Is the time of Great Revolutions™ long over? What are the reasons for the lack of massive resistance movements towards the powers which repress and destroy? Can art nowadays hold on to its form of being art in the effort to criticize social realizations?

I will try to make a reflection on the social context and the spirit of the time we live in on the basis of the contemporary though paradigms of the post-epoch era we live in.


Postmodernism appears in the context of thought in the middle of the 20th century in France and with its art and philosophy affirms the belief that identification of all phenomena is unjustified and a violent conceptualizing of the truth. And in that case, all of the works of the so far existing art movements are brought into question. Continuing in the line of avant-garde art and surrealism, while leaning on the philosophy of F. Nietzsche and Heidegger, postmodernism throws away a large number of existing schools and ideologies of that time, believing that most of them are controlled by the pro-west, white, well-situated community.

Science itself is also a “subject of interest” with the fact that there is a so called “crisis” in relation to scientific truths, and coming to some sort of conclusion about the objective knowledge of reality is interpreted by a sense of meaning which is a product of ideological prejudices and “control” of the western bourgeoisie

Oriented in the course of the left-liberal political streams, postmodernism is ambiguously situated in the context of modernity in which it springs out of, but also in the decades that follow in which it survives and develops further. It consists of the duality of the nihilistic, but at the same time of the revolutionary thought, it is an answer of the postwar and post imperial Zeitgeist of the West. The epoch of contemporary critical thought connected to postmodernism, as its predecessor, is a post-epoch which came out of the Academy with a significant influence and power which reflects above all, the most, in Western societies. Simultaneously, the initial nihilistic and destructive phase of the postmodernist movement was secondary (although, remains vital) and stands opposite of the revolutionary identity-politics strategy of activism and action. Also, the name of the postmodern thought comes out of the reflections towards the epoch which are given at the end of the 20th century by Jean – François Lyotard in his study “Postmodern Condition”, published in the year 1979.


François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida are the thinkers in whose works can be found the foundations of the critical thinking which insists on radical changes in the performance of meaning in the phenomena and their role in the context of society.

According to François Lyotard, the production of metanarrative is a wide-ranging dominant form in explaining the massive and radical convictions, the prejudices that stem out of religions and dominant ideologies. They try to pierce into what constitutes our being, but to also interpret the “plagues” of contemporary societies. He calls these metanarratives “mininarratives” – as in, smaller, subjective truths. He believes that traditional concepts based on Christianity and Marxism, and even science, are “produced” truths based on the interests of a smaller group of people, and that facts and truths are relative, from which we can conclude that the experience and convictions of the group clash with the interpretations performed from the point of view or the strategically interpreted viewpoints of other individuals and collectives. With this, the ways of thinking, and the ideologies are basically produced, created, naturalized meanings which through the critical reflections are relativized. In contrast, there where critical thought, by this, the dynamic of questioning has hit a brake and has become authoritarian, even to the degree a dogmatized form of overpowering of “other, foreign” view points and opinions and this leads to a centralizing of an only existing order of truths, norms, and ethics.


The work of Michel Foucault is linked to the analysis of a poststructuralist phase and continues in the direction of raising the critical thought on a level capable of interpreting the discourses in the institutions which have been created through history and culture. He discovers the aspects of culture through the interpretation of the history of already actualized discourses (the knowledge we have from education, political theory and so on.) According to Foucault, discourses can be controlled, same as the knowledge of meanings throughout the course of history. He talks about the institutional control and the figures of power. From here, he interprets knowledge as a direct product of power. In any culture and in any time, there exists an episteme which defines the states and the power of knowledge, with no difference to whether it’s theory or something in practice. To Foucault, people are culturologically predetermined. The individual, by him, has no autonomy. There exists a built in, or better said deeply rooted problematic place in each person predetermined by their class or profession with an indifference to the moral of their individual behavior. Foucault presents the middle aged feudalism and the modern liberal democracy both as systems which equally repress and calls towards criticizing institutions with the purpose of showing the political violence which has always existed in and flowed through them.

– NO.

Jacques Derrida actualized the act of deconstruction, culturological constructionism, and the relation between culture and individual. Meanwhile, he focuses on the explicitness of discourse. Derrida insists that “there cannot exist any independent text out of any kind of context,” namely he rejects the idea that words mean something directly. To him, there only exist contexts with no center of foundation of meanings. On the basis of this belief, he directs to the rejecting of the existence of clear and concise arguments, with this, he problematizes the understanding of an others perspective and the misunderstanding or wrong interpretation by relation of that which was primordial. The intention of the interlocutor is irrelevant. What matters is the impact of the speech. This idea of J. Derrida, as is with the ideas of M. Foucault is what hides behind the micro-deviations in the course of defining, the wrong use of terminology for genders, race, and sexual orientation.

These three ideas which are in the core of contemporary critical though are crucial in the further analysis of the text. Namely, we live in a now in which what the interlocutor has to say is neglected, humanity and the individual are illusions, and people can be divided into two groups: perpetuators of discourse and their victims. Morale is culturologically relevant, and together with it, also reality. Values in the middle of the 20th century are disposed of as naïve and there exists a moral need for them to be requisitioned.

The experiences, narratives, and beliefs of marginalized communities, opposed to those from the dominant groups and their power encourage reevaluating the value system of the middle of the 20th century, and from there, the values which have been accepted are subjected to a reconstruction through a contemporary view point, because the same are seen as repressive processes, as terror on the “others” and as a social construct of reality, on morale, and knowledge.

Is contemporary critical thought a threat to progress? (I never thought I would write this sentence.)

