The people who claim(ed) that culture, tradition and religion were just awkwardly placing artificial constructions onto the endlessly differentiated manifold of reality have themselves engaged in such gratuitous formalism. But having failed to completely follow through in their postmodern theories, they failed in practice to recognize that the ethereal abstractions that make such stuff like your Political Science 101 possible are merely the end result of the human manifold nondiscursively fermenting in a particular region of spacetime and instead viewed them as the cause, and hence suitable for use as a cookie cutter to give shape to the amorphous globs of reality.
Or in a less obtuse fashion: music theory only exists insofar as people already have music fused into their very fleshly being, and at best works as a guide for people who don’t have that fusion to make the first steps towards it; mastering the theory is not enough to be musical; only by the messiness of practice…similarly I may or may not be more articulate than you when explaining the Divine Simplicity, but I am still pretty terrible at simply praying to the Divine.
Anyway, the failure to recognize this on the political level is what is responsible for exciting things like the French Revolution and less exciting things like the round-edged, cardboard world that most of us young westerners grow up in. Most kids these days are duped into believing the terrible lie that reality is more boring than their video games and sci-fi novels and Hollywood movies. But every now and then the wind will pull back a bit of the cardboard, or the water will get into it and make it smell funny. These moments, which confuse and excite today’s young, will continue in tandem with the current economic turmoil until material and moral desperation reach a point where the only possible solution will be to feed the aging baby boomers to our children. Marxist critics will make note of this as a genuine literary development: for whereas Jonathan Swift only wrote about practicing intergenerational cannibalism as a solution to economic woes, our times will have actually put the theory into practice.
(This post was originally intended to actually be about something, but I got completely derailed in my warm-up and have decided to publish the results for posterity’s sake)