The Tuition Dilemma

As a theory wonk, I rarely comment on practical politics like policy or the progress of elections. However, this article brings up several interesting ethical and economic implications of increasing funding for university education. The value of a university degree in terms of finding a job worth your merits and acquired training is diminished by a market with a more than adequate supply and decreasing demand. The quality and intrinsic worth of the knowledge you gain no longer has the material payoffs that it should.

A philosophical point that this article misses is that there is a devaluation of higher learning and critique of current social orders; that is, engaging with theory and thought traditions. With the move to professional programs in university, students increasingly find it useless and unapplicable to read brilliant contributions to the richness of human thought processes that Nietzsche, Rousseau, Kant, Hayek, Foucault, and so many others provide. Therefore, they lack sufficient training in reflexive thought and therefore are ill-equipped to deal with the modern despair of having a 9-5 mechanistic office job and surviving in a competitive world with its own interests and fast-paced technological and commercial advances. Moral and creative progress stalls when university must churn out cookie-cutter students for the professional markets. The government and university bureaucracy profit the most from this, with the government taking taxes for spending on these institutions and the universities themselves trying to make a profit off the useless specialization of disciplines.

Nepotism (not meritocracy!) begins to replace the process of hiring of university graduates as well, with the increase of highly skilled labour supply. For the Ontario Liberals to assert that job creation will happen through increasing funding to education (thereby increasing access) and subsequently, increasing the number of highly trained individuals for the job market, appears suspect in light of this article. Diversification of job market training and increasing job demands through private sector initiatives and projects would be a better solution rather than throwing taxpayer money at the problem of underemployed university graduates.

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Taken from The Cord

Counter-point: McGuinty tuition plan is fiscally irresponsible, adds to Ontario’s debt unnecessarily

After eight years in office, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals have announced a plan to cut tuition by 30 per cent by handing out $1600 to students who come from families earning incomes of less than $160,000. This accounts for roughly 86 per cent of students. The Liberals predict that this will cost the province $486 million per year. At first glance, this may seem like a great deal for the typical university student but after some more thought, it is apparent that this election bribe is not as beneficial as it may appear. This policy will add to Ontario’s staggering government debt, is fiscally irresponsible and will damage our post-secondary education.

The problem with such a promise, and all similar promises, is the question of where the money comes from. Obviously it comes from the province coffers, but before we plunder public funds out of our own self-interest, we must remember that those funds come from all people of this province, including your classmates from high school that chose to enter the workforce instead of pursuing post-secondary education.

I have a friend who decided against going to university. The thought that I should use the collective force of the state to harvest money from him and line my own pockets with his money seems immoral. I fully understand that the use of collective force will never disappear from our government but we should work towards limiting it.

Morals aside, the other problem we are about to encounter is the fact that the province is running out of money for new expenditures. Our province is in debt by $245 billion and has a deficit of over $16 billion. By not working towards fixing this problem by rebalancing the books and paying off Ontario’s debt, younger Ontarians like you and me will be left with the bill. Implementing this education plan, which will cost $486 million each year, will not help our situation.

Even if we only evaluate this Liberal plan for its impact on post-secondary education, it still has serious flaws. When a government implements a new policy, especially one that affects the pricing system, it very rarely fully understands what it is doing. As such, a number of negative side effects could develop. The first problem is if the supply is greater than the demand, the value of what is being supplied would decline. This includes undergraduate degrees.

Undergraduate degrees are certainly not as highly valued as they used to be due to government interference. If the government lowers the cost of tuition, another bad after-effect will take place: attracting people who have no serious interest in learning to campuses across Ontario, which will deteriorate the learning atmosphere.

Both of these bad effects are occurring right now because of government subsidization and will only be worsened by this Liberal policy. Another thing that could develop is that student tuition could rise at a faster rate to compensate for the government subsidy, making the policy useless.

There is a better option and that would be to let the market work. As more young Canadians demand undergraduate degrees, signals will be sent through the price system and will be met by an increase in openings as the university feels it can profit. Investors work to invest in new campuses to meet the increase in demand to maximize profit to satisfy their own self-interest. Students are free to choose universities based off of any criteria they choose and each university will attempt to meet the demands of those students so it can make a profit. The competition between universities could drive prices down and increase the quality of services. This policy was poorly conceived because of its cost and negative effects on our post-secondary education.

