Post-Modernism is an ideology which came up right after the industrial revolution, it’s an ideology which is based on the basic tenant that there is no meta narrative, all knowledge is partial and nothing is absolute. It first emerged in the art and literary circles and then slowly spread to other spheres. Post-Modernists believe that all truth is subject to social and economic conditions, they reject anything universal or binary.
In the 21st century, debates over Post-Modernism have erupted once again, we face several issues and the way to solve many of them could be rootes in Post-Modernist thought but again there are questions about this, can we find a middle ground to this, after all the rejection of extremes would mean a middle ground would work right?
Diversity is the greatest thing about the human race, the fact that we can all be so different yet similar in so many ways is a magical fact, but what happens when each community or group starts believing that they are superior? The Holocaust for example was carried out with this argument, that one race was superior to another. Post- Modernism believes that all knowledge is local and partial, this basically implies that every community, creed, race, religion or group can have their own identity and ALL of these identities will be valid, no group would be considered inferior because no single group is considered superior, all truths are equally important. Multiculturalism is therefore Post-Mordernist.
Post-Modernism rejects absolutism, which would ensure dictators, tyrants and despots who believe that they have all the answers will be rejected, a society based on Post-Modernism would be based on consensus, dialogue and debate. Hitler for example believed that he and he alone had all the answers, he basically narrowed his people’s vision to view the world, such absolutism is rampant in the 21st century . Such absolute views would only lead to war, bloodshed and more war. My way or your way, as long as there is a way, it’s alright.
Post-Modernism allows inclusion, our world today is a cruel world for those with disabilities, for those standing at the end of the line, we live in an increasingly exclusionary world, a world where certain groups find themselves isolated and left out, thousands of them are denied jobs, shelter and even basic resources to even survive,in a Post-Modernist society, there would be room for communities like these because it forces us to accept other options and to allow other options to thrive even if we don’t agree with them. Our planet can’t be viewed only in black or only in white, we are black, white, yellow and red and blue and green and every other colour in the spectrum.
Our education system is exactly where we need Post-Morderism, our education systems have been designed in such a way that only students who fit into a particular mould will do well but what happens to those who don’t fit into this mould? What happens when those diagnosed with autism or dyslexia can’t fit into the mould? Our current system would isolate, humiliate and belittle them because it’s based on a rigid doctrine. Flexibility is another key Post-Modern concept, a concept which would allow those who don’t with the flow to reach the finish line.
Post-Modernism also allows different definitions of concepts like tradition and morality, what is considered moral for you may not be moral for me, thus we could have different notions of morality and we could still coexist, there need not be one universal code of morality because again this would only lead to more conflict. Tradition too is a very fluid concept. Your father may seem traditional to you and your grandfather may seem traditional to your father, with time, the defenition of tradition may change and this is alright, as long as your notion of tradition does not stop someone else from practicing his notion of tradition, they can coexist.
Post-Modernism in simple terms is not singular, it’s plural, a plurality of faiths, religions, creeds, ideologies, belfies, truths and cultures, a Post-Modernist society would be accepting and tolerant. I may not agree with you but I care about you, I may not like what you’re saying but I will accept you, I may not look like you or eat like you or speak like you but we can still be friends, you could worship in any way you want, you can wear any dress you want, you can speak any language you want and we can all coexist.
Post-Modernism however isn’t a perfect ideology, it needs to be adapted into the 21st century and it needs a lot of evolution but the basic values of Post-Modernism can offer all of us valuable guide points on how to navigate these troubled times of conflict and chaos, people have argued that Post-Modernism is abstract , vague and filled with questions, but the Post-Modern way offers all of us a chance to discuss and debate over the issues we face. Climate change for example can’t have one universal solution, it’s going to take local knowledge and local solutions to combat climate change, Post-Modernism can help us with issues like these, issues which can’t be solved by one universal solution.
Can we look beyond the problems of Post-Modernism or are we going to conceptualize a post Post-Moodern era ? Let me know in the comment section below!