As we look around us at an ever-increasing number of apparently intractable conflicts, what is the scope for the discovery of shared values to offer us a way forward?
It was some weeks since Ziggy had been out for a drink with his friend Zara (aka Zarathustra, the postmodern-day prophet of renown) and he had been looking forward to indulging in some stimulating discussion about their favourite topic, namely the foibles and failings of celebrities (particularly of the political variety) who had been in… Continue reading Disparage the Farage!
“I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US congressional representative and activist) Equity is defined as the quality of being fair and impartial (OED). As such it is uncontroversial and clearly a good thing, something we should all… Continue reading Equity Explained, Part 2: The Misdirecting Hand
At a time when we are encouraged to nod through policies embedding “diversity, inclusion and equality” in our places of work and subject to their ubiquitous manifestation in our entertainment industries, few recognise that this is not the spontaneous and organic growth of the desire of the mass of ordinary people but the outcome of… Continue reading Emancipation with a Clenched Fist: A Critique of Postmodern Critical Theory
The pursuit of universal values has a a long history as humans have sought a basis for a harmonious, shared life. But there is a danger that in striving to establish universal values, the perfect becomes the enemy of the good. Perhaps we need to resist this temptation and acknowledge instead the context-dependence of all valuing.
It tells us something when a potential reviewer of a book is warned that so doing could spell the end of their academic career, or when a scheduled lecture or guest speaker is cancelled because students declare themselves unsafe while threatening violent disruption, or the plug is pulled on important research because one person feels… Continue reading Book Review: Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, “Cynical Theories: How Universities Made Everything about Race, Gender and Identity – and Why This Harms Everybody”
We live in the era of the Culture Wars and identity politics, fuelled by the absence of objective standards of truth and evaluation. What can be done to address the problem and rebuild the foundations on which civilised debate can be conducted?
“So what do you say, Zara?” Ziggy asked his friend. “Can two wrongs make a right?” The answer came back immediately. “To ask the question is to answer it: of course they can’t.” Ziggy was in good spirits having taken a bit of a pounding from his self-appointed mentor and postmodern-day prophet of renown Zara… Continue reading Can Two Wrongs Make a Right?
After several months and years in the solitude of his cave, waiting like a sower who hath scattered his seed, Zarathustra’s soul became impatient and full of longing for those whom he loved; his wisdom meanwhile increased, and caused him pain by its abundance. Then one morning, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and in… Continue reading The Return of Zarathustra
Happily, the inconsistency and incoherence of the postmodernist perspective is increasingly being challenged by a new generation of thinkers from across the political spectrum. For example Ken Wilber in his Trump and a Post-Truth World notes how postmodernism has played itself out and in attempting to create a new basis for determining truth has ultimately undermined it.