Open another eye

  Postmodernism is one of the most important cultural trends in the second half of the 20th century, covering a wide range of disciplines and research fields such as art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communication, and technology. It is also a way of thinking. , a worldwide cultural landscape, is the reflection of contemporary Western social, economic and political concepts and the inevitable result of many contradictions and conflicts in the contemporary world. The term postmodernism first appeared in “Selected Poems from Spain and Latin America 1882-1923” published in 1934 to describe the “reverse movement” that occurred within modernism. The term also appeared in Toynbee’s “Historical Studies”, published in 1947. Toynbee used “postmodern” to refer to a new historical period in the history of Western civilization – the end of Western domination, the decline of individualism, capitalism and Catholic regimes, and the rise and growth of non-Western cultures. But the real rise of postmodernism as a real movement of thought came in the 1960s.
  The social and historical origin of postmodernism
  First, the development of the capitalist economy is the driving force behind the emergence of postmodernism. As a pan-cultural phenomenon in the late capitalist industrial society, postmodernism is the result of the entire Western cultural tradition, and it sprang from the result of the victory of humanism over the divine and the establishment of the absolute status of humanism. With the rapid development of capitalism and the increasing level of science and technology, Western capitalist countries have successively achieved modernization, and some countries have begun to step into post-modern and post-industrial societies. However, the course of modernization of Western countries has also brought a series of social problems, the most important of which are the “globalization problem” and the “human objectification” problem. On the one hand, modernization has caused very serious environmental pollution, waste of resources, population surge, ecological destruction, as well as the intensification of the arms race, the loss of humanistic spirit, and so on. On the other hand, the problem of “reification of man” is becoming more and more serious, and man has become an accessory of the machine. People have lost their own essence, self-consciousness and subjective status, and the thinking dimension of criticism and negation, and what Marcuse called “one-dimensional people” appeared. These facts pose serious challenges to “anthropocentrism” and “instrumental rationalism”. It is in the soil of this reality that people’s doubts, boredom and denial of modern society and modern concepts grow. In order to get rid of this emotion, postmodernist thinkers describe the world in a new way, trying to give a new explanation to the world, so the postmodernism trend arises. It can be seen that the emergence of postmodernism is the product of capitalist economic development.
  Secondly, postmodernism is also the product of capitalist cultural development and the result of the contradiction between capitalist social structure and cultural structure.
  The development of western rationalist culture leads to the loss of subject and human value. When postmodernist philosophers criticize logocentrism, reason disappears, truth loses its standard, value loses subject, and knowledge loses its dignity. The cultural crisis of late capitalism is manifested as a crisis of intellectual status and existential value. Originally, knowledge is power, and it is the sacred duty of intellectuals to pursue the truth and realize the value of knowledge. But the tools of reason make intellectuals doubt truth and reason, they no longer fight for truth and are no longer willing to argue about issues.
  In addition, the expansion of culture and the rise of cultural industry have made culture a consumer product in people’s daily life, and culture has lost its traditional status, which has also caused a cultural crisis. In the past, listening to beautiful classical music and appreciating the masterpieces of painting masters was an effective way to cultivate people’s sentiments and escape the impregnation of the materialistic world. Today’s large-scale industries using high technology as a means can “produce” classical art in large quantities, and copies can replace unique boutiques. The cultural industry is closely linked with commodity production. Modern industry has begun to sell classical art over the counter as a commodity, and it has become one of the consumer goods in people’s daily life. The boundaries between high culture and popular culture, art and life, commodities and culture have disappeared. What culture should follow is the logic of commodities and the logic of life. It has lost its traditional value implication and lost its traditional status.
  Third, in the late capitalist society, there are only power exchanges determined by occupational division of labor and money exchanges for material needs, and language exchanges full of friendship and emotion are increasingly difficult. In the intercourse of power and money, human language is spoken in accordance with the demands of the intercourse of occupation and money. Here, stylized language prevails everywhere. Traditional, everyday living language loses its function and value. For this reason, people in life feel bitterly that stylized language is not suitable for expressing people’s emotions and hinders the daily communication between people. People feel that what they say is not a natural outpouring of their own emotions, on the contrary, they are lies. What truth is there in this society full of lies! Here, it is not people who speak or express their emotions naturally. On the contrary, the formatted language suitable for money and power exchanges controls people. It is language that forces people to speak, it is “language is talking about me”. It is no wonder that many postmodern philosophers have criticized logocentrism from the perspective of language and advocated the reconstruction of people’s “everyday world”.
