I just read Professor Stephen Hicks of Rockford College's 2004 book, Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault for our book club meeting last Wednesday. As one review says, "should be in every student's backpack."
I'm taken with the brilliance of his softball approach to an ultimately devastating critique of Postmodernism and its progeny in history, literature, art, science - but most notably in politics.
Dr. Hicks briefly reviews Postmodernism's philosophical predecessors in Rousseau, Hume, Kant and others, and the path to present-day ideas in remarkably clear exposition any intelligent layman can understand. He then explains the internal "logic" of the Postmodernist positions, starting with their epistemology, which led to political correctness, identity politics and radical gender feminism. He also unearths why they use any manipulation of ideas and any ad hominem to silence opponents, especially those from the pro-reason, pro-liberty, limited government right.
At the climax of his argument, he answers the question: if Postmodernists believe there is no objectivity, no right and wrong, and that the values of all cultures are relative - why do they ALL believe in collectivism and statism? His careful historical and philosophical scholarship, combined with devastating logic, prove Ayn Rand's contention that irrationalist philosophies are systems of rationalization for beliefs and actions which the irrationalist does not want to admit. The book is a paean to philosophy's power.
Other members of our book club were shocked to read about how these ideas are affecting colleges and universities - and terribly worried for all the young people who's minds are being mangled by the Postmodernists.
If you want to understand what's happening in our culture and politics today, read this book! You can find an online PDF of it at Dr. Hicks' website here.