You Are Not A Postmodernist

A nice little post here from the Velcro City Tourist Board, following on from my previous post on why most people who call themselves “accelerationists” are kinda missing the point. Paul Raven writes:

The point being: for the most part, though with some notable exceptions, postmodernist thinkers were not advocating for a doctrine of postmodernity so much as they were attempting to describe the contours of a new cultural condition that had been assigned that (unfortunate and contentious) moniker. As such, I’m tempted to see accelerationism as Colquhoun sees it — which, I concede, may not be a universal conception of that term — as being a condition rather than a creed, in the same sense that postmodernity was a condition rather than a creed; in both cases, the conditionality may suggest certain stances in response, but that’s a very different thing to waving a flag that says “postmodernity, yay!”

Interestingly, my original thought emerged from a post I started working on around the same time that was going to argue this exact same point. Unfortunately, I ran out of energy to complete it but the gist was: “Why are so many people on YouTube obsessed with defending postmodernism?”

The draft consisted of a single paragraph I had intended to build out:

It seems like, in a bizarre twist of fate, postmodernism has become a defendable position simply because Jordan Peterson equates it with “cultural Marxism” and whatever else the left is apparently plotting, but just because Peterson thinks its dangerous and bad doesn’t unfortunately make it good.

Lots of Breadtubers are guilty of this binary thinking and their audiences tend not to know any better to pick up on it. Nevertheless, reactively taking on Peterson’s idiocy only ends up extending it into our own discourses. It’s depressing to see.

This is an opportune moment to share Mark and Robin’s old Ccru essay on pomophobia, and from there on out the trajectory is clear. Postmodernism is absolutely a condition rather than a creed. Mark would further distil this point into his later writings on hauntology. Accelerationism was what came next.

I have an account of this trajectory written up in the first chapter of Egress. The connection between Mark’s hauntological and accelerationist writings is explicit, precisely because they are complimentary modes of writing that attempt to deal with the conflicting temporalities contained within what we used to call “postmodernity”. Keeping those modes distinct is not simply pseudo-academic pedantry on my part but an attempt to halt the trajectory I feel myself more and more explicitly fighting against — the flattening and homogenising of all critical faculties. Too many continue to do pomo’s job for it unwittingly. That’s even more depressing than Peterson’s reactionary critics.


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