- ► 2016 (24)
- ▼ 2015 (71)
- ► 2014 (42)
- ► 2013 (61)
- ► 2012 (99)
- ► 2011 (42)
- ► 2010 (45)
Monday, July 27, 2015
I'm reading a particularly dense and scholarly book,”The Enlightenment and it's Effects on Modern Society”, by a Professor at the University of North Texas, one Milan Zafirovski.
As is my habit, I have made periodic searches for some confirmation of my own conception, that the “conservative” Counter-Revolution, and it's pre-cursors, is, at root, an Anti-Enlightenment Project.
After many years of such searches, the Professor's work is all I've been able to find.
So I tested the re-animated(Texas) Interlibrary Loan System and was(Mirable!) able to procure this tome.
I arrived at this hypothesis regarding the fundamental nature of “conservatism” during my research frenzy, still ongoing, into the source material of Conservatism...from Burke to Buckley to Beck.
From the rise of Religious Fundamentalism to the narrowing of our Public Discourse and the essential Dogmatism entailed in our current Economic Paradigm, I see evidence all around us of Anti-Enlightenment:
Systemic destruction of all things Public, from Education to Worker Rights to Essential Freedoms....like the Rights of Speech and Protest, and the implementation of a Police State in the purported “Land of the Free”, and the thinly veiled Threats to Freedom of Thought strongly implied in the utterances and practices of various Right Wing politicians(“watch what you say”) to the rampant Nationalism and Militarism and Intolerance of the Different and the Dissenter.
We are shouted down by fearful and incurious rubes, both true believers and the paid kind. Let someone Critique some portion of the “conservative” Dogma...be it Biblical Literalism, or the assertion, with cherry picked “evidence” that we are a “christian nation”, or the related assertion that Neoliberalism/Corporate “Capitalism” is the Only Option for Economics...and the Defenders of the Faith emerge, screaming, to disrupt and derail fruitful discourse.
Our History has been increasingly Sanitised...shorn of the Progress made by all manner of courageous “malcontents” and “disturbers of the peace”...from the Progressive Movement, the Labour Movement, the Suffragettes...to the Civil Rights and Anti-War and Anti-Corporate uprisings, from the 1960's onward.
The promise of Free Information inherent in the “Information Age” has been forsaken, as Science and Humanism is derided and Scholarly endeavors are hidden behind paywalls and all are stricken from History textbooks in favor of a circumscribed and limited reading of our History and Progress, that at the same time, offers Apologia for the worst among the Anti-Enlightenment Zealots...a rehabilitated Joe McCarthy, or Jesse Helms, or Ronald Reagan.
Through Confusion and Distortion, those who would take us backwards to Feudalism and a Dark Age have...with great subtlety...delimited Thought, Narrowed the Possible...
Look around you....widespread Anti-Rationalism, Anti-Intellectualism, Palingenisis(a confused longing for a mythical Golden Age(1950's),and the corollaries, Militarism, Fundamentalism, A-Historicity...
The pressure to Conform, and to subvert the Free Expression of those deemed, “Immoral”, or “Strange” or “Dangerous”.
(which is the story of my life)
The fact that I had such a difficult time finding and acquiring a scholarly rendering of my suspicions says volumes, to me.
With Kant, I implore:”Sapere Aude!”...Let us Dare to Think...to Reason...and to Apply that Thought and Reason to the world around us.
Because there are forces arrayed, in plain sight, who would chain our minds, as well as our bodies, and force us all into the hell on earth that they long for, and think that we deserve.