Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global. Washington is a co-host of "Joshua's Trial," a radio show of Christian conservative thought. A graduate of JohnMore ↓Less ↑
To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and [post]structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.
~ Barack Obama, from “Dreams from my Father” (1995)
Did you ever wonder what philosophy underlies popular political phrases of President Obama like the following?
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for;
Five days from now we will fundamentally change America;
I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody;
It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Barton calls these five malpractices of modern history: Deconstructionism, Poststructuralism, Modernism, Minimalism and Academic Collectivism. Last week I wrote about Deconstructionism, and today we will discuss the second malpractice of modern history – Poststructuralism – a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of prominent mid-20th-century French and continental intellectuals, philosophers and theorists who came to international prominence in the 1960s and ’70s. I will explain the extent this tragic philosophy has corrupted contemporary society.
“The second historical device for attacking and pulling down what is traditionally honored is called Poststructuralism. Poststructuralism is marked ‘by a rejection of totalizing, essentialist, foundationalist concepts’ such as the reality of truth or ‘the will of God.’ Poststructuralism discards absolutes and is ‘a-historical’ (that is, non- or anti-historical), believing that nothing transcendent can be learned from history. Instead, meaning must be constructed by each individual for him- or herself, and historical meanings may shift and change based on an individual’s personal views.”
Paraphrasing Goebbels, truth is the mortal enemy of Poststructuralism. By “truth,” of course, I mean objective, nonpartisan, God-inspired truth whose foundation is the Bible. Poststructuralism denies the possibility of a truly scientific study of “man” or of “human nature.” In this context, therefore, the epigram above states that “[post]structural feminists,” one of Barack Obama’s sought out “friend” groups in college, have their own “truth,” which is in essence the complete redefinition and deconstruction of God, family, marriage, womanhood, politics and country.
Poststructuralists replaced the will of God with Nietzsche’s Will to Power, replaced truth with socialist ideology, replaced history with an a-historical or anti-history worldview, which leads illogically to the idea that nothing inspiring or relevant can be learned from history. Instead, meaning must be constructed by each person for themselves, and historical meanings are therefore evolutionary and can shift and change based on an individual’s personal views, beliefs and desires. This is pure madness!
Barton further writes: “Poststructuralism is especially evident in the judiciary, where judges often interpret and ascertain the meaning of the Constitution for themselves, redefining even the simplest words with new and previously unknown meanings that the judge has supposedly discovered from him-or herself.” For example, when a chief justice of the Supreme Court like Charles Evans Hughes can openly decree in 1907 that “The Constitution is what the judge says it is,” he is reaffirming the 1803 holding in the Marbury v. Madison decision (establishing judicial review) while concurrently promoting a poststructuralist worldview that the judge is above Congress, We the People, the rule of law and the Constitution. That’s treason because judges all swore on a Bible “to protect and defend” the U.S. Constitution.
Therefore, Poststructuralism is neither new nor unique. It is a form of perversion as old as Satan in the Garden of Eden.
Look at the most controversial judicial opinions in the history of the Supreme Court: Dred Scott v. Sandford (legalized slavery), Roe v. Wade (legalized abortion), FDR’s “New Deal” and welfare state, LBJ’s “Great Society,” Engel v. Vitale (outlawed prayer in the public schools) and Obamacare (pending). All of these cases are based on certain laws, policies, institutions, doctrines and philosophies that are not only unconstitutional because they violate the original intent of the constitutional framers, but even more insidiously, these judicial decrees are in many ways examples of a poststructuralist worldview – perverse and diabolical ideas that have devastated society.
Barton further writes:
“Poststructuralism also encourages citizens to ‘view themselves as members of their interest group first, with the concerns of their nation and the wider community coming second, thus encouraging individual anarchy against traditional national unifying values.’ In the past, America was characterized by the Latin phrase on the Great Seal of the United States: E Pluribus Unum, meaning ‘out of many, one.’ This acknowledges that although there was much diversity in America, there was a common unity that overcame all differences.”
Like typical liberals, poststructuralists hate American exceptionalism with its rhetoric promoting God, tradition and individual, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps initiative. No, they contend that we are all members of interest groups (i.e., blacks, Indians, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, feminists, unionists, socialists), which then translate into the “world community” or international globalist entities (i.e., United Nations, European Union, World Bank, International Monetary Fund), which follows Barton’s astute observation about the perversion of America’s Great Seal – E Unum Pluribus (instead of the proper motto, E Pluribus Unum). Barton writes “But Poststructuralism reverses that emphasis to become E Unum Pluribus – that is, ‘out of one, many,’ dividing the nation into separate groups and components with no unifying commonality between them.”
In conclusion, Barton writes, “Poststructuralism ignores traditional national unifying structures, values, heroes, and institutions and instead substitutes personally constructed ones.” This insipid French philosophy is borne out in President Obama’s famous statement: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” where Obama reveals his narcissism (everything is about me), not as a separate, singular and coherent entity, which would be a fictional construct. Instead, Obama’s confession represents an infantile mind conflating tensions between conflicting knowledge claims (e.g. gender, race, class, profession, etc.).This self-perception plays a critical role in one’s subjective interpretation of meaning, politics and history.
Oh, that’s right. Poststructuralism doesn’t believe in history. That explains a lot.