On Postmodernism 2

The basis for criticizing postmodernism is therefore not a rejection of the postmodern realization itself. It remains the case that valuation is not intrinsic to objects and events and this is not something one unsees. The case for criticizing immature postmodernism lies elsewhere, principally in its characteristic deletion of developmental competence.

The realization that valuation is not intrinsic does not come with the recognition that it is a realization in an overall trajectory, it merely comes as a realization. The immature postmodernist therefore mistakenly believes this realization can be easily shared, and seeks to educate others in it. It actually requires subsequent developmental maturation to eventually contextualize the postmodern realization as part of a broader trajectory of realization. The mature postmodernist, having realized the greater trajectory, stops trying to force a realization on others who are not yet capable of it, and works to support the continued growth of the whole trajectory.

The primary difference, then, between the mature postmodernist and the immature postmodernist is that the mature postmodernist has become aware of developmental maturation as a trajectory while the immature postmodernist has not. The immature postmodernist considers their realization and value sphere superior, but not as a matter of the fruits of greater developmental competence, simply as a matter of having figured something out. As the immature postmodernist does not yet consciously recognize and honor their own developmental competence as such, they do not yet consciously appreciate the road required to actualize their own realization and may outright deny the concept of developmental competence as a subjective privileging of one frame of experience over another. As a consequence, they act in the world under the mistaken understanding that their value sphere can be expanded and universally instilled in others through education, activism, and understanding.

This ultimately results in conflict as the immature postmodernist eventually concludes that the mistaken acceptance of non inclusive ideologies is what prevents the world from achieving the postmodern realization. This is the reason for the often bizarre contradictions of the immature postmodernist, who may simultaneously claim all views must be respected, while working to eradicate “non inclusive” ideologies. Moreover, people realizing that valuation is not intrinsic to the objects and events of the world often do not immediately integrate this realization in a healthy way for various other reasons. It is easy to reach absurd conclusions, for example that nothing has meaning. Ironically, such a statement is expressed precisely because it seems meaningful to explore, and when we inevitably attempt to reinitialize a sense of meaning, we confront the fact that we never really believed the statement in the first place. Similarly, the view that no view can be considered more valid than any other is performatively contradictory, because it doesn’t hold itself to its own standard. If no view is uniquely valid, then nor can be the view that no view is uniquely valid. When finally we recognize this performative contradiction, we confront the fact that we have been ranking and prioritizing interpretation all along. Moreover, we realize that no alternative to such ranking exists, and we begin doing so comfortably and consciously. As we process these pitfalls and realizations, we become increasingly aware of the process of self maturation within the postmodern realization, and we therefore inevitably begin to recognize the original postmodern realization as part of that process of self maturation.

A culture collectively exploring these ideas is likely to commit significant errors resulting from an implicit deletion of developmental competence. As an example, the immature postmodernist may oppose such things as national borders under the mistaken assumption that all cultures can come together and learn the tolerance rooted in a realization that valuation is not intrinsic to things; that they will explore each other’s cultures and religious beliefs in peaceful and harmonious exchanges that enrich all. The immature postmodernist does not yet realize that most people are wholly inadequate to the postmodern realization, and that developmentally incompetent people with different cultural and religious heritages meeting by the thousands often results in conflict. It might nevertheless be possible for different religions and cultures to meet each other from within the context of a strong and developmentally competent domestic culture, but the immature postmodernist generally seeks to deconstruct that too as a non inclusive ideology preventing its own realization from taking place.

Another mistake often made by immature postmodernists failing to recognize developmental competence can be observed within the feminist movement. The desire to defeat “toxic masculinity” and replace it with healthy masculinity is understandable, but here again the immature postmodernist reveals their inability to recognize the importance of developmental competence. “Toxic masculinity” is not understood as the immature seeds of healthy masculinity, but as a “cultural construct” in a flattened world where developmental competence isn’t a thing to be considered. On this basis, the immature postmodernist demands that “toxic masculinity” be deconstructed as ideology. Yet healthy masculinity can’t merely be brought into existence by telling boys about feminism or having a workshop on diversity, it is hard won through growth and experience. The mature postmodernist, who acts to support the continued growth of the whole growth trajectory, recognizes that the imposition of excessive boundaries around preventing the cultivation of “toxic masculinity” in young boys makes it harder to actualize developmentally competent masculinity later in life, because it kicks out the ladder from under the sprouting transformation. As the immature postmodernist recognizes the natural behavior they have categorized as toxic emerging in young boys, they often decide to put even more boundaries around masculine identity, further stifling the developmental process, all when the original postmodern realization was ironically to rescue identity from culturally imposed cages.

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