The lie of postmodernism is in its very name—it is neither “post” nor “modern.” It is parasitic. Its unabashed success is primarily due to the wealth of its host. Western culture was fat. With a loss of faith amplified by war in the 20th century, science and politics had replaced religion and philosophy. Science, understood only as a methodology, had little resistance to any who used it.
The anxiety and depression common in Western countries with abundant time for self-appraisal, feeds on itself. Europe and the far-flung outposts of the British Empire, including America, have embraced “postmodernism,” thus replacing 2,000 years of rigorously considered philosophy and layered moral values with 100 years of dissipation and debauchery, and with that infection have made themselves most susceptible to socialism.
Poetry and its revelation of our world has been replaced by word games. The novel, an almost magical device for opening the mind of one human being to the lives of others, has been replaced by a tepid literature of self-doubt, complaint and blame. Theater has become an endless display of our shortcomings. The manifest fine arts, representing 4,000 years of critical self-awareness and an expression of the human spirit beyond mere words, has been reduced to the mimicry of a political formula.
To ask why, or how, this could happen is to ignore the obvious. The old virus of socialism offered no enlightenment to the rest of the world because it was already omnipresent in their lives. But using the vehicle of postmodernism, the West was easy pickings at a time when it was triumphant, having quit on itself prematurely to enjoy the spoils. The often-cited example of the Roman Empire is not misplaced. But dissolution such as this had also happened to the Persian, Byzantine, Han, Tang, Kushan, Mongol, and lest we forget, the Egyptian empire of Ozymandias. The difference now is only that this is us. And we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We are responsible. Any hope of salvation must come from our own sinews, our own will, to be reclaimed with our own purpose.