Minaj is like a toy created by a corporation who pushed a conspiracy that feeds back to the power of corporations and unhindered markets, largely since the pandemic stalled economic growth and the expansion of markets. I don’t hate Nicki Minaj, “per se”, though in one hand Nicki does have skeletons in the closet. In one hand she’s a strong, empowered, woman of color, who turned her beauty and unique worldview into a monetary asset and became a female power-player on the entertainment stage, where entertainment and positions of power are traditionally the antithesis of what Nicki represents.
But, let’s be real… Nicki is hot, she’s fine, she exudes a sexuality of a natural woman of color femininity, a sort of beauty that taps into our primal ancestry where woman with curves with prized or worships, i.e., The Venus of Willendorf.
Yet, nods to intersectionality, Critical Theory, or the de-colonial framework of the Left, aside, where identity politics protects Nicki, the whole Minaj situation to me screams postmodernism. As a non-independent celebrity she’s a literal product of a corporation, who uses Clueless As If! pastiche and parody, is of absurd cartoonish proportions, recycling capitalist pop culture while pushing morality to the extreme since we’ve reached the end of Enlightenment thought and “art is now just an extension of commodity fetishism”, absorbing biased conspiracy theory in our post-truth “Do What Thy Whilst” world, but spewing conspiracy into the ether of the internet. She’s an object she’s just a representative of power and corporations and likely just did this for clout but…also has skeletons in her closet.
Scholars claimed the postmodernism was dead. But postmodernism being antithetical to ideology was never really “an ideology” to begin with, even though scholars applied a postmodern framework to their analysis of culture, but ultimately postmodernism is an enduring condition of people living in late-stage capitalism, which we still live in, thus “postmodernism never died”. Just because intellectuals stopped “looking” or “talking about” postmodernism, doesn’t mean the landscape in which the condition arises went away, and if anything, the landscape become ever more so, especially with advancements in technology and communication since the 1960s thru 1980s were postmodernism an a “study” was its zenith. We can easily see in 2021, that the world is one of post-truths and conspiracy for the sake of conspiracy feeds back to systems of control as they hypnotize us in the ether of the internet and push pop culture which is capitalist culture (an opiate, a Huxleyan soma, etc.). It layers the animus of capitalist power by creating a pleasurable self-recycling culture, littered with out-of-date anachronisms, memetics, false identities, elaborate corporate conspiracies, a bombardment of commercials with pop jingles, reactionary politics, a schizophrenic proletariat, and the digitization and commodification of human nature at the end of reason, culture, and logic.
In many ways, Nicki’s conspiracy tweet proves she’s just another victim, like all of us, to the postmodern reality, yet, since she’s protected by identity politics, which itself descends from a neoliberal tradition, her identity as an object is simply covered to shroud corporate power, i.e., it’s a deflection tool with spares her from criticism, and thus spares her corporate backers from criticism.
Lyotard, Baudrillard, DeLillo, William Gibson (author of Neuromancer), Marcuse, Frederic Jameson, etc., all predicted the state of current affairs.
So… Nicki Minaj posted a conspiracy tweet about vaccination infertility… Likely for selfish reasons and attention seeking, but…Rose McGowan came to her support, despite Rose McGowan being a victim of assault by Harvey Weinstein, yet Nicki Minaj defended her brother who was convicted of raping an 11-year-old. Also, Nicki’s husband – Kenneth Petty – is now a registered sex offender having been arrested for failure to identify himself as a sex offender for a 1995 attempted rape after moving from New York to California, and the victim alleged the Minaj tried to bribe her with $500,000 to state she wasn’t attacked (source: Burke, NBC News, 2021), and the friend of Minaj who alleged he is infertile because of the COVID-19 shot likely has an STD (which is unfortunate if the case and I hope he gets the healthcare he needs). Hm… Very interesting case here we must dive into.
