Author- Vladimir Zark
Here’s an essay I’ve been dying to write. Let’s just say that it’s academic, but not supposed to be serious because, plainly said, it’s supposed to be satirical. Sadly, we’ve depreciated as a society and a people so much over the last, what, 20 years? – that I can’t even posit this essay ironically anymore. Allow me to explain the notion of post-postism. Essentially, this is my title for the era, or period, of society that is its ultimate downfall. First, we have the people, who cannot take a joke, who are so fragile and meek that they must be catered to at every stop, who must be treated as utter babies, coddled like toys. These people have lost the understanding of what it means to be mature, well-conducted, considerate of history or wisdom or any of those dated terms, and completely indifferent to the onslaught of ‘progressive social change’ that they have wrought, which shall be their downfall if it continues. These people live on coffee, worship idiots, listen to degenerates, learn from bigots, and inevitably become a foolish mess of uncertainty.
This is the first implication of post-postism, the decline of individual importance. The second symptom, should I say, is the degeneration of culture and decline of quality in EVERY aspect – let it be art, music, film, literature, science, or philosophy, society has ruined it. How would I prove this? I would ask the average person who Salvador Dali is, who Friedrich Nietzsche is, who Kurt Vonnegut is, who the United States presidents were. And after that person will blankly say “I’ve heard those names before, I think” and recite to me George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson (god knows he wouldn’t remember the other 14 or so who preceded him), FDR, JFK, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, he will say “why do I need to know about those other guys anyway?” And you will realize the true implications of post-postism, where culture is nothing, and stupidity prevails. Then you will begin contending with the problem of “everything is subjective” and “everything is a social construct”, used completely un-ironically in the modern day, as though nothing is real. Nothing is real. God isn’t real because he’s dead. Science isn’t real because it’s sexist and places some people above others – boo hoo. I’m saying these things ironically, you know.
EVERYTHING IS SUBJECTIVE.
Nothing is real. Nothing was ever real except one thing – my feelings.
MY OPINION, OH MY GOODNESS.
Virtually everything in liberal America is inevitably subsumed in the hurtful presence of the opinion, the thing that some are entitled to without question – some others should probably take several tests to prove the right to own one – like a driver’s license. An opinion license is probably the greatest social invention I have ever thought of next to the reproduction license. These two things can regulate who has the most basic rights, but only in earning them. In the modern day, I am gripped with fear if I talk to a person while they have the presupposition that I’m evil because I’m white. Ah, did you not think I’d have addressed this at some point in the era of post-postism? Don’t be silly. The white person has lost himself to a particular degree of uncertainty in this day and age – the white teenager is befuddled to know that he is privileged, gifted with invisible authority and power over his lesser minorities and ethnically diverse persons, who go to the same university of higher learning as him. He begins to suffer from the strange symptom of dissonance that he, the rational person, sees around him and experiences firsthand. He begins to wonder if he is going mad, if he is indeed the one who is at fault and not his irrational peers, and if he is indeed suffering from a veil of invisible gifts he himself has never known about but has had his wonderfully informed peers ‘educate’ him on. He recalls the financial stresses that he might have faced, the times of hardship that befell him when his parents couldn’t afford his basic necessities, but his conscience about the matter is repressed, won out by the great ‘white guilt’ he has only recently known he has. And he pities those that he oppressed for so long before, and feels pained that he had been related to a distant great uncle that owned slaves – he would never consider doing it himself, but he still feels bad. And then he is told that his culture is founded on imperialism and domination, and that he has no culture if he really thinks about it – he is even told that his feelings of masculinity are frail and without substance. This man, this poor white man, is the target of harassment – I am that target too. And I do not complain about the position I’ve been placed under – where I’m branded guilty but feel completely innocent – but I simply wish to make light of and consider the strangeness of the position, hoping to derive the truth of it all.But truth, you must know by now, is not the interest of those who control the narrative.
