DECONSTRUCTION 101 TEXT

It has been suggest that I publish the text of any videos. I will give it a try in future. In the meantime here is an approximation of the text of the video on deconstruction.

What do you do if your ideas collide with reality? If you are a sensible, rational creature you rethink your ideas. If you are a progressive you rethink reality, you deconstruct it.

You learn about deconstruction either by one simple lesson or by 296 exceedingly complex lessons. Let’s go for simple. Warning: before any pseudo intellectual progressives get their nether garments in a tangle and start sending abusive comments take some Scottish advice, ‘Save your breath to cool your porridge’ I’ll ignore you. But that’s OK because ultimately deconstruction is about power and is used to silence people.

Isn’t it interesting that those who hold that all truth is relative should demand the silencing of truths they don’t like? But then, if you can be absolutely convinced that there are no absolutes you can believe and do anything.

Deconstruction does what it says on the tin, it deconstructs, it breaks down statements to reveal their underlying impulses.

Deconstruction started out as a tool of literary criticism, centring on the idea that there is no truth, merely social constructs, things we as a society have chosen to believe because it fits in with our presuppositions about power structures. Statements only exist in relation and opposition to other statements: male implies female, good implies bad, etc., one of these is inevitably dominant. The deconstructionist’s goal is to expose and overthrow those dominant concepts.

Decontructionists propose that those doing the dominating desire power and want to subordinate or fear the other. This is why the term homophobic is applied to all those Neanderthal Christians who say homosexual behaviour is sinful.

Forget the Bible, it’s really about our lust for power and our fear of homosexuals. OK we don’t consciously lust for power or fear homosexuals but that’s irrelevant, although wemay not know it fear and loathing lie behind our biblical position – therefore we are mentally damaged and should be silenced before you cause harm.

Perhaps you are beginning to see the attraction of deconstruction for progressives. It gives them power over those who disagree with them.

A writer’s intention is immaterial, it is our interpretation of the text which matters. Who cares what Shakespeare intended, Macbeth is seen to be a narrative in which men reject womankind by portraying powerful women as controlling, manipulative and evil, and thus men fearfully defend their actual domination and control over women. Macbeth is therefore a tool of the patriarchy. Or some such codswallop.

And codswallop it is.

Sandra G Harding, philosopher of feminism and post-colonial theory reckons that Newton’s Principia Mathematica is ‘a rape manual’. One would need to be a pervert of the highest order to consult a 17th century, three volume work in Latin dealing with mathematics and physics, in order to get hints and tips on rape. To give Harding her due she eventually retracted the assertion.

Luce Irigaray, Belgian born French philosopher argues that e=mc2 is a ‘sexed equation’. Why? Because it privileges the speed of light over other vitally necessary speeds. Irigary also thinks that fluid mechanics are unfairly neglected because ‘masculine physics’ privileges rigid, solid things.

Perhaps gravity is a social construct. In 1996  Social Text journal published an article by Alan Sokal, Professor of Physics at New York University, entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” In this article Skokal deconstructed gravity. He later admitted that the article was a hoax, submitted to see whether a leading journal of cultural studies would publish an article larded with utter nonsense if it sounded good and pandered to editors’ post-modern ideology. Of course they would. Who knows, perhaps gravity reality is a tool of powerful white males determined to impose their viewpoint on creation.

What started out as a tool of literary criticism has quickly become a tool of cultural revolution. It is about power and language, how the former is used to define the later and exert control over society. Thus it is hugely attractive to progressives.

Deconstruction means that there is no such thing as absolute truth, only interpretations. What we think of as truth is actually just a social construct, how society chooses to think, and my interpretation is as valid as yours. My culture is as valid as yours.

One culture may respect women and give them the same rights and privileges as men. Another culture may keep women in subjugation, force them into unwanted marriages, punish them if they raped, practice female genital mutilation and deny them education. But to say one culture is intrinsically better than the other is wrong, that would be a power play.

A prime example of progressive deconstruction doublethink worthy of George Orwell’s 1984 happened recently. David Cameron proposed spending £20 million to teach Muslim women English. If a woman who has been living in Britain for twenty or thirty years still cannot speak English she is at a severe disadvantage and this situation should be remedied. Who can be against education?

Step up the Guardian. Madeline Bunting wrote an article in which she argued that this was not about helping women to integrate in British society it was about dreams of empire and “‘White man rescuing brown woman’ in which desire for domination could be masked as a virtuous duty.”

Thus the ultra progressive, self-proclaimed voice of liberalism could approvingly publish a statement like “In the Muslim homes I have visited it was clear that the women were extremely busy cooking and caring for many family members”. Clearly for the progressive, keeping women at home and in the kitchen feeding the family is vile, even Nazi like, if proposed by a male European, but commendable when actually practiced by Muslim men. Ai’nt deconstruction wonderful? You can have your cake and eat it.

Deconstruction does not relate to reality – only to the destruction of society. The philosophy which exposes power plays is in actual fact a tool of a power play itself.

 

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About Campbell

Now retired but once upon a time a parish minister in Glasgow, before that the South West and initially the Black Isle. Been a prison chaplain and lecturer. Still am constantly bemused by the weird world around me.
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4 Responses to DECONSTRUCTION 101 TEXT

  1. Gilbert McGill says:

    Hi Campbell
    I am thankful someone else thinks the text version important. I find you quite photogenic but absorb the written word better.
    Every blessing
    Gilbert

  2. Rich and Mary Whiteman says:

    We appreciate your videos and will find having the text helpful in digesting all you are saying. Thank you for all your work!
    God bless you.

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