Nicki Minaj recently stated that COVID-19 resulted in the testicular shrinkage and infertility of one of her friends. This claim was largely debunked by scientists such as those at the University of Miami Health System (source: CBS Miami, 2021) and even the Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister, Terrence Deyalsingh, stated in a public broadcast that her claim was false, and that time was wasted verifying her claims (which is quite impressive the government researched her claim, and made a public denouncement of it).
II. The Right Wing’s Strategy of Subversion. Smug ironic hypocrisies, the promulgation of conspiracy to protect corporate personhood.
Of course, the political Right Wing such as Carlson Tucker picked up Nicki Minaj’s claim largely for their own agenda of muckraking and being obstructionist to Congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration. What’s even more ironic about the Right Wing in this matter or many matters to be exact is that it shows how hungry they are to search for allies in their “culture war” to fit their ideological goals of obstructing Democrats or Progressives (where many progressives have issue with traditional Democrats) such as when they attacked similar people to Minaj such as Ben Shapiro decrying Cardi B’s song “W.A.P”. Or, how the Right Wing were quick to pick up on Gina Carano after she was fired from Disney’s The Mandalorian painting her as a symbol standing up against “liberal corporate America” or “woke culture”, despite the fact the Right Wing, particularly with what we could call the Alt-Right, is riddle with misogynistic nerd-boys angry a strong female character was in their traditionally mostly white fictional (emphasis on fictional) Star Wars franchise to begin with.
We live in the era of Republican Postmodernism, i.e., there’s no truth to what they do and nothing very logical, but rather they’ll do anything to protect the power of the actual industrialist class, yet sadly, as always, the traditional Democratic powerbase lets them get away with this because they too are vested in the continuation of corporate power and neoliberalism. Even in the face of a growing paleoconservative, at this point outright looney, the Democrats decide to play “slow pitch” while the Republicans are essentially threatening fascism, i.e., an erosion of church and state, worship of police, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, racism, antisemitism, and unchecked power for “free market” entities such as corporations largely to battle the “scourge of Communism”. Nothing new.
The Right Wing has used paranoia about the now FDA approved Pfizer COVID vaccine to appeal to a sense of “overreaching government power hindering personal liberty”.
Essentially, Republicans have sided with the conspiracy theory if it serves a role in obstructing the Biden Administration who inherited the COVID-19 situation from the Trump Administration. It amounts to nothing more than Republicans playing politics by inserting COVID-19 into the larger culture wars of Liberal and Left vs Conservative and Far Right. The truth is that Republicans have no policy besides…making the rich wealthier, so they’ll jump on any sort of issue to blow to divert from this fact, such as crying about Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s dress, as if they weren’t just trying to continue a twenty-year war in Afghanistan which cost US taxpayers 2.3 trillion dollars and made windfall profits for wealthy investors in defense contractors. Republicans are also doing a good a job of whitewashing and downplaying the January 6th Insurrection which I feel is a mistake by the Biden Administration, Justice Department, and mainstream media. If anything, January 6th should be the top storyline to discourage the behavior rather than Democrats “playing nice” as they always do with an adversary that wishes for them to fail at every step of the way.
This goes to show how petty and disingenuous (fake) Republicans or conservative pundits can be, but this sense of desperation is revealing because I feel it shows that ultra-wealthy capitalists in power are afraid of change, and see small examples of change, so they are double downing on their attacks going so far as supporting a universe of solipsism and conspiracy theory.
Instead of unifying over a comprehensive plan to fight the pandemic they rather be the “high horse moral hold-outs” preaching about personal liberty, giving teary eyes speeches at School Board hearings, mocking people have lost loved ones from the virus, etc. Instead of unity, they are championing other causes such as Blue Lives Matters (dangerously eroding the political impartiality of police and military) where police routinely violated people’s constitutional rights such as people not being allowed to ask the simple question without altercation about “why am I being pulled over”. Let’s not forget the countless unneeded deaths, warrantless searches, police destroying property (we always focus on rioters but never police who damage property), confiscation of property (civil forfeiture), and the fact that police are protected with Qualified Immunity, i.e., those charged with upholding the law are somehow given doubt when a mis-allocation of the law is applied to the public. I find it funny that the supposed “anti-government” party doesn’t realize that police are…government. But I suppose they let this slide because police are just protectors of private property in theory where most private property is held by those with the most money and power…
III. Rose McGowan, Anti-COVID Vax Rebels, The Right-Wing Conspiracy Cloud, Right Wing Sexual Abuse yet using conspiracy as a deflection tool, and The Cult of Personal Liberty.
