Postmodernism stood for everything modernism rejected: fun, exuberance, irresponsibility. But beneath its glitzy surface, postmodernism had a dirty secret: it was the fig leaf for a rapacious new kind of capitalism. It was the forcing ground of “post truth,” by means of which western values were turned upside down. But where do these ideas come from and how have they impacted on the world?
In this brilliant history of a dangerous idea, Stuart Jeffries tells a narrative that starts in the early 1970s and still dominates our lives today. He tells this history through a riotous gallery that includes, among others: David Bowie, the iPod, Madonna, Jeff Koons’s the Nixon Shock, Judith Butler, Las Vegas, Margaret Thatcher, Grand Master Flash, I Love Dick, the RAND Corporation, the Sex Pistols, Princess Diana, Grand Theft Auto, Jean Baudrillard, Netflix, and 9/11.
We are today scarcely capable of conceiving politics as a communal activity because we have become habituated to being consumers rather than citizens. Politicians treat us as consumers to whom they must deliver. Can we do anything other than suffer from buyer’s remorse?