The desire to break the status quo, to oppose the accepted values and institutions, and the forcing of marginalized groups is in the core of the liberal ethos which shows itself as problematic in contemporary experience with regard to the weaknesses and inconsistency in relation to the status groups which sit on the lowest stair. Its weakness becomes even an intellectual laxity in the sphere of rethinking, as well as forgetting its role in activism. This mainstream intellectual idea buries itself in the trap of its own knots made by its own ambiguity and continued dynamic and change with no end in sight. We are placed in a single moment of history where the values we follow strive towards freedom, equality, and the chance of success with no difference to gender, race, social status, or sexual orientation. The confusion stems out of when the liberals who want to keep this value model become conservative, and those who want to keep their liberal status by any price find themselves in a situation where they have to defend irrationalism. While in the beginning postmodernists opposed discourses through other discourses, nowadays activists motivated by their ideas strive towards authority and base general ideas from their own logical conclusion.


While debating on a subject of the values of our time, the sensible argument is overthrown and is all the more regularly replaced with the tendency to point out someone else’s speech and to use the same as a reference, conclusion or report and to end up in the waters of the furious broken up speech.

Although the degree of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia are low in western societies, the left-leaning academics and SJW movement are fatally pessimistic. This comes out of the spirit of the time of this epoch which insisted on calling upon a time where meanings will be interpreted, written down, and reinterpreted. Or, the product of postmodern reading which allows to be biased and subjective. The stream towards authority is this time connected with the side which aspired to destroy it.


The belief that critical thought has always been useful in legitimizing racism, sexism, class, transphobia and xenophobia is present. But, science does problematize the conception of rational and factual, and had yet to understand the investment of support which it has received from the power and the system of the state and state apparatus.

Science has no reason to introduce relativizing and alternative ways of knowledge. This is the exact reason why it might lose its trust from the public, the state financing and that is a threat we cannot ignore. Especially not in a time where global leaders are suspicious of global warming, parents are cautious of vaccines and do they cause autism, people are massively converting to meteopaths and homeopaths as to avoid potential heavy sicknesses. The chance and thought that there is a possibility of a complete disbelief in empirical sciences is dangerous. Humanities are already changed to their very core. Anthropology, sociology, cultural studies are completely changed in the direction of their moral and epistemological relativity. Literature is studied in a spirit of the choices which relativize literary values in relation between the elite and massive expression and writing. Philosophy and history are both fragmented.

The concepts with which this interpretation begins point towards the fact that this is an endless differentiating and delayering of the specification, determined interpretations, and existing terminology. While intellectuals and liberals are lost every day in the translation of exact definition and defending the individually interpreted causes, there exists a rise of wars in social media. The internet is an open front where a conflict of notions happen, and where the intellectual mainstream tries to force their views which are based on personal interpretations and are most of the time a product of illegitimate sources. As a result of relativism, the experiences of truth are brought to be multilayered, split in a schizoid way, and problematic. The confusion arises from the need to overpower and tendency to see historical events in black and white. This leads to phenomena such as cultural appropriation, the labelling of every sexual orientation (although we stream towards a complete freedom of sexual identity), and the shift of core of many ideologies and movements (especially noticeable when it comes to feminism, liberalism, socialism) as well as burying the right of free speech in the name of individual interpretations.

Meanwhile, we witness the global rise of right-oriented movements.

Did the liberal status quo which split itself all the more and with it, brought itself to a degree of irrationalism and cultural relativism cause a need for identity?

Is society still being taught multiculturalism and equality of races?

Is the overemphasized nationalism a result of the fear of a repeat racial overpowering and it this more evidence that we have learned nothing from history?

Societies are all the more detracting away from their left-winged governments and parties as a result of their neoliberalism lost in the freedom of self-satisfying meditations and reflections with no results. On the other hand, capitalism continues destroying resistance movements by trying to make a brand and product out of them. The leaders of rightwing parties use nationalism, tradition, identity and strengthen their position by hiding behind their power and money. But behind the ideological mask, the core is empty and with no existing essence. The desire for power accompanying capitalism is an unstoppable machine which destroys everything in front it, playing with all previous ideas, movements, streams, and teachings.


How exactly can art face this culturological entropy? On one hand, it should be а criticism of the intellectual mainstream, but how can it be a criticism of two lost in translation leftist discourses when at the same time it seems as if the world is going back to dogmas and standardization? In the time of neoliberalism and post-truth, art should turn to the schools of old, with it bringing a freshness of values which it should promote in the new context of damaged worlds of terrorism and traumas of endless migrations and fleeing from war and poverty. The dynamic of our time by itself calls to a need of a larger artistic radicalism, a multilayered art which will be both analytical and critical towards all social deviations. All else is a luxury.

The essay is edited by prof. Dr. Slavica Srbinovska.

As a starting point, Smilevska’s essay takes inspiration from Helen Pluckrose’s text (Helen Pluckrose, How French ”intellectuals” ruined the west: postmodernism and its impact, explained) published in AERO MAGAZINE. Helen Pluckrose is a British essayist and brave liberal, whom with her in depth analysis, precisely finds the flaws of leftist works. Pluckrose is a post-graduate of Queen Mary, a specialist in the early modern period (1300-1700). So far, she has published her own essays and works in several mediums (Aero Magazine, Canadian Globe and Mail).

You can read this article on Macedonian here.Ивана СмилевсканаСтрана - нешто е труло во коренотанализа,апстракт,литература,постмодернизам,ревизија,систем,филозофијаIs the time of Great Revolutions™ long over? What are the reasons for the lack of massive resistance movements towards the powers which repress and destroy? Can art nowadays hold on to its form of being art in the effort to criticize social realizations? I will try to make a...Нова мисла на пресушената почва.