But let’s stay on course regarding the absurdity of the Nicki Minaj situation. Rose McGown came to her defense.
Yet, Rose McGowan recently came to the support of Larry Elder who recently lost in a failed recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom. Rose McGowan during her speech in support of Larry Elder channeled the collective cloud of Right-Wing conspiracy theory or passionate revolutionary talking points, i.e., the concept of Hollyweird, nods to the degeneracy of the “coastal elites”, but also putting individual liberty before all else even during a global pandemic where 680,652 Americans as of 9/17/21 at 5:54 PM have lost their lives. With 9/11 having recently passed but with that day there was a general sense for an attempt at national unity, what ever happened to the adage of “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country?”
Individual liberty is often coopted unilaterally by the political Right Wing and this manifests itself into Patriot Movements (often with racist undertones), militias (often with racist undertones), and groups such the Proud Boys (who have conducted violence during the pandemic such as two people being stabbed at the Los Angeles City Hall) where the Proud Boys in many cases have created a nexus with law enforcement officers during the rise of the Blue Lives Matter movement, etc. Dennis Romero (2021) stated, “Rick Fitzgerald, then an officer with the Fresno Police Department, allegedly participated in a Proud Boys counter-demonstration on March 14 outside a theater being sold to a church that protesters said was hostile to the LGBTQ community and marriage equality.” Let’s not forget that active-duty police members participated in the January 6th Insurrection at the US Capitol.
If anything, the Right Wing is simply using the pandemic to take the higher moral ground of being for liberty, when really, they’re just being obstructionist at this point and helping to continue the pandemic which has killed nearly 1 million Americans.
I find it interesting that conspiracies such as “de-population” are often pushed relating to COVID-19 but maybe the Republicans are the ones supporting “de-population” considering they’re stepping in the way of unity approaching this situation. If anything, this claim might have some basis considering Republicanism has facets of Doomsday Millennialism by way of Evangelical Christianity, i.e., the worst things get the more religious pariahs can exploit the masses.
They are selfishly using the moral case for liberty to undermine a logical and unified pathway out of the pandemic. Yet, anti-Vaxxer rhetoric, or rather let’s call it “vaccination conspiracy rhetoric”, such as that smugly pushed by Kim Iversen of The Hill’s Rising program and even Joe Rogan himself, attempt to “keep an open mind” about vaccinations, but they miss the point. being we’ve committed as a nation to this specific vaccination plan, so obstructing it along the way for “woke right wing” “down with the man” talking points is equivalent to going on a long road trip and as you arrive to your destination some wise guy says, “did you lock the door back home” and throwing everyone into doubt.
Of course, other remedies were studied by qualified researchers when COVID first hit the United States, such as researchers studying medications relating to Ebola, Zika, and Dengue Fever, but the consensus was to go the mRNA pathway, where the mRNA pathway is offering better research and insight into virology, oncology (study of cancers), etc. It’s not that science into new techniques or pre-existing techniques is over, but rather the medical community for the sake of order determined a linear path forward, and with millions of Americans already being vaccinated and living, all this conspiracy theory is annoying at best. The detractors assume that medical researchers didn’t study other things and didn’t agree on a consensus moving forward with the path at hand.
Yet, the most sinister thing about the Republican power base using the individual liberty card is that they really don’t care about people. They don’t care about the droves of MAGA hat wearing, bikers, cop supporters protesting in places like Huntingdon Beach, California, or some small town in Ohio or wherever. Many notable ant-vaccination advocates have…died. Herman Cain himself was confirmed as being killed by COVID.
