*Rolling Under the Floor Laughing
After reading Francesco Vitale's mind-numbingly ostentatious Biodeconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences (2018), I feel compelled more than ever to expose postmodernism as sheer charlatanism.
The Biodiversity author and Senior Lecturer in "Aesthetics" at the University of Salerno (Italy), has devoted his career to championing the views of Jacques Derrida and his school of postmodernism. Among the innumerable flaws in postmodernist thought, besides the outright ostracization of empirical knowledge and objective observation, is its revisionist character. In Biodeconstruction, Vitale focuses a great deal on Derrida's thoughts on biological evolution, characterizing them as follows:
"The empirical text, the machine, or the factory can be taken up as models of the living as they are products of the living, specific differential articulations of the self-reproduction that structures the living according to the dynamic of general textuality and arche-writing." (Biodiversity, 125).
This line of thinking supported by Derrida and his postmodern progeny entails that with the advent of cybernetics and other ways of merging man and machine, we can impose the nervous memory onto the genetic, thus putting Man in full control of his psychological evolution.
This is brutally heretical from the Darwinian perspective, as natural selection operates to advance a species' survivability (and not its metaphysical interpretation of existence) in a hostile world — i.e. humans, like all species, evolve to ensure self-preservation, biologically speaking, to stop worrying about being eaten or killed; e.g. opposable thumbs developed to help humans use tools; speech developed as a corollary of becoming bipeds, as our throats dropped down from the weight of gravity, creating the ability to articulate new types of sounds that subsequently began to be assigned non-arbitrary meaning.
Modern science is the culmination of understanding our own origins and the world around us. The liberal arts and religion are luxuries made possible by the achievements of modern science (which facilitate human progress, structure, and law). We don't need poetry, painting, or God to survive as a species, although they certainly can make life more joyful (I emphasize "can" here).
In other words, by imposing somehow a normativity for homosexual behaviour in human civilization, we can merge the desired "nervous" memory of experiencing life onto the "genetic memory" of surviving life, the ultimate goal being the abandonment of the human form for some type of post-human (cybernetic) state.
The Terminator is child's play compared to this bleak version of the future.
For a postmodernist, the most welcome outcome of evolution is one that disposes of everything that is conventionally human, including life itself (especially for Michel Foucault, who viewed "life" and "sex" as an "artificial unity" — a meaningless task, [Foucault, History of Sexuality Volume One: An Introduction, 1978, 143].
This type of pig-headed ignorance recalls the cult-classic film Idiocracy and the replacement of drinking water in that society with the electrolyte-heavy sports drink, Brawndo, which is promoted as a "thirst mutilator" and being a superior beverage.
The citizens of this Idiocracy have evolved to completely replace water with their thirst-quenching sports drink, and as a result, you guessed it, they begin to experience droughts and consequent hunger crises. Plants just won't grow when watered with liquid sugar.
They've been drinking the Brawndo so long that they even forgot that what made it drinkable was the very water they'd lost all knowledge of. While tongue-in-cheek, of course, the warning is clear: we shouldn't drink what sounds tasty (postmodernism or religion) when we are thirsty; we should drink what revitalizes us long-term (science).
Just take a look at the TIAA Institute statistics from 1993-2013 on the equality of outcome monster that affirmative action has become in academia:
"Women's faculty headcount growth nearly doubled that of men between 1993 and 2013, at approximately 375,300 additional women and 196,900 men. Women's growth in full-time appointments quintupled that of men, and a major change was observed in women's appointment to tenured positions in particular: an increase of about 46,700 women compared to a decrease among men of about 14,900."
Quintupled! Uncoincidentally, it would seem, this is the same time period in which we see an explosion of women's studies and gender studies departments around the US (whose dominant intellectual current is without question postmodernism).
Gaining in numbers with alarming speed, they continue to hawk their "versions" of scientific principles, by placing terms like "deconstruction" or "arche-" before them and thus proclaim their own genius (or are proclaimed as such by their cookie-cutter colleagues). However, the notion of deconstructing biology, for example, is supremely absurd as it is by nature the most "deconstructed" of all empirical research.
Let us return for a moment to Derrida's "deconstruction" of sexuality and natural selection — the subject of Biodiversity. I would like to focus on one recent related study conducted by The University of Portsmouth in 2014.
To summarize the study's findings: a need arose in human society to foster male bonding for the completion of hunting and gathering tasks, resulting in a rise in progesterone, a hormone that is important for affiliation-type human interaction, including sexual attraction between men and women. This led to a subsequent shift in human DNA, where very rarely some people are born with increased progesterone levels.
The lead researcher Dr. Diana Fleischmann notes:
"Having some degree of attraction to the opposite sex is a type of adaptive behaviour, and in any adaptive behaviour you will see extremes of the spectrum, hence some people will only be attracted to members of the same sex. But the research suggests that having exclusively heterosexual thoughts is a disadvantage — it's better to be a little bit attracted to the [same] sex."
Unfortunately, Fleishmann conflates human desire to socialize with sexualizing, and her comment that it is advantageous to be a "bit attracted to the same sex" should be considered as a complete non-sequitur.
Overall, however, this theory sees homosexuality as a perfectly normal consequence of the confusion of practical homosocializing (to achieve organized labor) with heterosexuality (the product of male and female bonding for reproductive purposes). Importantly, she emphasizes that homosexuality is a biologically extreme phenomenon across the human spectrum, as the vast majority of humans do not innately confuse socializing with sexualizing.
Understandably, this has the effect of further marginalizing those who identify in the LGBTQ range; and no one likes to be marginalized, though, even if science backs that very marginalization.
Therefore, the cacophony of postmodernist cries won't go away any time soon, especially since the two historically disenfranchising aspects of academia, tenure track positions and academic journal paywalls, are widening this logic-deafening echo chamber.
By nature in the business of self-preservation and replication, the behaviour of the postmodernist recalls that of a cancer cell. The critical difference is that cancer cells do not need to "convince" other cells to accept them — they just devour them.
What other positions in life are given "until death"? A US Supreme Court Justice is one; and just as the Supreme Court has now become a purely political instrument at the disposal of current and future presidents, an out-of-proportion increase in tenure-track jobs going to postmodernists means a growing appreciation of pseudoscience.
In the saddest, most apocalyptic view of the future — one with no debate or dialogue at the highest levels of academia — the pernicious, nihilistic philosophy of postmodernism could wipe out the modern scientific method altogether along with the traditional culture it is rooted in. We have seen the depreciation of objective science in the service of the motherland in Soviet Russia in the form of Lysenkoism (which led to the imprisonment or death of 3,000 mainstream biologists under Stalin), and Communist China.
And we are seeing this presently in North Korea, where technological advances are being withheld from the people. This is the intrinsic danger of all ideology — it spreads like a cancer with the ultimate goal of killing its host. Postmodernism will lead to the intellectual death of the US and those who look to the West as a model.
Steps to be taken to right this grim outlook involve the following:
We must abolish all tenure-track positions (replacing them with shorter, and highly competitive renewable contracts) and we must eliminate paywalls (in order to level the publication playing field). We must restore the spirit of democracy Western academia was founded on. And finally, we must restore the vilification of pseudo-science and be brave enough to face being labelled a bigot or worse if what we do is done in the spirit of objectivity.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.