Re-evaluating Post-Modernist theory: Alexander Galloway

The Galloway text that we read for class spends a lot of time discussing the ways in which the Internet and digital world has presently faced us with a reality that was not properly noted in earlier post-modernist theories. Post-modernist theory places emphasis on the existence of a hyper-reality, in which the individual’s subjectivities or narratives are tended to resulting in a diminishing of reality, or the ability to describe or depict such a reality. It is in this post-modernist and theoretical state that no theories can be universally proven true, as reality is no longer understood as being mirrored by the human but rather enhanced and abstracted as it operates and co-exists with the human need for self-understanding. Thus, reality does not exist objectively, but is inextricably bound to interpretation and subjectivity. In the text Galloway argues the opposite. Though he doesn’t refute the existence of subjectivity, he believes that the individual subjectivity is guided or subjected to the greater power or authority of a universal ruling system. Alexander argues that there is a displacement of racism or race, as it has been moved from the real to the hyper-real or online. Its passive and subtle existence doesn’t call for direct attention, but its existence, nonetheless, points to a more suppressed urge.

Much of what Alexander argues and theorizes is related to ideas concerning technological determinism. For Alexander, technology has assumed a role in which it enforces these oppressive universal rules. Race is no longer directly confronted but is instead absorbed and diluted into a medium that distracts from its hard and compacted core. Alexander, by drawing attention to the inaccuracies of former post-modernist theories, he calls for a re-evaluation of what it is that post-modern thinking should concern itself with. The idea of sovereignty and authority should never be disregarded. These concepts have liberated themselves of the human form and now exist in the abstracted realm of hyper-reality.

One thought on “Re-evaluating Post-Modernist theory: Alexander Galloway

  1. mbmistler

    The Galloway text was somewhat confusing for me, so thank you, Alex, for helping clear up some of the ideas within it. As Miriam mentioned in class, it’s interesting to think that race is not necessarily based outwardly, as in terms of skin color, but it really originates from within us, which resonates with the post-modernist, hyper-reality that Galloway mentioned, which you brought up–the idea that reality is subjective rather than objective. It reminds me a line of Hamlet, where he says concerning his behavior, “Seems? Nay, it is. I know not seems.” This underlines the post-modern thought that the the subjective is the reality, rather than disagreeing.

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