As such, the government of Ontario should not implement this policy. “Premier Dad” should cease harvesting burdensome amounts of money from people in Ontario through collective force and instead try a bit of individual freedom. He may be surprised at how well Ontarians can serve one another in a free society.

Responding to sovereign failure

Note: An unfinished article I wrote in response to Michael Ignatieff’s “9/11 and the age of sovereign failure“. After some consideration, I decided not to submit it because no one takes Mr. Ignatieff seriously anymore anyway. Enjoy!

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When I scanned the website of The Globe and Mail early in September, I was surprised to find that the humbled ex-opposition leader Michael Ignatieff had put on his scribe’s hat and decided to pen a piece entitled “9/11 and the age of sovereign failure”. As likewise an amateur in international relations, I was surprised to find serious flaws in his framing of the issue on the tenth anniversary of these attacks.

Ignatieff failed to define what sovereign failure is and, as far as international relations theory is concerned, the term does not exist. We can only assume that by sovereign failure, Ignatieff is actually referring to state failure or sovereign default. To be clear about the latter definitions, state failure is when a state is weakened to the point where social and political structures have collapsed to the point where the central government has little or no control. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, two conditions come into conflict here: a state’s duty to guarantee basic human rights and the right to self-determination. As nationalist struggles for power (often including pre-existing divisions between ethnic groups) create more political instability, the state is no longer able to protect basic human rights, which is its primary mandate in the social contract between the sovereign and the subject. Sovereign default is failure by the government of a sovereign state to pay back its debt in full. Going forward with these definitions, we can critically look at the proofs that Professor Ignatieff uses to support his theory of “sovereign failure” in the United States.

Ignatieff both asserts that the United States is a case of sovereign failure in terms of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and came within view of sovereign failure in terms of the release of American debt figures to the tune of $14 trillion dollars. In my humble opinion, state failure is never “half-done”, but always complete collapse. Last time I checked, the American Congress, House of Representatives, President, and other democratic institutions and offices that constitute the American government were fully functional and funded by taxpayers.  9/11, the global financial crisis, American debt, and responses to natural disasters were not instances of state failure because the American state has not collapsed.

Firstly, 9/11 was not an instance of sovereign failure. It was an act of war. It was not a case of the American government failing to protect its citizens on its own soil, but being the victim of a terrorist attack. The social contract between citizens and the American government was suspended at no point during the attacks, such that the American military and local governments were deployed to save civilian lives. Previous terrorist attacks on American soil did not pose enough of a credible threat to a significant portion of the American population for the United States to change its customs security at airports and at borders. Therefore, the 9/11 attacks were unanticipated and sudden and the response of the American governments at all levels was immediate and networked.

Only a few years ago, Ignatieff was a fiery advocate of right to self determination (often violent) of other developing nations and military intervention in countries that were ruthlessly violating the human rights of their civilians in his book Blood and Belonging and The Lesser Evil. He believed that developed countries had a moral obligation to ensure democratic freedoms in other countries that did not adhere to such norms, by whatever means necessary. Yet in the article, he criticizes the Canadian mission in Afghanistan and nation-building initiatives there, as well as the decision of the Bush administration to go to war in Iraq as indications of state weakness. The decision of the United States to go to war was not an indication of state collapse, but American strength and hegemony as the world’s policeman. A failure to observe the just war theory criterion is not an indication of state failure, but failure to comply with moral imperatives commonly held by the international community.

More importantly, he blames government institutions themselves for these failures rather than the individuals that make up such entities. In democracies where the people are sovereign, the state fails us only when we fail the state. American citizens have failed to elect a government in the past few years that would rein in spending and tackle the growing deficit in an effort towards greater fiscal responsibility. Americans have failed to elect a government that will not bailout unsuccessful companies in its stimulus package, but rather reward corporations that generate jobs organically in hard times. Americans have failed to contest security measures like wire-tapping and biometrical scanning that infringe on their own negative liberties.  American citizens have failed to engage in democratic processes that seek to check and balance the powers of the American state, rather than perpetuate an invasive nanny state with programs like Obamacare or ACORN and increased economic regulation like the Community Investment Act.

Instead of focusing so heavily on the faults and failings of strong democratic and developed states, Ignatieff would be better employed returning to his missionary liberalism and looking at rogue states that actually fail to provide basic security to their citizens in the rest of the world. In any case, such theoretical inconsistency is perhaps to be expected from a man with similar identity inconsistencies.

