Postmodernism and the “PC” movement have dominated the media for the past 35 years. This is a long run for a philosophical craze.
The memes most associated with the postmodern world are that women, blacks and people with a different sexual orientation are the oppressed and that the oppression is the result of the ignorance of ordinary people, especially male “chavs”. These ignorant people also support imperialism, an imperialism that constitutes an inextinguishable guilt.
Enlightened beings are those in the literary and educational establishments, especially the BBC and humanities faculties. They spread the memes from their exalted state of “otherness” which makes them external to the brutish, ignorant opinions of the common man.
These memes are largely burnt out but for some reason postmodern attitudes are persisting.
The Gender Pay Gap is a typical example of a cause that is now past its prime. The headline figure for Gender Pay Gap is that women were paid 17.9% less than men in 2018. It has been illegal for some time for women in the UK to receive less money for the same job as men so why the gap? Firstly the gap is not all it seems to be, according to the ONS data: “In 2018 the gender pay gap for full-time employees is close to zero between the ages of 18 and 39 years.” The Gap is not what it used to be. There are very specific problems for women who have family responsibilities and those who re-enter the workforce. These problems are complex and cannot be answered with a mindless postmodern scream of “men should take care of children and annual increments should be banned”.
Another postmodern meme is the terrible oppression of black people when they were slaves. The British abolished slavery two centuries ago. Modern British people with black skins are being subjected to demeaning insult by continually reminding them of the transatlantic slave trade. This meme is a typical piece of middle class racism in which the superior, journalist, author or teacher poses as someone in a holy, “other” state whilst they vent forth on the oppressing of black people (an event that happened two centuries ago and more).
Perhaps more than any other meme the sexual orientation meme is most important to the postmodern craze. Tolerance of sexual orientation is often considered by the postmodern “other” to mark them out as truly holy. It is foundational to their philosophy. The sexual orientation meme is about the one in 50 people who identify as LGB. “Over the last five years, the proportion of the UK population identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) has increased from 1.5% in 2012 to 2.0% in 2017, although the latest figure is unchanged from 2016” ONS Data. Fortunately LGB rights are now recognized in UK law. A very small minority has indeed been protected but the postmodern “others” regard this as the most significant breakthrough in global history if our media are to be believed.
The imperialist meme is a sure sign of class difference. Ordinary British people benefited little from the British Empire, they were forced by economic circumstances into some of the worst living and working conditions to be found anywhere during the Imperial period and Britain’s high profile meant they lost millions of relatives in wars. It was the colonists in newly independent countries such as the USA who committed the most heinous crimes against indigenous populations, not the mill and foundry workers in Britain. Where we witness the worst imperial guilt is from the children of plantation owners and other ex-colonials, many of whom were privately educated on the profits of empire so that they could become journalists etc. Ordinary British people are the innocent victims of these people when they declare that all of “us” should feel guilt.
The Gender Pay Gap meme is burnt out, gender differences in pay are now due to complex issues, not simple gender discrimination. The poor little black slaves meme is well and truly burnt out and just being used to stoke racial prejudice. The sexual orientation meme is also burnt out. The imperial guilt meme is largely posh ex-colonials in powerful positions acting holy.
Although all these postmodern memes should no longer be at the top of any agenda they are still central to the “morality” of those who believe they are “other” and hence better than ordinary folk. This steadfast support of yesterday’s issues allows them to look on the bulk of the population as fools who deserve scorn.
When the common people signal that they cannot support a family on the average wage, that children cannot find jobs or accommodation and their land and society is in perpetual rapid change the postmodernists are scarcely moved and suspect that these petty complaints are just the thin edge of some racist, xenophobic, sexist or homophobic wedge. That the postmodernist finds the real concerns of people to be tiresome exposes the “other” for what they really are: classist. They are people who have a thin veneer of education and wear postmodern politics as a badge of their superiority as an “educated” class.
Of course, being “other” really just means having no deep connection with your fellow citizens.
This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: