Are all beliefs equivalent? Is the belief of the person who hears voices that tell them to kill as valid as the belief of the person who gives to help the poor? Which beliefs are valid and which are false?
The postmodern answer is that morality is relative to culture. The postmodernist gazes upon the world from on high and sees the cultures as equal islands. The postmodern approach to this sight is to look to the material well-being of the islands, to align them in trade and education so that they can all maximize their prosperity. This postmodern, internationalist approach is akin to the farmer who sees meadows of wild flowers and woodlands and mows them flat to maximize the yield.
There are three problems with postmodern politics: what is well-being, why maximize yield and why be so racist, destroying diversity?
Taking postmodern racism first, surely the destruction of difference is the ultimate racism. Postmodernist racism is only satisfied when all of humanity are coffee coloured materialists. Even most postmodernists will agree, if they ever came down from on-high, that racism is wrong and that it is not the “moral high ground” to tackle one form of racism, the racism of interpersonal prejudice, by using another form of racism evident in the destruction of all difference.
The problem of morality is related to the state of our minds. Our minds contain simultaneous information and provide the context for assigning meaning to events. This means that we can only understand morality as an entire, simultaneous system with form and beauty. Processes create the form and beauty but, contrary to the postmodern view, processes are not ends in themselves.
Perhaps we can be more positive than the postmodernists. The world is like a garden containing individual blooms and smaller gardens of various beauty that are its cultures and races. Occasionally rampant internationalism occurs where one of the plants gets out of balance and begins to invade the garden and this must be stopped or the garden will be destroyed **. In the absence of any definite foundation for our morality we can still use our instinct for form and beauty. We can still be gardeners, encouraging the growth and health of each beautiful part, allowing some weeds because they too can come into balance with each other and perhaps, one day, even be garden plants.
What is well-being? It is a state where a person can love and be loved. Where they can grow happily and help others to grow. Where illness and distress are minimized. What constitutes love and happiness varies between cultures, in the world at present each sub-garden has its own foundations. However, all of the more ancient cultures agree that form, beauty, harmony and balance are essential ingredients. Only the materialists and postmoderns see devotion to work, corporation and state as the ultimate goal of a life.
Why maximize the yield? If you want to destroy the garden you allow rampant growth. The material yield of a society should be sufficient, not maximized.
The garden model of society shows that even in the absence of a foundation for moral behaviour we can still use the simultaneity of our minds, the fact that they contain form and the idea of beauty, to argue for a basic level of moral behaviour.
** Postmodernism, especially when practised by the media and large corporations, and postmarxism are the greatest internationalist threat to the world. They are damaging the rest of the garden, they are the proponents of agri-desert rather than gardening, creating distorted growths like Al Quaeda and Russian Nationalism in reaction to their over-weaning self righteousness. Postmodernism elevates the processes of work above form and beauty when processes should be devoted to the perfection of form and beauty.