The European New Right

or Postmodernism of the Right? Part 2

I finished Tomaslav Sunic’s book on the ENR sometime ago, so I’ve had some time to let the ideas simmer. I have decided that I cannot subscribe to the right wing postmodern philosophy as the next step in conservative thinking. I do not consider its foundations to be flawed or neofascist, but there are too many ways that the theories could be manipulated once put into praxis. I think it best for me to describe the problems I had with the Manifesto for a European Renaissance which seems to be the scripture for the ENR or GRECE. If there was a way to rework the interesting new theories into Hayekian or libertarian IR theory, there may be some hope left for bringing conservatism into the second half of the 21st century, neoconservatism having dominated the first few years. I would even dare to call my new international relations theory neohumanism but there I get ahead of myself. Let me first do justice to the ENR.

Strengths

  • Against depoliticisation and for renewed democracy: The ENR becomes a crusader against apathy. Rule by the people as sovereign can ensure the freedom and variety of situations that Humboldt so passionately advocated for. It also assures political equality as an expression of the people, whether citizen or non-citizen. As Pareto and Constant asserts, there will always be cycles of tyranny and struggle which occur when civilizations become indifferent to their politics as in the case of Rome and Britain. Indifference is the indication of decline in liberal democracies and political fervour must be revived to prevent decay from progressing towards that utopia of the perfect form of governance.   A return to participatory versus representative democracy is advocated, but this too could have the same problems as representative democracy. Still, there is a sense that the democratic spirit must be instilled in the population to make them believe that their destiny and their well-being is at stake in every political decision. My suggestion: an informed populace?
  • Against uprooting and for strong/clear identities: This is often mistaken for an anti-immigration policy versus a reaction to global migratory flows and the loss of cultural identity in the melting pots of the world. The truth is many migrants forced to leave their countries due to political unrest or economic instability find themselves alienated from their identities and find themselves choosing between the identity of the host country and the identity of their home country. Fear of the Same replaces fear of the Other as immigrants are denied the right to locate themselves in a collective and cultural identity in their host country. The ENR wants to ensure a sense of belonging for displaced individuals and greater regionalization of cultural identities in response to the globalization and homogenization of  Anglo-American culture. The ENR also believes in cooperating with home countries, which are usually poor, to help them along the road of development to ensure that the loss of cultural preservation through a mass exodus of migrants from the country will not happen by stimulating economic opportunities at home and political stability.
  • Against racism and gender discrimination and for the right of difference: This is an interesting critique of multiculturalism as promoted by (social) liberal thinkers that blurs the lines of identity as a universalist anti-racism that chooses to recognize everyone as part of a particular species, which means nothing to individuals themselves. By reducing the Other to sameness, multiculturalism is unable to recognize or respect the otherness for what it is. Therefore, a refusal of exclusion and assimilation helps to recognize the Other as other through dialogue and engagement. As for gender, same idea: a lack of recognition of the inherent biological and psychological differences between men and women. Individuals are made to be abstract and detached from their sexual identities. The ENR upholds the recognition of “feminine rights” in addition to the Rights of Man and opposes sexism and unisex utopianism.It choose to respect the equal value of both men and women along with their distinctive natures.
  • Critique of socialist liberal democracy and the birth of totalitarianism as the ultimate political dystopia: Pretty self-explanatory if you’ve read Arendt or Hayek. The problem was that state terror could be derived from the reasoning of the state, once it had infiltrated all aspects of peoples’ lives.

