Notes of a Native Son

When economic, political, and social issues are viewed through a postmodern lens, the view and the lens prompt a deconstruction of these issues and thus the exposure of the underlying driver behind these issues, which is ultimately power. In turn, power can be defined as the ability to control or influence the actions and thoughts of others. There are essentially six major “determinants of social reality” that one can account for. We have already mentioned one of them, namely, power. The other major determinants of social reality are beliefs, institutions, race, sexuality, and economics. All six of these major determinants of social reality weigh heavily upon the makeup of our domestic and global social reality. But in a postmodern context, if we were to propose that one of these factors weigh heavier than the others, this one factor would perhaps be power given our postmodern context.

            And in a postmodern context, power is essentially dispersed throughout the international system, which prompts both ontological and social turbulence as well as a transition from European hegemony to something else. What that “something else” is has yet to be fully determined. Considering the timespan by which European hegemony has been the main power paradigm in the international system, one is not surprised that a transition out of European hegemony and the dispersal of power – which is a consequence of the gradual and slow transition out of European hegemony – leads to a certain degree of ontological and social turbulence in the international system. Power is then largely intertwined with the issues of race and sexuality in a postmodern context, given that beliefs, institutions, and economics are largely shaped by social determinants such as race and sexuality.

            Because power intertwines itself largely with race and sexuality in a postmodern context, populism and religion come to the forefront as the most potent ontological states in a postmodern age. Liberal hegemony as well as Marxist class divisions are then overshadowed by populism and religion. The Faulkner-Baldwin debate over the issues of race and sexuality in the mid-20th century foreshadowed the most crucial discussion of the 21st century. Faulkner suggested that whites would need both space and time to adjust to the evolution of power in a postmodern age. Baldwin, on the other hand, argued that space and time could not stop in order to allow whites to adjust to the evolution of power, with the most prominent dimensions of power being race and sexuality in a postmodern age.

            Thus, populism is either a delay tactic in the adjustment to the evolution of power in a postmodern age, or it is a blatant reversion to a hegemonic paradigm and system which has no clear alternative as of yet. Natural religion is largely up to speed with the evolution of power. But populism is either a delay tactic, or it is a return to a hegemonic paradigm and system which has no clear alternative when we observe both domestic and global politics. The question is less about whether an evolution of power is occurring. Rather, the question pertains largely to the domestic and global reaction to such an evolution.

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