Rather, the goal of the Republican power base is to conflate personal liberty with corporate liberty, i.e., corporate personhood, because corporations are legal people, meaning that Republicans by stirring up hate within their base of ordinary citizens on the grounds of “personal liberty” can help corporations dodge regulations, thus keeping wealth in the hands of a few. Nothing profound about it but it’s so hard for people to realize this.
The truth is that individual liberty of the actual human will never be as strong as the individual liberty of the corporate person where the corporate person is able to effectively “pose” as just one of the “fellas”, when really, it’s a life-sucking institution, a sort of stateless colony outsourcing suppressing workers to police, who inhabit skyscrapers with webs stretching across the Earth, that must convince ordinary people to subvert the regulation of power. Corporations as is, are like the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The bring convenience but at a price but don’t acknowledge the price. Sure, they provide mass produced goods and services, but at what costs?The individual Republican may be anti-vax, anti-gun control, be a climate change denier, etc., but this translates to the corporate person as being indifferent to public health if it hinders profit, selling products indifferent of their destruction to the human masses, and being free to pollute, etc.
Individual Republicans under the Cult of Personal Liberty end up being pawns for the protection and consolidation of corporate power which ironically creates the dilemmas workers, many conservatives, face. For example, Karl Marx didn’t steal anyone’s pension or job, but rather it was bunch of “consulting firms”, venture capitalists, and private equity businesses.
Therefore, Republican’s support “individual liberty”. It’s not from a romantic ideal of the individual citizen under the social contract of thinkers like John Stuart Mills or J.J. Rosseau but rather a protection of property rights which benefits corporations posing as “legal human beings”. It’s effectively…fascism. A corporate state ruled with right-wing ideology and using nationalism as a guise of power. Therefore, the Koch Brother’s funded libertarian movements, or the John Birch Society was founded by rich industrialists (as well as co-founded by Revilo P. Oliver, who helped establish Neo Nazis is the USA) during the Cold War, but also why hate groups have long histories in areas with a radical worship of “individual liberty” such as Neo Nazis traditionally in places like Orange County, California (not coincidentally home to a large number of defense contractors). It’s nothing more than jack-boot pro-corporate fascism hidden under a usurpation of individual liberty for the benefit of the wealthy classes.
This phenomenon of “patriotic obstructionism layered with conspiracy” I believe is the result of people needing purpose in a time where they feel their identity is under attack or not valued by default as it was in the past, but the main reason they feel under attack is from the fear-mongering of the political Right Wing and former President Trump who dog-whistled to theories such as racial replacement, white supremacy such as Confederate apologetics, antisemitic tropes such as George Soros (as if he’s the only billionaire on the planet), etc.
Being contrarian during these times is a sense of self-empowerment and since people can obtain their own information and shape their own realities or conclusions (which isn’t problematic in theory), yet, often already having their conclusions in mind, people double-down on their beliefs, even though the deep-down reason for those beliefs is covering up a sense of powerlessness, i.e., fear. Many I would argue on the Right Wing are truly suffering from false consciousness, or they are unable to admit the true source of their languish because of so much of their identity was crafted by the system that creates the languish.
White identity politics, for example was effectively a construction for its inception (the modern concepts of race weren’t developed until the nineteenth century and its construction aligned with colonialist ambitions), so in the context of capitalism (descending from colonialism), whiteness was effectively always a “commodity with value”, yet since markets must expand, and the expansions of these markets actually benefit those of traditional “higher white value” (white populations benefitting from supply chains built from colonies), the original place on the top of the shelf now has to now share “shelf space”, and the commodity, i.e., white political identity, is suffering an insecurity that manifest itself as reactionary politics.
