I should also point out that I am firmly a person of the Left, and the Right holds no serious attraction for me at all, so my criticisms below do not stem from political Conservatism.
Truth relativism on the Left mostly stems from the fashionable French Poststructuralist and Postmodernist philosophies, from which we get other such comical nonsense, including the following:
(1) the idea that no text can have a fixed meaning intended by its author (from Roland Barthes and endorsed by Michel Foucault);But there are powerful arguments against the truth relativists.
(2) that language can only refer to itself and not to objects or to reality (from Structuralism and that master charlatan and disgusting fraud Jacques Derrida), and
(3) extreme hostility to the natural sciences (from assorted Postmodernist buffoons).
We have overwhelming empirical evidence that we inhabit a world in which there are objects independent of our feelings, wishes and desires: any people in the same room can sense and describe the world they see and their testimony can be compared, and we can see they describe the same world with the same objects. Likewise, we can all see and experience the same events, processes and actions in this world.
It actually doesn’t matter whether there is an external world of physical matter that is the causal origin of our sensations (although that is the best explanation of the evidence), because even under an idealist ontology we already have overwhelming empirical evidence that there is a reality that objectively exists independently of our own subjective feelings or wishes or desires with a high degree of regularity, consistency and order.
Once we admit that there is an ordered reality independent of our thoughts about it, and that language and propositions can refer to this reality, then it is but a short step to objective truth under the correspondence theory of truth.
Moreover, there is another reason why any sensible, decent left-wing person should vehemently oppose truth relativism – and all its disgusting supporters and apologists on our own side of the political spectrum amongst Poststructuralists and Postmodernists. This is that truth relativism has consequences that quickly lead to plain moral degradation and moral nihilism.
If there is no objective truth and no objective truth about what happened in the past, then why and how does any left-wing person believing this truth relativist nonsense oppose, say, Holocaust denial or Armenian genocide denial? And come to think of it, is it an objective historical fact that adults have been persecuted for same-sex sexual activity in many societies down through history, or not? (As an aside, incidentally, if you are gay, I cannot think of anything more disgustingly insulting than a Postmodernist calmly telling you that objective truth does not exist. If so, then it follows that it is not even objectively true that persecution of gay people is a reality of history!)
As for the consequences of truth relativism, they can quickly be seen. If it is not an objective historical fact that the Holocaust happened, then why is there so much evidence that it happened? Why the numerous eyewitnesses and survivors and their testimony that we can still read today? Why the huge physical evidence? (e.g., the death camps, gas chambers, etc.)
Either (1) the Holocaust happened or (2) it did not as an objective fact, and any left-wing person who denies objective truth has got no business opposing, criticising and condemning the disgusting, shameful and ignorant fringe of Holocaust deniers we see today.
If you seriously deny objective truth and take your insane Postmodernist truth relativism seriously, then you have no business attacking or opposing Holocaust deniers as being wrong. In fact, you have no business opposing neoclassical economics, libertarianism, or Austrian economics as false and untrue economic theories either.
Rather, you should be saying that “all truth is made by power,” no objective truths exist, and our “truths” are invented and not determined by some objective reality.
By this point, however, you have – without a doubt – just proven to everyone else on the decent Left that you are a disgustingly, intellectually and morally bankrupt fool who has no business even being on the Left at all.
So for all you deniers of objective truth out there, answer me these questions:
(1) Is the proposition that “the Holocaust happened” just a truth made by power? If “yes,” what power system “made” it and why?Please do enlighten me, because your truth relativism, frankly, is an absurdity and a shame and disgrace to the decent Left, and I know from experience that there are a lot of people on the Left like me who think so too.
(2) If you think it is not an objective truth that “the Holocaust happened,” then explain why we have overwhelming evidence that it did.
(3) if you accept the overwhelming evidence that the Holocaust happened, then explain why you would persist in denying the reality of objective truth.