose, but in general people overly fond of being smug and fatuous are not particularly interested learning to do better.

  20. says

    John, you are free to continue to simultaneously illustrate that you have not read,nor care to read, my remarks and to engage in a sort of broken-wing lead-the-bad-man-away distraction routine, but I am not going to play.

Leave a Reply