Monday, July 22, 2019

The Seduction Of Unreason Essay Example for Free

The Seduction Of Unreason Essay Postmodernism suffers many critics, some arguing for its responsibility in practically destroying the study of literature in America and Europe with a Leftist bent. Richard Wolin, professor of history and comparative literature at the City University of New York, disagrees and his own critique is that Postmodernism’s founding fathers were fascinated almost obsessed with the far-Right fascism of 1920s and 1930s. Wolpin demonstrates in his book that basic tenants of postmodernist thought considered politically Leftist in origin, come actually from the ultraconservative far-Right. At the same time, he does not consider Postmodernism a serious threat to literary study or society: â€Å"Conservatives hold postmodernists responsible for the latter-day decline of the West, accusing them of promoting relativism by undermining the traditional concepts of reason and truth. But they seriously overestimate postmodernism’s impact and influence, which has—happily—largely been confined to the isolated and bloodless corridors of academe† ( Wolin 2004, 313).   However, he states that postmodernist thought is a â€Å"celebration of heterogeneity and radical difference risks abetting the neotribalist ethos that threatens to turn the post-communist world order into a congeries of warring, fratricidal ethnicities† (Ibid.).   In this, he believes these identities and related demand for political correctness will replace reason, to the detriment of society. Wolpin considers a few select thinkers, namely Bataille, Blanchard, and Jung; comparing their ideologies to those of Heidegger, Nietzsche and a few others. He claims that the similarities between the two camps are not coincidence and in fact, these philosophers are all conservatives. Bataille, Blanchard, Jung, and their followers simply repeated the antidemocratic ideals and reactionary teachings of Nietzsche and Heidegger to varying degrees. Many Leftists rejected French Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Postmodernist thought is currently dominant in academia, the media, literature, and world politics. Rejection of power in Postmodernism seems to be a distrust of politics in general and this rejection attempts to hide within a sense of special identities and political correctness. For example, European neo-fascism once spoke of white supremacy, but now promotes national and ethnic identities, or multiculturalism. Wolin shows that the current ideal of multiculturalism is merely political and anti-democratic. He sees associated secularism as moral decay and societal downfall in a grand conspiracy of thought tracing back to the enemies of the French Enlightenment who felt reason and critical inquiry to be evil. Replacing a belief in reason and progress, there is now a Leftist obsession with political correctness and a cult of identity in cultural factions. In The Seduction of Unreason, Wolpin successfully demonstrates the seductive but obvious and radical element of thought that spurs the rejection of reason in Postmodernism, and it is fascism. References Wolin, Richard. 2004. The Seduction of Unreason:   The Intellectual Romance With Fascism From Nietzsche to Postmodernism. Princeton University Press.

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