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Marxism vs Postmodernism

Date: Sunday 6th November
Time: 10:30 - 12:15
Location: Sarah Fell
Speaker: Yola Kipcak

Postmodernism is a trend that has dominated much of philosophy and sociology for the past 30 years. It denies the existence of objective truth, saying that instead reality is composed of different ‘narratives’ that are equally valid. It denies that human society has any general laws, or that historical progress exists.

On this basis, Postmodernism is used to attack Marxism, since Marxism believes in progress and argues that the working class can change society for the better by building socialism. For postmodernists, Marxism’s belief that we can understand society in an objective manner, is outdated and harmful.

On the contrary, it is the ideas of postmodernism have harmful consequences for the class struggle today. A clear example of this is the postmodern concept of a so-called “left populism” or “left narratives” that, in recent years, has gained popularity in many left parties across the world. Prominent figures of parties such as PODEMOS in Spain, Syriza in Greece, Die Linke in Germany, but also within the Labour Party, advocate this concept that is closely connected to the call for a so-called “left populism”.

We will look at the historical context of the emergence of postmodernism and, taking a closer look at its ideas, explain why Marxism rejects this pessimistic and subjective philosophy. We will also show why the struggle for a revolutionary philosophy is vitally necessary for our struggle to end capitalism and build socialism.

Recommended reading: Marxist theory and the struggle against alien class ideas

Recommended watching: Marxism vs Postmodernism