字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 I've really been trying to understand the underlying psychology of postmodernism and its relationship with neo-Marxism, and then the spread of that into the universities and the effect on the culture. And what I would like to start with is a description of your understanding of that, because I've presented to the people who are listening to me my understanding of it. But I interviewed Stephen Hicks recently, and he wrote an interesting book called "Explaining Postmodernism," which I liked quite a bit. It's been criticized for being too right-wing, although I don't think he's right-wing at all. I think maybe you could characterize him as middle-of-the-road conservative, but I would say he's more like a classic liberal. But I'm really curious about your views about, well, what— what Postmodernism is first of all. I know you've— you've identified it with the— with the general tricksters Derrida and Lacan and Foucault. And Foucault in particular you've talked about. But I'd like to know what you think about postmodernism and also why you think it's been so attractive to people. Well, my explanation is that there is no authentic 1960s point of view in any of the elite universities, but rather the most liberated minds of my generation of 1960 did not go on to graduate school. I witnessed this with my own eyes. I saw genuine Marxists, okay, at my college, which was the State University of New York at Binghamton, upstate New York, Harpur College, which had a huge cohort of very radical downstate New York Jews, okay, who— In fact, Harpur used to be called Berkeley East. I saw genuine passionate Marxists with my own eyes. They were not word choppers. They were not snide postmodernists, right? They were in-your-face aggressive. They used the language of the people. They had a populist and energy, okay? They dressed working class. They were nonmaterialistic, okay? These are people who lived by their own convictions. They were against the graduate schools, all right? When I— When I, uh, went on to graduate school, and it became known that I was going to go to Yale, I was confronted by a leader of the radicals on campus, in broad daylight in front of everyone, who denounced me for— he said, "Grad school is not where it's happening. You don't— You don't do that. If you have to go to graduate school you should go to Buffalo." Now, I had applied to SUNY Buffalo, because the great leftist critic Leslie Fiedler was there, who had a huge impact on me. He's practically created identity politics, but without its present distortions, all right? And Norman Holland, the psychoanalytic critic was there. I would have been very happy to have gone on to Buffalo, but I needed the library at Yale, so I continued on to Yale. There were no radicals in the graduate schools, okay, from 1968 to '72, when i was there. Only one radical, Todd Gitlin, who went on to have a career success, okay? The actual radicals of the 1960s, okay, either went off— dropped out of college, or went off to create communes, right, or they were taking acid and destroyed their brains. Now, I have also written about that, the destruction of the minds, okay, of the most talented members of my generation through LSD. It was going on all around me, right? So, what's happened is the actual legacy of the '60s got truncated. The idea that these post-structuralists and postmodernists are heirs of the 1960s revolution is an absolute crock, okay? What they represent, as Foucault shows— Foucault said, okay, that the biggest influence on his thinking, okay, was Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot," okay, which was a post-World-War-II play, written in Paris, that was about the disillusionment and nihilism experienced after Hitler went through, occupied France, right, and all of Europe was in ruins. It had nothing to do with what— "Waiting for Godot" has nothing to do with the authentic legacy of the 1960s, which was about genuine multiculturalism, a movement toward India, toward Hinduism, a transformation of consciousness through psychedelics, which I did not take, but which I identify with totally through the music, etc., all right? It was a turn toward the body. It was a turn towards sensory experience, okay? Not this "word-chopping" thing, and this, like, cynical removal from actual experience, all right? That French import, okay, came in, okay, to the graduate schools. It did not affect any genuine 1960s person. The real 1960s revolution was about Jung. It was about a way of seeing the cosmos in mythological terms, all right? And the Jungian contribution went on into the New Age movement of the 1970s, aside from the universities, all right? So, who took over the universities were these careerists, okay? I saw them with my own eyes. I saw what happened. I saw— I was at Yale when Derrida was being shipped over, okay, to address the, uh, you know, the students— the grad students and the faculty. And I said to a fellow student, after hearing one of these guys speak— It wasn't Derrida. It was another one of the theorists. I said, "They are like high priests murmuring to each other." All right? This was an elitist form from the start, okay? It was not progressive. It was not revolutionary. It was reactionary. It was a desperate attempt to hold on to what had happened before the 1960s sensory revolution. But this postmodernist thing, okay, this trashing, okay, of the text, this— this encouragement, okay, of a superior and destructive attitude toward the work of art— We're going through it, okay, primly, with red pen in hand, finding all the evidence of sexism, check, racism, check, homophobia, check. That is not the empathic, emotional, okay, sensory-based, okay, revolution of the 1960s, right? I am sick and tired of these people claiming any kind of mantle from the 1960s. They're frauds. These people are— What happened in the 1970s was a collapse of the job market in academia, okay? All of a sudden, jobs were scarce, and this thing was there, the new and improved and shiny thing, okay, to be a theorist. And people seized on it, okay? It was institutionalized, all right? And it's an enormous betrayal of the 1960s. Okay