Postmodernism Course, Lesson 003

Free Bible Seminary Course On Postmodernism, Lesson 003

Politically, knowledge has, over time, moved from the hands of the few to anyone connected to technology. Knowledge has always been a commodity, but is now more so, as it is disseminated by mass media and linked to advertising. Since knowledge is also power, the state and news agencies now have to share their power (to control information) with citizens who can quickly obtain information from numerous sources.

Another positive trend encouraged by postmodernists is that of the Internet-created potential for sharing information with the disenfranchised, along with creating the opportunity for anyone to be an author and/or editor. The negative side of this is that with fewer restrictions and oversight, the integrity of the information authored and edited can suffer.

Summary of Knowledge and Worldviews

Christian:

Given/revealed by God/Bible

Communicated in narrative form

Linear reasoning

Good, but wisdom is better

Modern:

Transmitted by language

Good for its own sake

Limitless potential

Equated with science

Linear reasoning

Postmodern:

Nothing can ever be truly understood

Circular reasoning

Like a rhizome

Digitalization

Should be available to all

Money and Economics

The Christian worldview about money includes more than a few important points: God is our provider; we are merely stewards of His money; wealth is a reward for hard work and righteousness, but greed is seen as leading to evil; charity should be shown to those less fortunate; idleness is discouraged; wages and market weights/scales should be fair; workers should not be oppressed; usury is discouraged.

Some modernists reject capitalism as oppressive, seeing Marxism instead as supporting the common worker and the disenfranchised. On the other hand, consumer capitalism and conspicuous consumption have been embraced during the modern era.

The postmodern economy is a global economy, associated with outsourcing and free trade agreements. The downside is that consumer demand for inexpensive items can promote exploitation of workers overseas, and eliminate local jobs. Prosperity is seen as somewhat suspect, especially as experienced in larger, more dominant nations. More locally, this idea of unmerited prosperity is related to the concept of “income redistribution” which is growing in popularity in the US. This is the feeling that “rich” companies and socioeconomic groups (which may include the middle class), should be more heavily taxed so that others (not necessarily the indigent or helpless) might reap the benefits of social services or additional employee benefits funded with this money. There are several problems with this idea. First, it removes the incentive for individuals (the more heavily taxed) to work, and secondly, it removes the incentive for companies to invest or hire new employees. As an example, if additional employee benefits are mandated for employers, employers hire fewer employees to compensate for the expense. This is obviously a complex subject that can’t be fully discussed in this article.

On the other hand, there is a postmodern distrust of consumerism that extends also to global consumerism. In fact, all economic systems are distrusted and viewed as oppressive.

Marxist and literary critic Fredric Jameson associates postmodernism with “late capitalism“ in many of his writings. His views about late capitalism cannot be fully explored here, but are associated with the decline of institutions and the breakdown of previous economic systems.

Summary of Economics and Worldviews

Christian:

Hard work is rewarded

Wages should be fair

Greed is a sin

Charity to those less fortunate

Modern:

Science = progress and mass production

Consumerism

Unionism

Capitalism is oppressive

Marxism is superior

Postmodern:

Globalization

Anti-globalization

Consumerism is a trap

Income redistribution

All systems are oppressive

Politics, Culture, and Society

The Christian and modernistic political worldviews are essentially pro-order, but with some differences. Moral leadership is a necessity for Christians, as is freedom of religion. Harmony between governors and the governed is sought, with the sense that leaders should be motivated by a sense of service to others. Modernity, on the other hand, “is fundamentally about order: about rationality and rationalization, creating order out of chaos,” according to Mary Klages.

Postmodernism, on the other hand, rejects all political systems, seeing them as oppressive; promotes instability, and seeks decentralization of all types of power. Stronger, Western nations are labeled as imperialist if they attempt to influence other nations, although this label was once reserved for empire-building nations. Perhaps all countries could be labeled as imperialistic today, since politics is all about influence.

According to Wikipedia, the postmodern movement

“has had diverse political ramifications: its anti-ideological ideas appear conducive to, and strongly associated with, the feminist movement, racial equality movements, gay rights movements, most forms of late 20th century anarchism, even the peace movement and various hybrids of these in the current anti-globalization movement. Unsurprisingly, none of these institutions entirely embraces all aspects of the postmodern movement in its most concentrated definition, but reflect, or in true postmodern style, borrow from some of its core ideas.”

A major problem with the politics of postmodernism is that it promotes instability within society. Change is essential and healthy, but rapid, poorly planned social and economic changes can have long-lasting and devastating effects. Another problem with postmodern politics is that truth suffers from the censorship of political correctness, as mentioned previously. Political correctness tends to be mass media driven, as are other fads in thinking. It might be interesting (in another forum) to study how the rejection of truth and inability to think analytically are related to societal and political instability.

Summary of Politics and Worldviews

Christian

Governments should express Christian values

Freedom of religion

Morality essential

Individual is important

Leaders/rulers should serve the ruled

Respect for authority

Modern:

Order is good

Science can promote social order

Oppressive governments should be overthrown

Postmodern:

All systems are oppressive

“Subjects” are unaware of being exploited

“Political correctness”

Fragmentation, instability

“Think globally, act locally”

Decentralization

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4 Comments on "Postmodernism Course, Lesson 003"

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  1. First to thank you for enlightenment on subject. Each system which has been touched on here, mankind has indeed experienced in a national foundation trough out the world .Yet I am overwhelmed with the philosophy of different style of agcitstance as it is given here in explanation that satisfy the view point .

  2. The media brinds about a bootscap on society.
    The communication is verbal or nonverbale,face to face,immediate feedback is possible.
    Characteristics oif media:
    -the information provided is public,open to everyone.
    -the ralationship between sender andreceiver of impersonal nature.
    -One can govern afterwards.(newspapers,magezines,radio/t.v.
    -general features
    news features

    Poletieke functies:
    -Whaths happen in the boutique ple across to the massas.
    – the word-feed or voice functies:the citizen believes
    openlijk,especially to the rulers poletieke.
    research function:journalists.
    advertising-know person
    cape-know real terms
    -consumer-responsive to sensation
    music
    values and standards:
    -good and bad
    standards:behavioral rules based on that value.
    the paper:
    1848/1450 was the news paper press eral
    1869 tax abolition newspaper
    T.v. and retrieve information.

  3. Susan Cu Tikalsky says:

    It seems the current acceptance and emphasis on prosperity is still based on a nonChristian model throughout the world, namely China, and others nondemocratic. Human diginity and the common good should be promoted throughout the world in our (USA) model, that is very watched by our own Justice System and supr- and international systems trusted. Thank you.

  4. Money really is the root of all evil as the Bible says, but as Christians we have the responsibility to use money not only for ourselves but for the less fortunate. And as faithful stewards of God we use is also for the gospel work world-wide. Money is a gift from God that we are to use it for His glory. Whatever postnodernists say about their money, Christians have a different view and that is the Biblical perspective: God is the Owner and the Provider we are His managers! The wordl-view is we are consumers and even hoarders but the Biblical view is we are recipients of God’s Blessings (in a way consumers) but we must also be gievrs for that is the spirit of heaven!
    Thanks for the anointed article.

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