This feeling of powerlessness thus targets abstract concepts such as “elites”, “celebrities”, “Hollyweird”, etc., but beliefs are refined by political biases, i.e., a Republican will already have their conclusion made but then fill in the holes of their theories even if they don’t make sense or might even employ a few “Deus ex machinas”. It’s no different than Germans after WWI being in an economic dire situation, having their national pride hurt, decided to channel all their rage towards the Jews, despite the fact Kaiser Wilhelm rushed into a war through a horrible treaty with Austria-Hungry and used that his basis for his own military ambitions and personal pride. Looking the mirror isn’t a strong Right-Wing concept.
Qanon as a movement is a prime example. Qanon sparred the right wing from criticism, alleging that child abuse and trafficking is somehow the result of Democrats or liberals. They unilaterally attacked the political left, because moral conservatives see all sort of social progress, such as those of the LGBTQ community, specifically Trans peoples as the hot-button issue, as inherently “evil”, “satanic”, “New World Order”, “inverted”, etc.
Ironically, Qanon opportunists were often linked to sexual abuse of minors, such as Ruben Verastigui, a digital strategist for the Republican National Convention, having been arrested during an investigation into a child exploitation ring. Grant (2021) stated, “The detailed indictment contends that Verastigui had engaged in discussion on a website where a group of users allegedly traded child sexual abuse material and that he had claimed, in messages obtained by federal investigators, “Babies are some of my biggest turn-ons.”” Then there’s the case of Tim Nolan, who served as a Kentucky Judge and Trump loyalists. Nolan was charged with extorting female drug addicts for sex including from minors and is now serving a 20-year jail sentence. Both men preached on the surface a “moral crusade” such as being pro-life, going after legal of-age sex workers working in strip clubs, etc. More creeps can be read in the New Republic article by Melissa Gira Grant (2021).
Rose McGowan as a survivor, likely suffering from mental health issues, is now supporting a political party which has made plenty of pro-sexual assault statements particularly when relating to a woman’s right to choose abortion, but even as Grant (2021) of The New Republic reported is filled with sex offenders. Let’s not forget the pending case against Matt Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, etc.
The issue with Rose McGowan coming to the defense of Nicki Minaj is twofold in that 1) supporting Nicki helps Rose on her ideological mission as she strives to gain “ideological allies” in prominent positions of power such as those with celebrity status, but 2) Rose McGowan is also rallying against the sexual abuse she claims she suffered [I do believe her, but must state claim because I am not privy to all the legal proceedings] but Nicki Minaj was involved in defending her brother who was arrested and charged for the sexual assault of an 11 year old child. This is a horrible crime, yet, it seems Nicki was coming to the defense of her brother to plea mercy for him, but, the crime is horrific and justice was served.
Think about that. Rose McGowan who in part is rallying against a culture of sexual abuse especially within the entertainment industry is supporting a celebrity who used her position of power to cover for her brother who was charged with the sexual assault of a minor.
Please, tell me you see the hypocrisy and irony of this situation…. A possible survivor of sexual assault [I do believe Rose, but I am not privy to the legal proceedings] is supporting Nicki Minaj who defended her brother was convicted of raping his stepdaughter beginning when she was 11 years old.
Further, Nicki Minaj’s husband recently plead guilty to not registering as a sex offender in California. So, her brother is in prison for rape, her husband is now a registered sex offender, and “a friend of friend” is now “impotent” claiming it was because of the COVID-19 vaccination but his affliction was likely due to a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia but was likely too embarrassed to admit to his partner of his infidelity.
So, it seems the people around Nicki Minaj aren’t the best people, and Nicki isn’t the best ally necessarily for Rose McGowan who suffered from abuse throughout her life. But Rose isn’t necessarily the best ally to herself. Yet, Rose not being logically able come to this simple set of facts seems to insinuate that Rose does suffer from mental health issues, i.e., she’s so committed to whatever it is she’s committed to that she will disregard facts if her agenda is met. I’m not a psychologist at all, but it seems that when people suffer trauma they sometimes engage in unhealthy or even radical activities, such as why people join cults. She thinks she’s liberated but I think the “cult allure” is too much a part of her. I can only image that being blacklisted either for her own behavior or possibly because of her bold participation in the MeToo Movement is hard, so having lived a life of insulate splendor during the better part of her career such as her stint on Charmed, but now possibly suffering hard times (relatively speaking considering she still has money most likely), it seems that Rose is hustling to survive and stay relevant.