  Finally, the loss of self-consciousness leads to the loss of value standards. In the era of free market economy, everyone’s purpose is to make money. Individualism and self-worship are the cultural characteristics of this era. Everyone acts according to his own will, according to his own judgment, and is responsible for his own behavior. The individual is the absolute standard of behavior, and the pursuit of his own interests is the axis of action. But in the age of late capitalism, individuals lose their egocentricity, and everyone acts according to the demands of their profession and role. The standard of behavior of others is the standard of behavior of oneself. To live with others is to act the way others do, and even others do not know what their own code of conduct and standards are. Human behavior loses its standards, loses the pursuit of ultimate value, sinks itself into others, doubts itself, and denies itself. Many postmodernist writers strive to describe homosexuality, impotence, Electra and even suicidal impulses in their works. This is nothing but self-doubt and rebellion against this era of loss of self-consciousness with utter despair of life beliefs.
  The development track
  of postmodernism Postmodernism can be described as diverse. From the natural form, postmodernism can be roughly divided into literary and artistic postmodernism, social and cultural postmodernism, and philosophical postmodernism. With the deepening of this trend of thought, branch schools such as post-modern economy, post-modern agriculture, post-modern science, post-modern education, post-modern politics, and post-modern religion have emerged. In terms of content, postmodernism can be divided into: negative (deconstructive) postmodernism, constructive (constructive) postmodernism, and simplistic (Disney) postmodernism.
  Chronologically, the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were the era of deconstructive postmodernism. Its manifestations include: deconstructionism, anti-foundationalism, visualism, post-humanism, irrationalism, decentralization and so on. In the 1980s, constructive postmodernism began to rise, and its manifestations were: constructive postmodernism, well-founded postmodernism, ecological postmodernism, and reconstructed postmodernism. In addition, after postmodernism spread to third world countries, so-called “third world postmodernism” was derived, such as right-wing postmodernism in Latin America, left-wing postmodernism in Latin America, postmodernism in India, and postmodernism in Southeast Asia. postmodernism, etc.
  Although postmodernism has various internal opinions (which determines that people’s views on postmodernism are full of ambiguities), as a global cultural trend of thought and way of thinking at the end of this century, it must have something in common, and most of them The important point is the denial of modernity – the denial of modernism’s monism, the absolute foundation, the only perspective, the pure reason, the only correct method, the denial of modern individualism, imperialism, patriarchy, and Western cultural centrism. It is this that determines that it is postmodernism and nothing else. The characteristics of postmodern culture are all grown on the basis of this negation.
