The Case of the Vanishing Metanarrative
“Absent any kind of metanarrative, inevitably nations begin to break up into smaller, little ethnocracies, like what we saw with the Balkans in the 1990s, or what Ukrainian nationalists have been arguing for, Scottish nationalists or Catalonians or Kurds, and on and on and on and on. These secessionist movements can be construed really as a series of ruptures to the modernist, globalist world order, that do in fact threaten the existence of previous state-based, nation-state partitions. The world is indeed entering a phase in which centripetal forces will dominate, and all the rhetoric celebrating the climax of a one-world globalist age is absolutely helpless in stopping this. Now what’s so interesting here is that even though modernity has rotted out and died in the hearts and minds of westerners, that has not stopped our western elite from attempting to export modernity to the rest of the world in the form of globalism and globalization through exporting western forms of democracy and free markets and lifestyle values and multiculturalism.” —Dr. Steve Turley
This post is primarily inspired by a short video made by Dr. Steve Turley, the link to which is below, and also here. Dr. Turley is my new favorite guy on YouTube, mainly because he says what I like to hear, and says it intelligently, articulately, and persuasively. For political and social commentary I consider him even better than Styxhexenhammer666. I still like Styx too though.
I’ve already written a few times on the self-contradictions and other ironical self-defeating policies of the new left, generated partly, no doubt, by the idealistic emotional wishful thinking which prevails on that side of the political divide. For example, the left’s idea that a borderless welfare state could somehow NOT be a horrific fiasco. Nowadays even far leftist parties in western Europe are realizing that a socialist state with open borders is essentially a magnet for 3rd-world migrants eagerly intent upon parasitizing the system; yet as the Europeans are finally realizing the obvious, the Democratic Party in the USA doubles down on its irrationality and more vehemently insists upon 1) open borders and 2) more socialized free handouts to all comers. And speaking of 3rd-world migrants in Europe, another colossal irony is the fact that feminists on the left have allied themselves with one of the most misogynistic mass ideologies on the planet (traditional Islam) against some of the least misogynistic men on the planet (western ones of European ancestry), going with the neo-Marxist dogma that white patriarchal males are the cause of all the evil in the world, or at least most of it. This is what you get when an influential political movement is based on a bad idea (Marxism 1.0) modified toward even greater silliness in the ivory towers of western liberal academia.
The ironical self-defeating leftist policy to be discussed this time, the vital self-contradiction, is the new left’s adoption of a postmodern interpretation of reality AND a globalist, transnational, transcultural approach to world politics at the very same time. The problem here isn’t nearly so obvious as the problem of feminists allying with traditional Muslims, but it may be an even bigger problem for the left—in fact it may be instrumental in destroying the so-called Progressive movement throughout western civilization. The trouble is that a postmodern interpretation of reality is conducive to a fragmentation of human societies, leading toward various sorts of tribalism, including nationalism, a hallmark of the “hard right.” Ironically, postmodernism tends toward aspects of classical right-wing politics that postmodern leftists revile! Strange is this.
Up until very recently, western and westernized civilization has been held together by a kind of overarching metanarrative, which we may call modernism. This modernism was based heavily on the ideas of the so-called Enlightenment, with its emphasis on reason, empiricism, human rights, liberty, and the dignity of the individual. (Before modernism in the west the metanarrative was Christianity, with intolerance and war against those who rejected it; before that it was a more easygoing syncretistic Paganism.) Modern scientific empiricism became a kind of ideological bedrock on which all of the more superficial disagreements between people and nations could rest. It was the new world religion, or perhaps a super-religious metaphysical common ground, which everyone in the world was more or less compelled to accept. Coming along for the ride with the juggernaut of scientific empiricism were other Enlightenment ideas such as democracy, materialism, and eventually capitalistic consumerism.
Thus modernism brought the world together, more or less, by providing a single truth, or metanarrative, which would be applicable and valid for everyone throughout the world; and this served as a foundation for globalism.
But now with postmodernists denying the very existence of empirical truth, of a single interpretation of reality valid and applicable to all (“it’s all just a cultural construct”), each person, each group, each population, each ethnicity is free to choose his/her/its own “truth.” This of course throws the proverbial monkey wrench into a unified globalist system; rather, it encourages tribalism, and its near relation nationalism, including ethnic nationalism. Thus, the postmodernism embraced by the new left, with its intersectionality pitting one group of people against another, each with their own preferred (and equally valid/invalid) narrative, is a force tending toward the relatively fascistic notion of ethnic national identity.
