Identity politics, victim studies, constructivism, relativism, post-modernism.
But then comes David North, United States chairman of the Socialist Equity Party, explaining to an audience at New York's New School that pomo-babble is a tool of the bosses.
North explained the connection between these reactionary trends in historiography and the role of postmodernism and similar philosophical tendencies, which deny the existence of objective truth and reduce history to a series of competing and equally valid “narratives.” He also related the development of postmodernism and similar theories to the growth of social inequality.The simpler explanation for rising inequality is upscale parents using the U.S. News rankings to get their spawn into universities serving similarly ambitious classmates, while the institutions that cater to everybody else stressing access-assessment-remediation-retention.
It cannot hurt the cause of reclaiming higher education, however, to have university students, no matter their sympathies for the Fourth International, recognizing that the denial of coherent beliefs leads to incoherence, and a paradigm within which only power matters is a paradigm in which professors lack an objective claim to authority.
Audience members asked questions about postmodernism and several expressed strong agreement with the exposure of its role, especially in the universities. As one explained, “A philosophy that denies objective truth serves to denigrate all learned study in favor of the preferred ‘narrative’ of the individual.”Although the presentation, and Ms Lee's responses, focus on the presence of fascist influences in the new Ukrainian government, her remarks unavoidably suggest that the current intellectual fads contribute to the failure of the universities to educate. Holyoke is collateral damage.
After the meeting, [meeting organizers] interviewed a number of students and others in attendance.
Julian, a high school Spanish teacher from central Massachusetts, said North’s lecture was a “devastating” exposure of the various forms of subjectivism taught on campuses today. “The growth of subjectivist ideology as a tool used to suppress people truly concerned with justice in society is integrally linked to the growing threat of warfare across the globe,” he said. “If you go to any campus, it will be dominated by this type of thinking. It needs to be dismantled.”
He spoke about conditions in his hometown, Holyoke, in western Massachusetts, which has been ravaged by decades of de-industrialization and poverty. “I certainly see that the time is now to begin bringing these ideas to youth in my area,” he said.
Katy Lee, a first-year student at Barnard College, said she found the lecture very important. “This is important especially for someone like me who is just starting college and encountering identity politics, which is almost out of control in my classes.
Today, students find themselves in an academic place dominated by identity politics. Students put a lot of faith in their professors, and they might not be bad people, but they too are products of this system that promotes this false ideology.Much as I have been arguing for years.
“How do we tear off the veil of this false education? Sometimes it seems overwhelming, but it is not an option to be overwhelmed when the consequences of not doing so are so high.”