I feel bad for Rose McGowan mostly, yet Anna Kasparian of The Young Turks did bring up a good tangent about how Rose’s need for attention is a type of “white feminism”, which Kasparian defined as being a “me, me, me” sort of feminism indifferent to the collective success of others, largely because Rose is engaging with the obstructionist warfare that the Republicans are conducting (not to mention whitewashing the literal attempted overthrow of the US government).
Yet, she was raised in a cult, was in a relationship with Marylin Manson who is now being called out for abuse in relationships, and she was a young actress in the Good Ole Boy Hollywood system particularly in the 1990s which as decade where the likes of Jeffrey Epstein operated with impunity, yet, it seems that Rose has an attraction to people or cultures of manipulation based on her past, even though she is strong-willed (in a sense) but wouldn’t admit she has issues as it would defeat the persona of her as a strong warrior woman rallying against the system. Essentially Rose now supporting the GOP is just another attempt at finding belonging under a system that has cult like tendencies, but the GOP is being opportunistic and using her, because she needs the help and they need the ammunition against the political Left or Liberals, etc. She’s searching for religion or any sort of ideology.
IV. Nicki Minaj and Postmodernism. A casualty, participant, and promoter of it.
But let’s analyze Nicki’s tweet. I must state that just because she made this tweet doesn’t mean that Nicki is “Far Right” but rather I see it as a consequence of the postmodern condition, and I don’t say this trying to be “auteur”, profound, or with a distanced critical and nihilistic gaze of judgement.
Nicki persona is a mix of hyper-reality, distortion, elongated, plastic, Barbie, etc. High definition, insane bosom, pink latex avatar floating in bleh of modern culture.
An empowered, postmodern, sexually liberated figure, appropriating the “Bimbo” aesthetic (and I don’t say that to be disrespectful considering there’s an actual movement or subculture that aligns labels itself as Bimbo), recycling pop culture pastiche from “Whatever” or “As if” Clueless tropes to The Devil Wears Prada or Cruella DeVil boss-bitch feminism. She displays the punk like confidence of sexual feminism with type of Neon colored, Marylin Monroe, Madonna, Lil Kim, “get yo money” stripper confidence, Power Puff Girl, with a sinister undertone of pornographic Fashionista, a type of Cleopatra figure, who walks male studs by their “members” for a night of empowered debauchery. Yet, her art and persona are protected by fans who have a para-social relationship with her and big business because she is so “off the walls” (profitable) when relating to modern female empowerment, e.g., the concept of “rachet” is punk per pop culture where pop culture is capitalist culture, and capitalist culture is a facet of a postmodern condition.
Nicki is an “object” of the marketplace, and her opinion relating to COVID is an example I’d argue of the postmodern condition. Her post was within the “flux of the internet” which is a chaotic universe of information and misinformation. And in many ways Nicki, for this tweet (not her past behavior such as covering for sexual assault allegations of her family) is simply a casualty reacting to a universe of hyper-reality, jittery paranoia, conspiracy theories, astrology, New Age “far out” thought, fear of power, the realities of the disorganization of democratic information, etc.
Nicki, just like you or I are floating in a sort of “matrix of information” where the quest for truth is a complicated matter, because people don’t necessarily trust the institutions that help maintain truth, or people might simply not want to accept a truth because such truth might pose a risk to their individualistic power or essence. For example, a white nationalist would reject the “Out of Africa” hypothesis even though it has overwhelming consensus, was done with constant peer reviewed research, and ironically most scientists are white people, simply because it poses a threat to his or her ideological worldview of supremacy.
