If nothing else, Anderson drives home the fact that those concerned with
postmodernism and postmodernity are, generally speaking, not the biggest
fans of capitalism. As Anderson indirectly reminds us, the work of
postmodernism is in many ways attempting to make sense of the inevitable
rise of the proletarian that never arose; the lack of dialectical
revolution, if you will. Presumably, these ideas are gather in collective effort of constructing what a successful counter-attach on capitalism as we know it might entail.
What I find so contradictory in all of this is the way in which the inaccessibility of the theoretical body of postmodernism explicitly excludes any sort of cross-class coalition, by the very nature of its 'high culture' articulations. I understand that one very essential element of postmodern musings is to tear apart the seeming neutrality and simplicity that is presented through the ideologies of late 20th century multinational capitalism. In other words, political resistance to the over-simplification encouraged in postmodernity is to complicate the seemingly apolitical. Yet is there no way to connect this complex critical analysis with a language more real and accessible to 'the people'? Even for those fortunate enough to gain access to the discourses of academia, how can we begin to apply this critique to our own lifestyles...or is it merely a sort of mental excursion that should have no affect upon our interactions with the world around us? By speaking in such self-contained elite, and thus exclusionary, discourse, I just wonder how the work of postmodern theory is able to do the subversive work it hails as necessary.
In reading Anderson, I am reminded that I do feel there is value and
relevance in the theory of postmodernism, but that these ideas remain
isolated and powerless unless combined with creativity and imagination to
make them accessible and available to other strata of society. I do not
at all mean to suggest a 'We are learned, let us teach you' methodology;
but instead am interested to see the ways in which people have articulated
these critiques in non-academic realms. It would be fascinating to connect theoretical notions of sublime, atomization, isolation, historicity, etc. with grassroots d-i-y political and artistic interventions to see how others have managed to make the same critiques outside of the ivory tower.