so that- You touched on this idea of "the destruction of the work of art". You know, and one of the things I really liked about reading Nietzsche was his discussion of "ressentiment" right? -of resentment and it seems to me that tremendous amount of the motive power that drives the postmodernist- let's call It- it's not a revolution, uh- transformation seems to me to be driven by resentment about virtually anything that has any, well, what would you say... any merit of competence or aesthetic quality, and I don't know if that's- It seems to me that that's partly rooted in the academic's disdain for the business world, which I think is driven by their relative economic inequality, because most people who are as intelligent as academics are, from a pure IQ point of view, make more money in the private sphere, and so I think that drives some of it. But there also seems to be this- There's a destruction, an aim for destruction of the aesthetic quality of the literary or artistic work, its reduction to nothing but some kind of power game, and then surrounding that, the reduction of *everything* to something that approximates a power game, which I can't help but identifying with jealousy and resentment as a fundamental motivator. Does that seem reasonable to you? These professors who allege that art is nothing but an ideological movement by one elite, against the- against another group, these people are Philistines, okay? They're Philistines. They're Middlebrow, hopelessly Middlebrow. They have no sense of beauty. They have no sense of the aesthetic. Now, Marxism does indeed assert this, but Marxism tries to reconfigure the universe in terms of materialism. It sees- It does not recognize any kind of spiritual dimension. Now, I'm an atheist, but i see the great world religions as enormous works of art, as the best way to understand the universe and a man's place in there. I find them enormously moving. They're like enormous poems, right? And what I have called for, the true revolution, okay, would have been to make the core curriculum of the world education, the *world*, okay, the great religions of the world. I feel that is the only way to achieve an understanding, and it's also a way to present the aesthetic, because i feel that that that the real sixties vision was about exultation, elevation, cosmic consciousness, okay? All of these things were rejected by these midgets, okay, intellectual midgets who seized onto Lacan, Derrida and Foucault. It's a- my career has been in the art school, my entire career, beginning at Bennington college. So I represent a challenge to this from the perspective of Art. It is an absolute nonsense, okay, as post-Structuralism maintains, that reality is mediated by language, by words. Everything that we can know, including gender. It is absolutely madness, because I'm teaching students whose majors are ceramics, ok, or dance, or who are jazz musicians, who understand reality in terms of the body, its sensory activation. So they- See, what happened was something was going on in the art world as well. I identify With Andy Warhol in pop art, okay? That was what was going on during my years in college. Everything about Andy Warhol was like, "Wow! Admiration! Wow!" What happened immediately after that in the arts, 1970's okay, was this collapse into a snide sort of post-Modernism also. This happened in the art world, and it was an utter misunderstanding of culture, it seems to me, by that movement in the art World. That Is, oppositional art, in my view, is dead, okay? -and what post-Modernism is, is a pathetic attempt to continue the old heroism of the Avant-garde. The Avant-garde was genuinely heroic from the early 19th Century, okay? We're talking about, you know, the corbeil, the realists, you know? We're talking about Monet and the Impressionists, people who have genuinely suffered for their radical ideas, and their innovations and so on, going right down to Picasso, and down to Jackson Pollock, who like was- who truly suffered for, you know, for his art. It was only after his death, okay, that suddenly the market was created for abstract art. Pop art killed The Avant-garde. The idea that the Avant-garde continues is an absolute delusion of the contemporary art world, which feels that it must attack, attack, attack- challenge, okay, the simplistic beliefs of the hoi polloi, okay? It's somehow the order- What? Excuse me, okay? From The Moment, okay, Andy Warhol went through and embraced the popular media, instead of having the opposition to it that serious artists have had, that was the end of Oppositional art, okay? So, we've been going on now for 50 years: the post-modernism and academes hand-in-hand with the stupidity and infantilism that masquerades as, you know, as important art galleries everywhere, this incredible, incredible, you know, its mechanism of contemporary art, pushing things that are so hopelessly derivative, and with this idea that, once again, that the art world somehow superior view of reality, Authentic Leftism Is populist, okay? It is based in working-class style, working-class language, working-class direct emotion, in an openness and brusqueness of speech, okay? -not this fancy, contorted jargon of the pseudo-leftist of academe, who are frauds. These people who manage to rise to the top at Berkeley, at Harvard, At Princeton, okay? How many of these people are radical? They are career people. They're corporate types, okay, who succeeded in- They *love* the institutional context. They know how to manipulate the bureaucracy, which has totally invaded and usurped academe everywhere, okay? These people are company-players. They could have done well in any field, okay? They love to sit on endless committees. They love bureaucratic regulation, and so on. There's not- Not one *Leftist* in American academia raised his or her voice against obscene growth of tuition costs, which have bankrupted a whole generation of young people. Not one voice to challenge that invasion by the bureaucrats, okay, absolute fascist bureaucrats, okay, with- who had a- They're like, uh, cancerous, okay? There's so many of them, the faculty have completely lost any power in American Academia, okay?