We have entered a postmodern nightmare, lies have become “refreshing”, untruths are not to be taken “literally”, “even if it’s true it’s not”, “there’s no such thing” as facts, although, there are “alternative facts”. These are all statements made by followers of Trump, by his apologists. Ironically it is the Right, the reactionaries who have wrapped themselves around the warm comforting arms of Relativism, the relativism they once derided and accused the academic Left of wallowing in. We have entered the world of Jean Baudrillard’s simulacrum, the world of reality TV, of a game show host president, of WWE style campaign rallies, an alternate reality of alternative facts, where the simulation is not just a copy of the real, it has become the real. We have entered a Marxian reality, not of Karl, but of Groucho.
Postmodern Marxian Reality
The Right has become Lysenkoists
The Trumpists have become Lysenkoists, ideology has trumped science. How else does one explain their callousness towards watching their own people die, Stalin would be proud. They deny science not because they’re anti-science per se, they deny the science that doesn’t conform to their wordlview.
The press, the pundits, and I suspect some of you reading this blame Facebook for all the fake news, the conspiracy theories, the disinformation, the “alternative facts”. Facebook certainly has a lot to answer for, their recommendation algorithms are designed to lead the unsuspecting down a path of ever increasing fear and rage, to entice them into unleashing their “monsters from the Id”. But none of those falsehoods, those lies would work if they didn’t have a willing, gullible, persuadable audience, an audience that wants, that needs their ideologically motivated worldview reaffirmed. This is how propaganda works, it relies on people being undiscerning, on them being intellectually lazy, on them being gullible simpleminded ignoramuses.
For years I’ve wondered
when did science become a “liberal” thing,
and then it dawned on me, it always has been.
Global Warming Denialism
Here’s my take on global warming denialism. Just as the Theory of Evolution is a refutation of the Biblical creation (“The contest between evolution and Christianity is a duel to the death. If evolution wins, Christianity goes.” William Jennings Bryan), man-made global warming is a refutation of the “all knowing” Capitalist markets. I realize that the basis for denialism is multifaceted involving Biblical Dominion (Genesis 1:26-28) and capital accumulation (market competition), but there is a more foundational, more existential factor that motivates this reactionary conspiracy-theory laden denialism. And that is, if the Capitalist marketplace works as its disciples say it does then it would have corrected for the threat on its own. So, to accept that Capitalism is destroying the planet one has to acknowledge that capitalist markets do not self-regulate, the imagined “invisible hand” does not guide the markets for the benefit of society.
Abortion and Capitalism
Why did the anti-contraceptive, anti-abortion movement suddenly crop up in the 19th century? Could it have been the sudden need for factory workers, the sudden need for a cheap and plentiful labor force?
Philosophies fall into either one of two basic worldviews, Idealism or Materialism.
Idealism holds that reality is constructed by the mind independent of a material reality, that only mind (and/or spirit) is real.
Materialism states that there is a material/physical world that is independent of the mind, and that it is knowable through experience and observation.
Marx asserts that yes, there is a knowable material reality, but that reality is mediated by an ideologically constructed, and socially and culturally produced, ‘reality’.
Evolution and Belief
Asking the question “do you believe in the Theory of Evolution?” is like asking if you believe in the Theory of Gravity. Belief has nothing to do with it, belief is having faith that something is true which is not susceptible to rigorous proof. A scientific theory is a set of tested propositions that can be used to explain and predict a class of phenomena.
Isn’t it interesting that when it’s unseasonably cold all you hear from the reactionary propaganda machine (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh et al) is that that is somehow proof that global warming doesn’t exists, but when it’s unseasonably hot you don’t hear a peep from them?