Post- Modernism : A Tactical Exercise?

Start Sim in a debate with Paul Cliteur, argues that post- modernism is a continuation of the Enlightenment tradition….and that it is a tactical exercise. If that were the case I wouldn’t have much of a problem with post- modernism, but then does it still need to be called post- modernism?

As for postmodernism, I just do not recognise Cliteur’s interpretation of this. Postmodernism challenges authority in its many guises, and questions the assumptions that underpin our value system. It is a tactical exercise designed to make us rethink the ideals behind modernity, many of which have proved over time to have an adverse effect on our world. But I’d regard that as in the best spirit of the Enlightenment: refusing to take things on trust just because they have the weight of traditional authority behind them.

Paul Clietur had contended that post- modern relativistic position make Western societies easy prey for the ideology of radical Islam.

What this attitude leads to can also be gauged in “Murder in Amsterdam”, a recent book on the Van Gogh killing written by the Dutch-American journalist and scholar Ian Buruma. Like Sim, Buruma holds a postmodern relativistic outlook. He tries, again like Sim, to apply postmodern relativism to the problem of religious terrorism. He also contends that an orientation toward the ideas and ideals of the Enlightenment is not significantly better or preferable to an orientation toward radical Islamic ideology. Radical Islam is a fundamentalist position, but the same could be said about “radical Enlightenment.” Both are to be rejected.

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