But postmodernity to me is when society reaches a sort of “apex”, for example, late-stage capitalism, where a society maxes itself out and as a result starts creating copies of itself as in the concepts of simulacra and simulation by Baudrillard, i.e., society starts recycling itself, e.g., making anachronistic fashion, pastiche (coined by Frederick Jameson) which is parody that lacks parody, merging high art with low art, etc. Real and fake become hard to discern from, and this is a concept explored by Philip K. Dick in this book The Man in the High Castle, where real authentic original items are confused with knock off items, but people still value the knock off item as original or authentic because value is subjective.
Yet, the defining principle of the postmodern condition is the “incredulity towards metanarratives” as presented by Lyotard, i.e., people stop believing in grand narratives or objective truths and start living in their own truths, or people are unable to discern a truth if even having a genuine meaning to find it, where such truths are often crafted by the imagery projected from the system as is, such as pop culture, marketing, symbols, etc. Simply hearing the concept of “incredulity towards metanarrative” already we can see how conspiracy theory is endemic to modern times. Or, Frederic Jameson stated postmodernism as being the logic of late-stage capitalism and where commodification culture becomes the de-facto culture, and we determine our truths from that, i.e., the market, not necessarily nature, is our source of truth.
“According to Jameson, postmodernity has transformed the historical past into a series of emptied-out stylizations (what Jameson terms pastiche) that can then be commodified and consumed. The result is the threatened victory of capitalist thinking over all other forms of thought.” (Dino Felluga, Purdue University, 2011).
“That apparent victory of commodification over all spheres of life marks postmodernity’s reliance on the “cultural logic of late capitalism.”” (Dino Felluga, Purdue University, 2011)
Postmodernity isn’t political because postmodernity rejects any sort of truth, i.e., it’s not left wing or right wing, because these are ideologies, i.e., frameworks based on ideas, despite the Right Wing such as through people such as Pat Buchanan and even Jordan B. Peterson, attempted to assign progressivism explicitly with Postmodernism, e.g., the concept of “Cultural Marxism”.
In many ways, people like Jameson weren’t preaching for postmodernism but simply pointing out the reality of it, which is a reality that descends from capitalism, but from my understanding of it, postmodernism is just an extension of capitalism, not Marxism. Postmodern solipsism is good for markets and as Jameson warned is just a means of turning all culture into a commodity culture, which of course benefits business.
Sure, as a framework or analytical tool, many underlying suppositions of modern “leftist” stances we could consider to be of a postmodern tradition, because the framework at some point or another for analysis purposes was used to analyze power systems, for example, under the broad spectrum of feminist ideologies you do have postmodern feminism which studies semiotics (symbols), preconceived truths (men are stronger thus fit to rule or men are more stable leaders), historical revisionism (where history often championed male contribution over female, or the fact that women were often violently removed from participation in society), etc., to study patriarchy and how in many ways it is a construct of power simply positing itself a “solid truth”.
But to state that Leftist or “Liberal” (where liberal actually encompasses both Democrat and Republican politics in the US) is explicitly postmodern is false, and it’s dangerous to even insinuate that, because by insinuating that Leftist stances are postmodernism, what one is really saying is that the lives and grievances of marginalized groups are “solipsistic” or “Dada nonsense”, which is false. The scope and scale of how much postmodernism was used in let’s say the 1960s and 1970’s is debatable, but the political-right has a goal of blowing it out of proportion to undermine progressive causes.
Simply put, you can’t state that Civil Rights or the liberation of marginalized groups is explicitly postmodern because the need for liberation pre-existed the introduction of postmodernism into political discourse. For example, a black man not wanting to be lynched doesn’t mean he’s a postmodernist. A black family wanting a house without discrimination doesn’t mean they’re being postmodernist trying to “goobley gop the very underpinnings of logic”. A woman wanting to earn income and vote doesn’t make her a postmodernist. A Jewish person wanting to open a business and let’s say doing a good job at it, doesn’t make him or her a postmodernist. But a Republican who purposely pushes conspiracy theory in order to shroud their true attentions of protecting free markets for the benefit of a few, is postmodern.
