For individuals like David Hogg and Colin Kaepernick, the power struggle between skin tones, dicks, pussies, and passports is the origin of identities, which are always carefully categorized and placed into their own little one-size-fits all section of the postmodernist demographic. That is, in essence, the whole hubbub around “race traitors” like Candace Owens, Jordan Davis and myself, black men and women who dare to think independently, instead of falling in line with what the apparatchik expects of us.
“If you can read this, your ancestors were enslaved because they were not the victors in war. That’s it. Choosing to define your present and future by someone else’s past is psychological victimhood. Whether your predecessors are Germanic, Algonquin, or Bantu, their hopes for you exceed any infatuation with their experience.” —Charlie Delta
The postmodernist school, which eases its nihilism into society under the guise of progressive liberalism, depends entirely on the negation of meaning. While modernism is all about the power of reason and the possibility of progress through voluntary cooperation, postmodernism is about indeterminacy, meaninglessness, and empty signifiers that anyone can fill with whatever they want in an endless fiesta of interpretation, validity and absence of truth. Of course, this sleight of hand is utter bullshit, and only succeeds in being employed upon the weak. Language, law and gender are not simply placeholders that may be supplanted with subtleties and vagueness. They are clear and concrete, determined over the course of centuries of human history.
Stoicism is the cure for postmodernism
Stoicism, particularly in its more ‘engaged’ and non-renunciant forms, is a highly pragmatic philosophy, with a focus on the here and now. Marcus Aurelius, emperor of the Roman Empire (161-180 AD), whose private philosophical diary the Meditations has remained essential reading for millennia, writes that “each man only lives in this present instant…all the rest either has been lived or remains in uncertainty” (3.10).
Stoic mindfulness is concerned with cultivating the ability to apply key ethical precepts to everyday situations. The most important one was to ensure that you are focusing your faculties on what you can control, and not on what you can’t control. More precisely, focusing on doing what you can control in ways which benefit a benevolent social being (we’ll explore this aspect a bit more in the next section). As regards the first aspect, a key question a Stoic might ask themselves therefore would be ‘Where am I “placing myself” in this situation?
The difference between the two may be subtle, but the implications and consequences are profoundly unique. Let’s take an example from the workplace. If you base your contentedness and the measure of your success solely on your boss’ approval, something that is not in your control, then you will be happy when your boss approves, and deflated when they do not. Your work is performed with the satisfaction of your boss as your primary aim. A Stoic would make the conscious decision to focus on what is in their control, doing their job to the best of their abilities and maintaining a working relationship with their boss as well as possible. Focus on the craft, not the guild. Do the work with the focus of doing it well.