This morning I received the following email in response to my post Truth Procedures or Uncanny Doubles and the Postmodern Right.

Two quick thoughts on your post “Truth-Procedures”? Uncanny Doubles or the Postmodern Right

– is the “destruction and suffering” wrought by contemporary capitalism outweighed by its gains (including your ability to sit behind a computer and post philosophical thoughts on technology invented by the military/industrial complex)?

– the conversation quoted (if it took place) also has an uncanny resemblance to Delousses’ interpretation of the Nietzschean Master / Slave dialect.

I find these sorts of reactionary questions fascinating. The questioning of whether the conversation took place is icing on the cake. It underlines the manner in which reporting has come to be thought of as a commodity that one picks and chooses according to their ideological preferences of liking and disliking. Whenever something fails to conform to ones ideological vision it is concluded that it must be a leftwing bias and purposeful distortion. These kinds of questions seem to work according to a sort of “gotcha!” logic. “What a hypocrit! You’ve benefitted from x, while nonetheless having problems with it!” I wonder how the author might respond to an abused child. “Is the destruction and suffering wrought by your abusive father outweighed by its gains (the fact that you exist, went to university, and are now able to do research in the social sciences to prevent child abuse)?” Thanks for the Delousses reference. I assume the author must have been being ironic as his email performs the very nature of postmodernism both with his doubt and by having a signature from a prominent southern author that gives a vigorous defense of being southern (the cover of his book even has a confederate flag) while signing his email with an entirely different name, thereby enacting postmodern theses about the fluid and simulated nature of identity.