Jordan Peterson, in his Oxford Union address, said,

It is obvious that there is a contradiction between Marxism and post-modernism.

In what sense is there a contradiction?

  • 6
    Postmodernism is inherently incompatible with everything, including itself.
    – M i ech
    Oct 7, 2019 at 10:46
  • 11
    Peterson has a habit of calling people whom he disagrees with "post modernists". He seems to use the word based off his own definition, similar to how he does with "god". Oct 7, 2019 at 10:53
  • 9
    Why would Marxism even be linked to Postmodernism in the first place? There's no connection whatsoever. That's like saying there's contradiction between baobab tree and snowshoe hare. In fact, it's a comparison that only postmodernist would claim has any merit...
    – M i ech
    Oct 7, 2019 at 10:56
  • 9
    Peterson should not be considered as any kind of authority on Marxism. In his debate with Zizek he admits that he hasn't read any Marx except the Communist Manifesto when he was 18.
    – J Doe
    Oct 7, 2019 at 23:29
  • 1
    @Mayo - How is postmodernism even remotely anticapitalist ? Jul 15, 2020 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I don't know what Peterson means by this, but according to Wikipedia's definition of postmodernism:

While encompassing a wide variety of approaches and disciplines, postmodernism is generally defined by an attitude of skepticism, irony, or rejection of the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, often calling into question various assumptions of Enlightenment rationality. Consequently, common targets of postmodern critique include universalist notions of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, science, language, and social progress.

If you criticize objective reality or morality generally, it's not hard to see how that can also encompass criticism of Marxist notions like class struggle etc.

For example, Foucault (which Wikipedia gives a as prime example of a postmodernist)

never adopted an orthodox Marxist viewpoint, refuting core Marxist tenets such as class struggle.

Likewise Jean-François Lyotard

distanced himself from Marxism because he felt that Marxism had a rigid structuralist approach and they were imposing 'systematization of desires' through strong emphasis on industrial production as the ground culture.

  • 2
    I think it's more on social progress and theories of history that they diverge
    – user9790
    Oct 6, 2019 at 18:37

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