National Commentary

Enlightenment Vs. Postmodernism, Part 2

Donald Trump is the fever dream of postmodernist apologist Michel Foucault. This 21st century monster of a twisted and horrifying id, much like the invisible monster of the classic sci-fi film of the 1950s, “Forbidden Planet,” is the product of a devious post-World War II social engineering effort that became known by the 1970s as “postmodernism,” a pervasive term that covered all areas of arts and culture in the West. Its essence lies in a denial of the efficacy of reason and science.

“Postmodernism” is more than a Soviet or Russian form of cultural warfare against the West. It was promoted and encouraged by anti-democracy forces worldwide eager to trash progress as enjoyed by the masses of people. The goal is to darken the minds of the masses by promoting a reversion to superstition and myth, thereby keeping the advances in science due to the exercise of reason to small covens of the elites. If it sounds downright medieval, it is. This “tradition” goes back a lot further than that.

Its enemy in the modern era has been the European Enlightenment of the 18th century and the Enlightenment’s primary achievement, the American revolution and founding of a Constitutionally-based democracy. The world’s elites have been working since the late 1700s to undermine and reverse the impact of those developments with mixed results globally. But the power of the American experience, grounded in reason, science and law, has been so great that moving against it has been proven difficult.

With the rise of industrial capitalism in the late 19th century, these fossilized elites reverted to the dual tracks of proto-fascism, on the one side, and ideologically rigid Marxism on the other, as one of our nation’s primary scholars on the subject of the Enlightenment, the recently retired Dr. Joshua Israel of Princeton University, has expounded in his latest work, the just-completed tome, “The Enlightenment That Failed.”

It is important to understand that Israel, and Dr. Steven Pinker of Harvard, author of “Enlightenment Now,” do not clearly attribute the anti-Enlightenment socio-cultural currents like postmodernism to the dark forces of the political enemies of democracy. While their scholarship is invaluable, it remains largely cloistered by virtue of being limited to the realms of relatively obscure academia.

But there desperately needs to be a global socialization of the results of their studies to give the world’s billions a full disclosure of the devious nature of the postmodernist offensive against their self-interests.

The “national socialist” brand of Naziism and fascism that the world encountered in the last century was the outgrowth of philosophies promoted by the elites deriving from the “superman” theories of Frederich Neitszche and other late 19th century thinkers.

So were the theories of Karl Marx because they amounted to the superimposition of mental constructs — his theories of class warfare and the need for state control of the means of production — onto reality.

In both cases, they involved the superimposition of false mental and social constructs as alternatives to actual reality.

In America, these forces were countered during the 1930s by the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt who tempered capital-driven progress in science and technology, including their applications to the public good, with pragmatic programs aimed at alleviating poverty and injustice. The “New Deal,” including the introduction of Social Security, was not a socialist program in any way associated with Marxist dogma. It was a set of pragmatic solutions to real social problems.

As such, they represented a continuation of the Enlightenment spirit of the American revolution, promoting its simple concept that “all men (and women) are created equal” and advocating for “liberty and justice for all,” with the emphasis on the word, “all,” in both cases. As such, the “New Deal” programs were anathema to the devious elites that promoted both Hitler’s fascism and Stalin’s communism, both elite statist forms of oppression of the masses.

So, after World War II, the elites continued in their efforts by launching witch hunts ostensibly against communist influences in America as a way of garnering public support for what really was an assault on “New Dealers” who sought to continue the spirit of those programs.

(To be continued).

Nicholas Benton may be emailed at