And in the era of Post-Postism, those who control the narrative have all the power, for they impose themselves onto others, having no reprieve from their emotional sufferings until they’ve sufficiently weeded out every individual fiber of ‘bigotry’ from the others – and the others do not feel the same emotional sufferings as they do, making the problem even more confusing and, honestly, quite silly. The problem with our Post Postist society is not necessarily in the endorsement of these narratives, for the narratives themselves may even be quite valid – it is in the imposition of these narratives onto others, the normal and healthy people, who do not see the need to suffer the same burdens as the emotional ones do. With imposition comes a desire to control, for no matter how sincere the topics of the narrative endorsers may be, the agenda under which that narrative is imposed may not always be easily accounted for. And when you do discover that agenda, whether it be the advancement of certain groups of people, or the collapse of others, you realize just how horribly twisted and conniving these endorsers actually are. We are given very specific values, values implanted with enormous cultural and intellectual assumptions – and the endorsers aren’t happy with them, for their identity isn’t given priority under these values. But of course I would not be able to argue a position on narratives and not account for my own. I am a white person, of course. I am a male, of course. I am of low socioeconomic status, to be honest. I have never felt privileged based on my race. I have indeed felt dejected based on the lack of cultural relation that I can have with other people, with the exception of other Russian people and, occasionally, a decent person. In my quest along the academic and intellectual ladder, I have never been given any special gifts or benefits on the basis of my race – everything I’ve earned, that being my scores and my writing and my own intellectual development, is all a product of my own endearing effort and hard work. Furthermore, I am often treated with an odd sort of dejection on the basis of being ‘abnormal’ and “overly interested in things people your age shouldn’t care about”, and that fascinates me. So, I will say, in my experience with this era, that identity is very hard to achieve, especially when my view of the train presents to me a set of values that, indeed, reflects how secluded everyone is. Sure, I’m writing this on a computer, and am thus isolating myself from the rest of the world, but at the very least, I am doing something meaningful, contributing an intellectual product of sorts. But in the era of Post Postist culture, intellectual products do not possess that necessary design and function that they used to have only a decade ago. Intellect itself has been distorted and misinterpreted, finding itself falsely manifested in people who agree with ‘progressive’ rhetoric and ‘liberal’ values – though I use those words loosely, and not to state an argument against the left wing. What I mean is that the fundament of Post Postism is in the specific values promoted by liberal culture. It’s in the rejection of individual identity for a racial, social, or sexual one, the utter ‘reformation’ of the traditionalist model of the household and the family, and in the end of it all, an almost entropic descent into subjectivity that overtakes any hint of truth with the assumption that truth cannot exist outside of context. And you might think that these three things that I have listed aren’t necessarily bad – you might even argue that they breed a new, more developed and receptive culture.
But you might miss the point, my dear friend, that the past was a much different intellectual playing field. The past, if we take away all of its unpleasant bans against certain groups of people which I do indeed find unethical, was a far more sturdy and perhaps Darwinian field of intellectual discourse. By this I mean to say that if you were saying meaningful things, and were tapped into the right intellectual ideas with the best possible cadence, you would be listened to and praised for your insightfulness and people would respect your commitment. But in this day and age, in Post Postism, there’s no such thing as intellectual discourse. The prioritization of the subjective narrative holds utmost weight and credence, taking over even the most objective and realistic subjects of discourse, such as the physical sciences. This movement is frightening and devastatingly real. Regardless of your opinion on the question of progressivism, you should see that there are very realistic trends in life that can have utmost reproducibility. These trends have the greatest importance at all times, overtaking the subjective narrative almost without opposition. The only problem is that we don’t take notice of them or logically reflect on them as we should.
Instead of regarding the real social and intellectual problems that are causing our students to have anxiety and depression levels rivaling that of asylum patients in the 1950’s, we are interested in how the white man is subjugating his ‘lesser’ peers by putting them through the exact same trials and tribulations as he’s going through, that being the attainment of an education, a job, a social life, a respectable intellectual identity – you will not be walking down the street in a Manhattan area and tell me that we are putting anyone who isn’t white down on the spot. Indeed, we are even helping them. Do you honestly think that affirmative action is a merely necessary justification? It’s a biased placement of one group of people over another on the mere assumption that they’re less fortunate. I am in a low income family, and I have NO SUCH THING. So please, my friend, hear me out for the last time, and realize that I do not speak because I want to hear my own written voice. Realize that I am not interested in attacking certain groups of people for any reason. I am only interested in attacking and reforming the truly difficult structures that enforce biased and unrealistic values. Bear with me, because this could become a large scale problem, or even has already. And I’m sorry if I couldn’t do more to stop it.