Postmodernism 4

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.


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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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  2. June 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Free Bible Seminary Course On Postmodernism, Lesson 006Postmodern Essay Questions1. Do you agree that postmodernism is a drnueaogs deception? Why or why not?postmodernism is anti-order, anti-boundaries, anti-logic, anti-reality, anti-oppression, anti-government, anti-science, and anti-religion: so it is against many things, but for very little. The importance of a firm foundation is described by Jesus in Luke 6:48: “He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock.” Alternatively, he describes the consequences of a lack of foundation in Luke 6:49: “But he who hears, and doesn’t do, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great. (WEB).Yes postmodernism is indeed dangers and deceptive. Postmodern era the inability to reason analytically. Postmodernism, on the other hand, has lost respect for knowledge, legitimately seeing its limitations and contradictions. Less legitimately, the conclusion drawn by postmodernism is one of confusion and distrust that nothing can truly be understood. This is a problem since the ability to reason and analyse is essential for navigating the environment, making sound judgments, and for carefully considering the more important aspects of life. Christianity is concerned about truth, which is information and wisdom; modernism is more focused on facts and analysis; and postmodernism seems to be concerned with factoids and individual bits of information, sometimes related, sometimes not; all delivered by the relentless bombardment of mass media. Postmodernism seems to offer some alternatives to joining the global culture of consumption, where commodities and forms of knowledge are offered by forces far beyond any individual’s control. These alternatives focus on thinking of any and all action (or social struggle) as necessarily local, limited, and partial but nonetheless effective. By discarding grand narratives (like the liberation of the entire working class) and focusing on specific local goals (such as improved day care centers for working mothers in your own community), postmodernist politics offers a way to theorize local situations as fluid and unpredictable, though influenced by global trends. Hence the motto for postmodern politics might well be think globally, act locally and don’t worry about any grand scheme or master plan.2. Do contemporary media promote or erase boundaries? Explain.The study of new media opens up some of the most fascinating issues in contemporary culture: questions of ownership and control over information and cultural goods; the changing experience of space and time; the political consequences of new communication technologies; and the power of users and consumers to disrupt established economic and business models.The New Media Theory Reader brings together key readings on new media – what it is, where it came from, how it affects our lives, and how it is managed. Using work from media studies, cultural history and cultural studies, economics, law, and politics, the essays encourage readers to pay close attention to the ‘new’ in new media, as well as considering it as a historical phenomenon. The Reader features a general introduction as well as an editors’ introduction to each thematic section, and a useful summary of each reading.3. Explain relativism.A theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics, that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.4. Explain the “Sokal Affair“. Sokal’s experiment directly tested Gross and Levitt’s claims by attempting to get a paper published in a top deconstructionist journal. If they were correct, the content of the paper would not matter and could be filled with complete nonsense; what would matter would be fawning references to other deconstructionist authors and the proper amount of feminist and socialist thought.Sokal produced a paper that argued that quantum gravity has progressive political implications, and that Rupert Sheldrake’s New Age concept of the morphogenetic field could be a cutting-edge theory of quantum gravity. It concludes that, since physical reality’ is at bottom a social and linguistic construct , a liberatory science and emancipatory mathematics must be developed that spurn the elite caste canon of high science’ for a postmodern science [that] provide[s] powerful intellectual support for the progressive political project .[cite this quote]The affair spilled out of academia and into the mainstream press, and commentators are divided on the level of its consequences. Anthropologist Bruno Latour, one of those singled out by Sokal in his later book, has described the whole affair as a tempest in a tea cup. Mathematician Gabriel Stolzenberg, however, has written a number of essays with the stated purpose of debunking the claims made by Sokal and his allies[6]. He argues that Sokal and company do not possess a sufficient understanding of the philosophical positions that they criticize and that this lack of understanding renders their criticisms meaningless. Bricmont and Sokal replied to Stolzenberg in the journal Social Studies of Science[7], pointing out what they claimed were tendentious misrepresentations of their work and critiquing Stolzenberg’s commentary on the strong program. Stolzenberg replied in the same issue, arguing that both the critique and the allegations of misrepresentation were based on misreadings. He advised readers to examine the arguments on each side slowly and skeptically, bearing in mind the dictum that the obvious is sometimes the enemy of the true.5. Briefly define five “buzzwords” and use them in a paragraph.GlobalizationAnti-globalizationConsumerism is a trapIncome redistributionAll systems are oppressivePostmodernism, 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.6. Give examples of linear and circular reasoning.This type of thinking lends itself to cyberspace surfing hours can be spent exploring links before one realizes that the original topic of interest was forgotten long ago. It is also more compatible than linear thinking with the idea that there is no truth, words have no meaning, and nothing can be understood: if these premises are true, there is no need for a logical end to any thought pathway anyway.No doubt, there are advantages to circular reasoning, but the disadvantages are worrying. In a letter to Brian McLaren, prison evangelist and former Nixon aide Chuck Colson observed, “A generation raised on channel-surfing has lost the capacity for linear thinking and analytical reasoning. Colson’s statement points to one of the biggest problems in education in the postmodern era the inability to reason analytically.

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