Analysis #5 Lyotard
In Defining the Postmodern Jean-Francois Lyotard discusses three debates on the term post-modern.
The first debate is about architecture (1466)
The Second discusses “the idea of progress” (1467)
The third is “expressions of thought” (1468)
The Second discusses “the idea of progress” makes a few interesting points that caught my thoughts and left me thinking. One of the points made here is that which states that “liberals, conservatives, and leftists” have disagreed about almost everything, “but the parties concurred in the same belief that enterprises, discoveries and institutions are legitimate only insofar as they contribute to the emancipation of mankind” (1467).
This is a very confusing and vague statement. It seems as though all the talking heads agree that progress through enterprises, discoveries, and institutions is good as long as it “emancipates” or “frees” mankind “from restraint, control, or the power of another”. I find it very difficult to believe that “liberals, conservatives, and leftists” want mankind to be “emancipated” because all that these groups ever want to do is restrain, control, and hold power over mankind. It’s like saying, “We can free you, but you must always do what we say”. The only thing that I believe they agree on is that they think that they know what is best for everyone. When they say that they want mankind emancipated, what do they want us to be emancipated from? Our subtle flaws make each of us different? Our beliefs? Our personal faiths? Our political incorrectness for only they know what is acceptable? Are they not the ones that are determined to control and plan each step into the future? Liberals and Leftist seem to hide behind a false heart of freedom that cloaks their true intention for control as they plead with humanity to join them in their “Cartesianism” world view determined to “break from the past by starting from a radical doubting of all received truths (1466). The only way to tear down this great nation is to overwhelm the system with half-truths, and right out lies. The Leftists and Liberals gain control as they over-react to everything with pretend offence waiting for any reason they can to reach for that race card (the perfect weapon to end a debate). Conservatives want to keep things like a black and white sitcom from the 1950’s and follow a very strict path as to what they see as moral, normal, and just. Strict Conservatives stagnant view of humanity leaves us in a two dimensional black and white series, for color is considered to risqué. If left to their own conservative devises mankind may resemble the lifestyles of the Puritans. We need conservatives to lighten up, leftist to shut up, and liberals to calm down. They need to find balance, but they are too radically different. The pendulum may swing back and forth but the only way to stop it is to center. What humanity needs is to always be slightly confused for confusion leads to questions, and questions lead to answers.
1: to free from restraint, control, or the power of another; especially: to free from bondage < emancipated the slaves>
2: to release from the care, responsibility, and control of one's parents
Jean-Francois Lyotard. "Defining the Postmodern". ed. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.