Postmodernism and My Neighbor

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Please let me take a moment of your time so that I might explain why I hate postmodernism so much. It is the same reason, at bottom, why I hate socialism so much. But I repeat myself — they are at root the same thing, actually.

Modernity is a good thing, brought into existence by the influence of the gospel. Modernism was a parasitic ideology, sneeveling in to take credit for those good things it could not produce or sustain. Like parents who inherit a boodle that they don’t understand, the only thing modernism could do then was rear insolent teenagers with unsightly tattoos — the postmodernists.

Modernism created an abstraction called “the rights of the individual,” around which our classically liberal, democratic polity was to be built. But this abstraction is an idol, and consequently can’t defend itself against the inevitable pomo snark.

So when I defend free men and free markets, I am not doing so for the sake of “the individual.” We had no business departing from the biblical desciption. I do not believe in the rights of the individual. I believe in the rights of my neighbor. And I can hear the disciples of Jim Wallis now . . . but who is my neighbor?

This is no trifle. The Bible tells us that we should measure our love for God against our love for those we can see, like our brother, our neighbor (1 John 4:20). I cannot see “the individual,” and neither can the postmodernist, which is why denial of the rights of the individual roll so easily off their deconstructing (and yet never deconstructed, how convenient), tongues.

Pursue this to the bottom line. If there is no thing as the “rights of the individual,” then it shouldn’t be a problem if I make off with his wife. If there is no such thing as the “rights of the individual,” then we can jack his tax rates up to the point where we can finally pay for this socialist paradise we have going here. We can reveal the pomo agenda pretty easily, actually. Who do they want to sleep with, and who do they want to tax?

Christians who understand the Bible want to get in the way of this agenda. And they do this, not because they are heirs of some right wing strand of Enlightenment thinking, but rather because they have been taught to love their neighbor.



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