Author: Matt McManus

A Preview of “What is Post-Modern Conservatism?: Essays on Our Hugely Tremendous Times”

What is Post-Modern Conservatism: Essays on Our Hugely Tremendous Times is going to be released later this year by Zero . . .

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Postmodern Conservatism and Capitalism

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Conservatives today have been deeply critical of what is often called postmodernism.  They have associated it with identity politics, political correctness, social justice warriors, relativistic “cultural Marxism” and a host of other evils.  For some conservatives, post-modernism is signifies everything that is wrong with contemporary society. University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson has characterized it as “dangerous” and “radical” and dismissed important authors like Derrida as “charlatans.” The National Security Council has claimed that “postmodern cultural Marxism” (whatever that means) mobilizes opposition to Donald Trump.  And right wing commentator Ben Shapiro has characterized Barack Obama the first “postmodern” President.

Walter Benjamin and the Political Practices of the Alt-right

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The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Walter Benjamin was one of the great analysts of liberal capitalism during a time when its days seemed numbered and fascism was ascendant across Europe. Much of his work is taken up with looking at how the cultural products and processes characteristic of a civilization are reflective of the inner psychic and spiritual tensions roiling beneath the surface of hegemonic ideologies.

Post-Modern Trumpism and Loneliness: The Rise of Vulgar Authoritarianism

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In Hannah Arendt’s pioneering book The Origins of Totalitarianism, she criticized the failure of many to understand the appeals of fascism to modern citizens. She wrote that many observers gave fairly rote justifications for its rise and appeal in an apparently advanced and enlightened country like Germany, the birthplaces of Goethe, Kant, and Beethoven. Some claimed that it was the depressed economy that was responsible. Others in the German context pointed to defeat and humiliation in the First World War. Some reactionary conservatives claimed it was declining moral standards and the collapse of religiosity. And Arendt accepted that many of these might have something to do with it. But her ultimate explanation was far simpler and yet strangely more acute. Modern Germans were lonely.

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