  Therefore, postmodernism breeds in the soil of modernism, and in turn deconstructs and subverts, ridicules and rejects its general concept. It advocates diversity and respects pluralism, which is the biggest characteristic of postmodernism. ThisIt corresponds to the political multi-polarization and economic diversification in the world pattern. The specific manifestations are: the diversification of life style, the diversification of value orientation, and the diversification of aesthetic taste. Correspondingly, ideologically, postmodern advocates a multi-perspective way of thinking. Therefore, on the one hand, postmodernism rejects and rejects the grand narratives related to modernity, and advocates to ban foundationalism; Sexual anti-rationalism, moral cynicism, and emotional hedonism. Postmodernists, determined to break with traditional humanism and modernist elitist consciousness, look to the future and are no longer interested in history. They are anti-interpretation, anti-serious, anti-sophisticated, anti-culture, anti-holistic, anti-egocentric, anti-uniform, anti-rational, anti-authority, advocating pluralism, fragmentation, micro-politics, desire machines, polytheism, nomads, Tubers and language games, etc. In fact, postmodernist practices are the degeneration of high culture, and they deliberately lower themselves to the level of popular culture. It seeks to find a sense of home, and because of it, makes itself more consumable, so it makes use of the benefits of narrative, symbols, and simple form to assert its claims. Its main form is the pluralism of attitudes and values ​​that people can choose at will, and that social reality is affirmed at every level as heterogeneous, fragmentary, and contingent. Postmodernists insist that nothing can have the power of kings today, so that art has no mission but some kind of recreational and commercial interest. All the principles of avant-garde art have been questioned, the public’s demand for artworks is only to define its elegance and vulgarity in terms of consumption value, and the large-scale reproduction of artworks has lost its true aesthetic quality and taste. Everything can be copied. Straightforward eclecticism led to a distrust of artistic dignity and a belief that everything was commercialized. For example, Duchamp, the originator of postmodernist art, explained the meaning of his work “Fountain” in this way: “A common household appliance, given a new title, makes people look at it from a new angle, so that its original practical The meaning is lost, but a new content is acquired.” Duchamp showed his contempt for traditional painting by adding a mustache to the beautiful protagonist in the print of “Mona Lisa”. In addition to leaving the easel in form, postmodern art is more devoted to the creative experiment of integrating various factors such as environment, installation, light effect, behavior, human body, and media into art, and also attempts to fill in the “elite culture” and “mass”. culture” ditch. Postmodern extracts the “raw materials” it needs from mass life, consumption, production, machine reproduction, traditional culture and modern art, even the great “Mona Lisa” “is doomed”.
  An important feature of postmodern art An important feature
  of postmodern art is the use of ready-made products. After the ready-made products are split and recombined by postmodern artists, those seemingly unrelated things are spliced ​​together to reveal new meanings. . This approach powerfully deconstructs the aesthetics of compatibility suppressed by modernism. For example, Rauschenberg’s avant-garde postmodernist work “Persimmon Tree” (1964), this piece pieced together many themes and directly copied Rubens’ “Venus Dressing”.
  Linked to the diverse character of postmodernism is openness. An important flaw of the traditional way of thinking is its closed nature. The result of resting on your laurels often leads to arrogance. The emergence of all kinds of “absolute truth” and “only method” is the product of this closed way of thinking. Postmodern openness calls on people to listen to others, learn from others, be lenient, respect others, and revise themselves at any time to be open to better opinions and perspectives. In general, postmodernism is marked by tolerance, pluralism, marginality, indeterminacy, and difference. It swept away the traditional identity, integrity, centrality, and meta-discourse, and formed its own rules of the language game. There is no power discourse or power center that can monopolize the control of thought and explore spiritual freedom, and there is no new view or theory that can be regarded as one, ignoring other views and theories.
  In addition, the exaltation of creativity is an essential feature of postmodernism. Lyotard clearly pointed out that postmodernism is not a dead end of modernism, but a new state of modernism. “Post” means to turn, the purpose is to start something completely new. To create something new should break with old traditions and establish a new way of life and thinking. Postmodern concepts come from the retreat from reality, from the incompetence of human performance, from the nostalgia of human subjects, from people’s conception, will, and a hazy power. Therefore, postmodernism always tries to summon the impossible, to explore new ways of expression, to find the feeling of something inexpressible. Postmodernist artists believed that they “work without rules in order to establish rules for the work that is to be created.” Postmodernist thinkers particularly appreciated Schopenhauer’s ideas, saying: “Because the creator not only To create the world, but also to create the possibility itself, therefore, he should create the possibility of a world better than this world.” The expansion of the universe of our minds by postmodernism ultimately points to a new way of life that encourages people to break through Self, challenge self, encourage people to open up new realms and make new attempts. Foucault pointed out: “The main pleasure of life’s work is to make oneself different from yesterday.” To live out one’s own style, live out elegance, and live out beauty are the aspirations of postmodernist thinkers for the “new man” . In fact, the more the culture moves towards pluralism, the more it provides the possibility for free choice and creation, thus creating a living space for the true unity. Likewise, the real postmodern must be an organic fusion of premodern, modern and postmodern.