Weaknesses

  • Anti-capitalist: Anyone that gives credence to the works of Marx is a socialist or communist and as such, Marx should NOT have been integrated into right wing postmodernism, not only for the above reason, but also because it’s regressive. Marxist theory has already moved into neogramscian theory with Hardt & Negri, as well as Robert Cox. Even after Sunic mentions the critique of homo sovieticus, he upholds a manifesto that stipulates that the international economy is fundamentally unequal and thereby, unfair. Classical liberals have never argued that the markets made everyone equal, but they certainly believe that it made everyone better off by raising standard of living and distributing benefits to unknown people as the result of a self-interest driven system. The analysis of capitalism is a fundamental principle of modern conservative theory, such that the way forward is to analyze and anticipate its benefits in a globalized world through non-state frameworks like MNCs and intergovernmental organizations like the WTO (see the works of Saskia Sassen). The book also asserts that people should work less in order to work better and lead more leisurely lives. I disagree simply by citing Fukuyama’s argument that capitalist labour gives a certain amount of recognition that individuals crave and provides outlets for them to exert positive energy in the Nietzschean sense. That is, some people view their jobs as leisure or their life. And since capitalism is a system of diverse opportunities, individuals are more free to choose jobs more in line with their ambitions and ensures greater social mobility if an individual works hard and connects well in the business world. It is quite a European thing to advocate for more holidays for everyone anyway…
  • Against gigantism and megalopolis, as well as “unbridled technology” and for localization of power: This is a Burkean or aristocratic sort of conservatism, one that would put us back to the Stone Age and maybe one that even the hippies and environmentalists could get on board with, strangely enough. I firmly believe in human progress, scientifically and technologically as the hallmarks of human innovation. If human technology can find the means to fight bloodless wars as in the case of DARPA producing robot soldiers, then by all means, speed it up! If human architects can build the cities of tomorrow, let them do it! I’m still waiting for my flying car by the way. The human imagination is only limited by itself and with human innovation, I’m sure biodiversity and ecology will become much more easier to accommodate once our clumsy machinery is modified.
In short, the ENR provides a new perspective on individualism in response to the totalitarian manipulation of the masses and ideological struggles of the past. Right wing postmodernism borrows from the left in its critique of liberal democracies and problematizes sovereignty ant its processes of homogenization: turning the Other into sameness, turning the individual identity associated with history and culture into a vagary of the human species, and infringing on liberties in the name of egalitarianism and totalitarianism. Perhaps the break from capitalism has turned away many conservative thinkers from pursuing this school of thought, but it could also be the hegemony of North American neoconservatism. Due to its association with neofascism, I think intellectuals will be careful to associate themselves with the school or study its principles, but it is certainly useful to know what you’re dealing with!
Further reading:
The works of Alain de Benoist
Nomos of the Earth by Carl Schmitt
The Concept of the Political by Carl Schmitt
The works of Vilfredo Pareto
Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy by Zbigniew Brzezinski
The works of Guillaume Faye
The works of Julien Freund

China and the World

Let’s take a break from the ruthless pursuit of what right-wing postmodernism exactly is and turn to this news article in the London Free Press that my dear old grandparents decided to send me for my interests.

China Not Really A Superpower

Having written five papers on the subject, permit me to lay aside my ideological background for a second, so I can give this article a proper critique and make old granny and grandaddy proud. I may even play the devil’s advocate for a while.

Assumption #1: Key numbers are left out when considering China as an economic superpower.
Proof: IMF ranked China 94th in terms of GDP per capita, with $7,519.
Counterpoints:

  • Nominal GDP is virtually worthless in measuring the economic wealth of a nation, especially judged from the standard of the US dollar. Purchasing power parity (PPP) is a much more effective measurement of the purchasing power of consumers in a given country, since consumers may be able to purchase more goods with their dollar in one country than in another. In this respect, Hong Kong and/or Macau consistently ranked in the top ten places with the highest PPP according to IMF’, World Bank, and CIA figures, often beating out the United States.
  • The IMF, WB, and CIA also separate Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau from the calculations of China’s economic figures, which if included (we’ll ignore the political ramifications for now) would considerably put China higher up the economic growth ladder.

Assumption 2: Civil unrest exemplified by strikes and demonstrations have impeded economic and political development.
Proof: 87,000 incidents in 2005, up from 74,000 in 2004 according to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security
Counterpoints:

  • The United States had some of the bloodiest and worst riots in history as well.
  • Since when does civil unrest indicate weakness in government institutions? Did the riot in Vancouver after the Canucks lost indicate a coming collapse in the current Canadian government?  Did the recent riots in London indicate a deterioration in the democratic institutions of the United Kingdom? Strikes, demonstrations, and protests happen on a daily basis on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and on Capitol Hill in Washington, sometimes emphasized to the same extent as those in China. It would be absurd to draw the conclusion that civil unrest is an indication of weakness, as much as an indication of the strength of government institutions in suppressing, ignoring, or neutralizing them.

