Postmodernists are notorious for arguing that there is no truth. The world is a text open to any interpretation one may foist upon it. Of course, this is self-contradictory, since postmodernists must think that what they are saying is true.
In Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, Roger Scruton points out that postmodern writing abandons sense and meaning and takes on a kind of ritualistic, incantatory aspect. One is not dealing with arguments per se, so pomo writing is immune to rational criticism since it is itself irrational. Once one abandons the minimum conditions for intelligibility one either joins in the nonsense or abstains. Adherents are famously incapable of distinguishing “real” pomo writing and the explicit and intended nonsense of the postmodern generator computer program.
Likewise, analytic philosophers pretend to believe in determinism even though by doing so they are explicitly counting themselves and their readers as mindless, automatons with no free will and thus no ability to genuinely think and make up their own minds. They are compelled to say what they say by physical forces and have no choice about whether they believe what they are saying or not and they claim that their readers or listeners are in the same boat. The entire exercise is pointless based on their own premises.
Feminists, liberals and all politicians of every stripe complain about the male/female wage gap. Five minutes of thought should be enough to convince them of the stupidity of this complaint. The gap is produced by women taking time off work to raise children and by women choosing men who earn more than they do for child-rearing purposes – thus men will do more than women to earn more such as working longer hours, commuting twice as far on average than women, being more willing to relocate for work and entering the death-professions where injury, death, hard physical labor, exposure to the elements and an excellent chance of not making it to retirement exist, such as mining, logging, roofing, construction, firemen, policemen, truckers, garbage collectors, etc.
Such examples of unreason have a bullying quality. They are intended more as shibboleths – as tests of group membership. Are you willing to renounce reason to the extent necessary to join this group? The more flagrantly the simplest principles of logic are flouted the more committed one proves to be if one accedes to the stupidity.
One is considered a misogynist for not agreeing that the wage gap is a problem. One proves oneself to be beyond the pale if one is not a determinist among professional philosophers. One is viewed with suspicion in some contexts for rejecting postmodernism.
Hence, one is vilified and ostracized. One is scapegoated.
The only defense against this demonic state of affairs is to appeal to reason, but abandoning reason is a condition for group membership. The more one protests the more of an anathema one is proving oneself to be. It is the same as the famous test for whether one is a witch. Dunked in a pool, you are innocent if you drown, guilty if you float – either way, you die.
When accused of a crime, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. If one can point out holes in the evidence presented against one, using logic and facts, then one can prove oneself to be not guilty. For logical reasons, one can usually not prove one is innocent, having to do with not being able to prove negatives. However, with the philosophers and the exponents of postmodernism, one can point to the contradictions in their positions that do in fact prove they are wrong. Yet, by abandoning reason and the minimal requirements of rationality, the prosecution will remain unpersuaded.
The smiling unreason of the determinist and the postmodernist; the unsmiling unreason of the liberal and feminist, return us to the witch hunt and scapegoating Catch-22s; to the brutish and demonic scapegoat mechanism where the truth is no defense.