Yet, as stated, postmodernity is a framework or worldview. It’s like a “ray gun that deconstructs and scans things” to see the inner workings of power structures, because power structures often layer their power with an array of symbols, culture, historical revisionism, defense mechanisms, hidden agendas (such as the need to constantly profit by capitalist organizations), etc. Yet, the ray gun has a “use with caution” sticker on it because the allure of falling too far into deconstruction can lead one into the abyss of the “existential abyss of abstraction” as one tries to analyze a powerful byzantine structure which never ceases to sleep, i.e., capitalism doesn’t turn off, unless it’s shut off. The issue with postmodern analysis isn’t that it exists but that there’s an allure in being caught up in the analysis and this can undermine the need for action.
For example, fields such as Critical Theory often study pop culture and media, i.e., people in this field are peeling away the jingles, bright colors, motifs, perfectly presented food, etc. (for example, read Don DeLillo’s novel, White Noise), to reveal the harsh truth of what goes on behind the scenes and how pop culture is really a subversive way to enslave people to consumerism by appealing to their inner fears, desires, insecurities, our social nature to fit in, etc.
So, (1) there’s postmodernism as an analytical framework, i.e., a way of looking at things, which is a powerful tool and often can be helpful (2) there’s postmodernism as a tool for application, which can be used in whatever way the user wants to, for example, when a sociologists is studying pop culture’s effect on the masses, or, for example how the Alt-Right in many ways is simply “conservative postmodernism”, i.e., it uses pseudo-science, conspiracy theory, recycled 80s pastiche for nostalgia purposes, memes, etc., as a means of “deconstructing the progressive movement, which was in itself a deconstruction of the older conservative order”, i.e., “attempting to deconstruct what deconstructed the old white hetero-patriarchy order in order to return to that order”, and (3) there’s postmodernism as a natural condition, i.e., people living in a late-stage capitalist system, often exhibiting existential or even nihilistic tendencies, because society has reached a sort of “ideological end state”, where society is “too aware of itself”, processes have largely engulfed people into byzantine structures, culture is based on market forces, and people are engulfed by “informational overload” or hyper-reality, thus subverting objective truths or even disregarding the possibility that such objective truths are possible to begin with, etc.
Hence, postmodernism as an analytic isn’t bad and in many ways is a useful tool for understanding the very postmodern condition that resulted from the “maxing out” of industrialist and capitalist societies, where capitalist societies to stay relevant use inventive ways to further hide their power.
In many ways, Nicki, Rose, many Trump supporters, really conspiracy theorist of any race or background are just postmodern people laboring under the illusions of market forces and pop culture, searching for meaning, but lost in the sheer overload of information, but guided often by opportunist who simply want to exploit them for financial gains (being capitalists).
In summary Nicki’s tweet about COVID is just another shard of misinformation by a person subjected to misinformation in a fast-paced informational world, i.e., a “hyper reality”, and even Rose McGowan is a consequence of this system too. Essentially, people are going insane by the plethora of competing story lines within the ether of the internet, yet most people are simply being exploited at a distance by the influence of corporations who are the main culprits in the creation of the postmodern condition to begin with. The way how Nicki Minaj’s tweet of information was appropriated by a political party that is happy to push misinformation to protect the individual liberty of corporations is proof that we are still living in a postmodern condition, even though the ideology of postmodernism is allegedly “dead”. Minaj is like a toy created by a corporation to push a conspiracy that feeds back to the power of corporations and unhindered markets. There’s nothing revolutionary about Nicki. Sure, she’s entertaining, but her entertainment in and of itself is only profound because the senses of the masses have already been pushed to the limits, to the further we push the limits, we deem it as being profound, when really, it’s all a continuation of a system trying to maintain relevance. Postmodernism cannot truly die with the existing economic order of neoliberalism still in existence because the neoliberal order by its very nature needs misinformation as a shroud to protect and direct attention away from its underlying animus of power.