Whether or not the new left is responsible for the current mass rejection of the Enlightenment metanarrative and its universal glue of scientific realism, the fact remains that the metanarrative is losing its authority throughout the western and westernized world; and without a unifying metanarrative, what seems to be inevitable, to some degree anyhow, is societal balkanization and a fair amount of chaos.
The cultural Marxists, alias “progressives,” apparently want to replace the old Enlightenment world view with a multicultural diversity of world views held together by the supremely impractical ideology of cultural Marxism. Somehow the idea that “it’s all a cultural construct” accepted by everyone, along with identity politics, victim culture, socialism, and so on, will form a new underlying common ground between peoples and cultures—a kind of meta-metanarrative. But, needless to say, this is hardly likely to happen, especially considering that non-decadent traditional societies want nothing to do with the moral relativism and glorification of sexual aberrations and general dysfunction which the new ideology entails. Furthermore, even now the new left is notoriously “devouring itself” as tribalist subgroups within the left turn upon each other over ideological differences, or just superficial tribal differences. What is much more likely to occur is that harsh, undeniable empirical reality will come to the fore and teach us all what’s what, whether we like it or not, possibly with the help of a great deal of bloodshed.
Of course it would be more realistic to retain the old Enlightenment values, or better yet a less materialistic, less rigidly rationalistic (or “scientistic”) modification of them, as a loosely unifying metanarrative which all nations and ethnicities can refer to when dealing with each other. At the very least, international diplomacy could come up with some semblance of a common ground, some greatest common factor that everyone is willing to accept. But realism is a right-wing thing, presumably a kind of reactionary rejection of the idealist left’s utopian dream.
The situation is reminiscent of Dr. Jordan Peterson’s occasional observations on how postmodernism’s moral relativism and rejection of objective empiricism result in a kind of void which undermines the left’s own position along with all else, leaving the progressives with no option other than to enforce their own arbitrary, culturally constructed interpretation of the world by coercively enforced decree. But their authority, moral, political, economic, etc., is beginning to collapse even in the decadent west, largely as a result of the obvious failures of their idealist, utopian, and unrealistic policies. Just ask Europeans how well multiculturalism is coming along.
Dr. Turley claims that the rising nationalism throughout the world is the inevitable consequence of the very same postmodernism that the globalist new left has insisted upon—the emotional subjectivity favored by the left results in individual “truths,” for entire societies as well as individuals, which in turn results in fragmentation and a more “alt-right” approach to the world. He claims that some form of nationalism is inevitable at this point, and a choice must be made between two distinct forms of it: civic nationalism, with national culture holding various peoples together, such as that which Mr. Trump appears to endorse, or ethno-nationalism, a more total breakdown of societies into “intersectional” tribalism writ large, ethnocracies such as those favored by Islamists, white supremacists, and black supremacists—which seems actually to be the direction in which the left is headed, while all the time proclaiming its exact opposite. At least this supplies some additional common ground between feminized progressives and fundamentalist Islam. Western civilization must somehow make the choice; and as Dr. Turley emphatically says,
…but either way the irony in all of this is that no matter what, no matter which option you go with, the civic nationalists or the ethno-nationalists, the world is more and more reorganizing around nation, culture, custom, tradition, land, language, and ethnicity. The age of modern globalism is over.
So in yet another way the far left is coming full circle and adopting policies of right-wing fascism. Maybe now you can see why I like Dr. Turley. Amen and pass the popcorn. The near future is sure to be damned interesting.
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another, more recent one dealing with the same topic:
“Support for German Right Surges as Chemnitz Protests Continue!!!”
Postscript, added much later: Dr. Turley has begun selling stuff on his shows, turning the first 2 or 3 minutes into a commercial, and thereby causing me to cringe much more than I did when writing this. In fact he has started behaving in a way that caused me to have a rather low opinion of Evangelical Mammon-serving Christians when I was much younger than now. I still like his show, however, and watch it; I just skip over the commercial part.