The Truth is out There Somewhere, or is it?
On Thursday 24th May at 7pm the Bristol Communist Discussion Group welcomes you all to a discussion on postmodernism and its effects on Marxism and left activism.
Venue: Hydra Books, 34 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EZ. Admission free, donation for room hire welcome.
Postmodernism, the darling of social scientists and the curse of Marxists?
The fluidity of postmodernism prevents real change and innovation as everything can be reproduced. It deters theoretical debate and analysis as this no longer a requirement, its all been done before. It is an easy way out as it denies there is any truth or a 'grand plan'.
For decades a mixture of postmodernism and Foucauldian influences have helped fragment the left. In his haste to counteract Marx, Foucault, a follower of Nietche, a nihilist philosopher, negated the fact that governments' actions are determined by economic factors.
An underlying basis for postmodernism and Foucauldianism is construction theory whereby just about anything can be deconstructed and reconstructed. This theory can apply to whole nations as their value systems are smashed by the West and alternative ideologies imposed on them. It relates to the flow of capital and how loans are imposed on countries to force them to restructure; to the break up of companies regardless of the fact the directors remain super-rich as well as to how life style choices are imposed on people through the media.
Foucault saw that power was not confined to governments but rather that it permeated the whole of society. He did not deny the existence of unequal power relations but considered it was the ability of people to reconstruct themselves, for instance through representation in the media, that gave them power to challenge authority. On one hand this has changed public perceptions of certain groups but on the other it has increased individualism and resulted in activists proclaiming their right to a different lifestyle with no concept of how this lifestyle is to be achieved or sustained without it being absorbed into the mainstream.
To oppose the government we need to maintain a revolutionary basis to the struggle, acknowledge class differences, monopoly capitalism as well as social and cultural differences. All this requires analysis.