A Modest Request

Can we please, please cease and desist using the word post-modern to describe falsehood-devoted political campaigning?

Broadly speaking, post-modern delineates an outlook that see truth as situated, not as immaterial.  ‘Tis not the postmodernist who proclaims, “We believe in nothing, Lebowski!”

That is all.

Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp is a freelance writer who blogs about culture, philosophy, politics, postmodernism, and religion. He is a contributor to the group Catholic blog Vox Nova. Kyle lives with his wife, son, and daughter in North Texas. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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9 Responses

  1. Rtod says:

    Yes, if we can cease and desist using “pragmatic” for the same.

    • Kyle Cupp says:

      You’ve got my vote, sir.

    • I’ll grant a second vote.

      But I must add that with my vote, the principles that inform the value of whatever “principled pragmatism” one supports usually (always?) must invoke some sort of prior value or something that can even be called ideology. In fact, if I have one disagreement with Tod’s pragmatism, it’s that it seems to claim it’s free of ideology, or specific values on which people can and do disagree.

      I will state that that’s pretty much my only problem with his pragmatism, and perhaps I am putting a construction on it that Tod does not intend. And when I read that blog post a while back, I remember nodding (figuratively) in agreement.

  2. Kolohe says:

    Say what you will about lying shamelessly to win votes, at least it’s an ethos.

    • Glyph says:


      • Stillwater says:

        Yeah, that’s closer to how I’d characterize it. I tend to think it’s a conservative phenomenon, tho it’s probably more wide spread. Seems to me the “post truth” culture devolved from post-modernism in the way Kyle described. If truth is situational, or contextual, then taken to it’s (il)logical conclusion, there are no truth, only beliefs. Hence Karl Rove saying on the teevee – in all seriousness, apparently – “you’ve got your facts and I’ve got mine”.

    • Mike Schilling says:

      Those lies really tied the scam together.

  3. J.L. Wall says:

    Yeah, I mean — say what you will about Derrida, but at least he had an *ethos*, man.