The following passage surprised me, not only because it has
neoliberals in place of
postmodernists, but also because it describes everything I see as a consequence of so-called "Postmodernism" (or whatever name you give it: post-structuralism, deconstructionism, moral relativism...): destruction of meaning, praise of fragmentation, anti-intellectualism...
Neoliberals are part of a long, intellectual, (or anti-intellectual) tradition which seeks to deny the importance of meaning and even destroy its relevance. Why would anyone want to do that? Because, as history shows, destroying meaning is the key to gaining, at least temporarily, power and control, whether it be over other human beings or natural processes in general. For example, in his brilliant book on the history of debt, David Graeber reveals how different forms of slavery succeed by displacing people from their meaning-rich contexts. As well as the application of brute force, people are rendered powerless through being dislocated, fragmented, and thus, disoriented. Those held in slavery have often survived by eventually creating new systems of meaning, often through embracing religion of some form as a way of transcending the power of their oppressors.
What are the relations between Postmodernism and Neoliberalism?