Assumption 3: Massive industrialization and megacities have reduced standards of living through poor air quality and the destruction of the environment.
Proof: 1% of China’s 560 million urban inhabitants breathe air deemed unsafe by EU standards and 500 million Chinese lack access to safe drinking water
Counterpoints:

  • The Chinese government hasn’t ignored the problem and has actually be addressing it in the last ten years. Wen Jiabao introduced Green GDP in 2004 to replace the GDP index as a performance measure of the economy. While the project was abandoned in 2007, credit should be given for China being the first country to be brave enough to test it out. It was empirically useful because now we know that it doesn’t work and countries must find alternative methods to “go green” in their development. I find it impressive that after implementing this plan for a few years, China was able to get it’s real GDP growth rate back up to 5%.
  • In the 12th five year plan, China has shown considerable interest in continuing to move toward sustainable development and environmental protection, such as making emissions reducations targets, installing more public transportation, and moving away from fossil fuels.

Assumption 4: China possesses a poorly educated citizenry.
Proof: none
Counterpoints:

  • Countries with larger populations will naturally quantitatively have MORE uneducated people than countries with smaller populations. Every country faces the dilemma of funding and quality of its education, even the United States. Even with all its wealth, constant complaints are made against the American public school system falling into shambles.
  • 95.9% of Chinese citizens are literate, a considerable difference from the 94.6% that Hong Kong has with its top-notch education system
  • In terms of male/female ratio and geographical aptitude, Chinese and American students are on par. Chinese students also receive better attention at the primary school level than American students. China and the US allocate the same percentage of government expenditure to education. China invests significantly more in university education than the United States.
  • 95% of students take the required nine years of educational training. Secondary school enrollment is on the rise.
  • In the 2009 test of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance by the OECD, Chinese students from Shanghai achieved the best results in mathematics, science and reading. The OECD also found that even in some of the very poor rural areas the performance is close to the OECD average.

Assumption 5: American owes its superpower status to historical and cultural circumstances.
Proof: It won the Second World War and the Cold War and has cultivated its military power ever since.
Counterpoints:

  • Rewind. Last time I checked, Canada, Britain, France, and a host of other countries were part of that last stand against Hitler. If Churchill hadn’t won the Battle of Britain, I’m pretty sure the Allies would have had a hard time of it on D-Day. Not to mention the million or so Russian soldiers that died on the eastern front, pushing back the Nazi and Japanese advances at the same time. As for the Cold War, it was a combination of capitalism being awesome AND the weakening of the Soviet Union’s structure, since a planned economy stagnates with lack of organic innovation and ceding human development to an individual level. No one could have  predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain and for the US to take all the credit for winning a stalemate is absurd.
  • America rose as a superpower because of its neoimperialist policies (capitalism, expansionism and interventionism). China does not necessarily subscribe to the interventionist creed of that the US hegemon feels as the world’s policeman. They tend to exercise soft power, which has been strongly felt in other developing countries on the continents of Africa and Latin America, along with countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. There is a wealth of information on all these topics and report released by leading universities, think tanks, and organizations.
Assumption #6: China does not export ideas.
Proof: none
Counterpoints: 
  • Then why is everyone so interested in China? Why has it become the object of concern, worry, enthusiasm, excitement, intrigue, etc. for so many intellectuals, policymakers, media sources, bureaucrats, politicians, and the list goes on? Why are American scholars vying for places at Peking University or the Shanghai Institute or the University of Hong Kong? Surely not for vacation. Perhaps it is the novelty, but I generally think that America has dominated the export of ideas and innovation long enough. I encourage plurality of perspective and once outside the box, one can see how narrow-minded and constricting American ideas can be once getting past the usual dogmas and ideologies.
Well that was fun. All that being said, I think US policymakers can sleep safely tonight and not fear that Communist China will overtake its military capabilities (i.e. huge nuclear stockpile and DARPA), however I would not entirely exclude the possibility of a G2 world someday. I suppose it shall be the purpose of the remainder of my academic career to predict such trends, but until then, I will endeavour to debunk common Anglo-American perceptions of China, as one who has studied there and appreciates the best of both worlds.
For further reading, I would suggest John Ikenberry’s article in Foreign Affairs: The Rise of China and the Future of the West.
Other good reads on China’s rising:

Those who have really done most to spread these ideas, the real bearers of constructivist rationalism and socialism, are, however, not these distinguished scientists. They rather tend to be the so-called `intellectuals’ that I have elsewhere unkindly called professional `second-hand dealers in ideas’: teachers, journalists and ‘media representatives’ who, having absorbed rumours in the corridors of science, appoint themselves as representatives of modern thought, as persons superior in knowledge and moral virtue to any who retain a high regard for traditional values, as persons whose very duty it is to offer new ideas to the public – and who must, in order to make their wares seem novel, deride whatever is conventional. For such people, due to the positions in which they find themselves, `newness’, or `news’, and not truth, becomes the main value, although that is hardly their intention – and although what they offer is often no more new than it is true.

-F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Postmodernism of the Right?

Calvin and Hobbes - Postmodernism

This is the first I’m hearing of it and a little attracted by the idea.

Google searches have turned out these basic points of definition of the rehashed philosophy:

  • distrust of experts as preserving the status quo in their interests (ex: the economists who didn’t trust the budget projections, the generals who didn’t buy the troop estimates, intelligence analysts who questioned the existence of an active nuclear weapons program in Iraq) and providing counter-evidence and critique upon these points (often harkening back to influences such as Hayek, the Austrian school, and modern libertarianism as part of their political analysis)
  • uncovering “spin” in the influence of these experts (bureaucrats and technocrats included) utilizing the “deconstructive” methods of discursive practices promoted by French postmodernists (ex: questioning climate change, population control, sustainable development)
  • claiming that patriarchy, racism, and homophobia aren’t the real problems (ex: Bush administration) so much as establishmentarianism, big-government liberalism or the nanny state, and pervasive foreign policy namby-pambyism
  • picking apart mainstream economics and anthropology (see Hayek)
  • ideology creates reality and is the only reality (anti-foundational in this sense) since new sets of facts can always be found to favour one side or another for the experts
  • dislike of the emptying of the meaning of words through ideology (ex: Hayek’s critique that any word put after the word “social” has rendered it meaningless due to the careless use of the world social in socialist ideology)
  • a revival of metatheories as follows: It’s not that gender and identity and culture are unimportant. But to study the micro-politics of identity is to ignore the prime causal factor – the deep structures of history and the contestation over society embodied in the world of politics.
  • a rejection of the current liberal order as perpetuated by flawed and ineffective institution such as the United Nations and various NGOs and IOs
  • breaking away from American hegemony on political thinking and reviving European enlightenment glory

I have found two prominent names so far: John Quiggin and Marshall McLuhan. The first appears to be a still-living Australian economic professor. The other seems to be Canadian media theorist. Interesting mix.

There is also a third in Michael O’Meara who published a book in 2004 called “New Culture, New Right: Anti-Liberalism in Postmodern Europe” who speaks of the rise of the European New Right. O’Meara deconstructs the prevailing liberal notions of equality, rationality, universalism, economism, and developmentalism, but goes further in emphasizing what he claims are its anti-White, anti-European, and anti-cultural impetus.

A fourth appears in the work of Croatian Dr. Tomaslav Sunic in his book “Against Democracy and Equality: The European Right” published in 1990 and which appears to have influenced O’Meara’s work.  The most original part of his book was his account of the New Right’s critique of equality, ‘economism,’ and Judeo-Christianity, which, rather than the secularism of the Enlightenment, are seen as the root of egalitarianism and universalism.

Some see the work of these authors as a continuation of what is called the Conservative Revolution: a German anti-liberal intellectual movement of the Weimar era that included some of the foremost minds of the 20th century (Heidegger, Spengler, Schmitt, Sombart, Freyer, Moeller van den Bruck, Niekisch, Jünger, etc.). Right wing postmodernism as promoted by the ENR’s continued subscription conservative revolution of the 1920s contributed to ENR’s effort to reformulate revolutionary anti-liberal ideas for the 21st century, especially as posed by the massive global migratory trends, rising multiculturalism, and economic globalization, but above all as something that does not tidily fit into the conventional Right-Left categories.

As I have mentioned before, the essential problem with postmodernist philosophy is its inability to be transmuted into concrete public policy, as well as failing to offer solutions to their problematization of certain aspects of political practices or ideologies. Nevertheless, it offers a critique that cannot be ignored and can be used to reinforce or add to the current philosophical debates between right and left, facts and values, objectivism and subjectivism, etc.  I plan to read more into this to see exactly what I’m dealing with, but I’m not sure yet if this is something I can subscribe to or would like to implement into IR theories, since it again only focuses on problematizing without solutions and I don’t see how you could begin to rectify this “specialization in facticity” utilizing only the critique of right-wing postmodernism.