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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ideological Archeology: Heckling Hegel (IV)

Continued from Part III: "Countering Kant"

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), was like Immanuel Kant (Part III), a great admirer of Jean Jacques Rousseau (part II). Like today's cosmologists are warping reason for their Holy Grail, the 'theory of everything', these anti philosophers of the Counter Enlightenment did the same in their efforts to unify faith and reason.

Hegel feverishly sought to square Christianity with reason. In his efforts he made an irrational decision: he allowed Kant's dialectics to reflect the contradiction.

Hegel's follower, Karl Marx thought this was all wrong and devised his own version of the dialectics, which is with us until this day as a divisive mechanism for progress through class struggle.

Hegel's philosophy is a secular fantasy based on Judeo-Christian cosmology: God's projection, a spirit called the Absolute, represents creation which is seeking reunification with God. Its development through struggle and conflict by means of which it gets to know itself, is the story of the history of the world. The story ends when the Absolute - reunited with God - achieves full self-consciousness.

Hegel's theme was the state. As Rousseau is the father of the totalitarian state, Hegel is the founder of the collective state. The Orwellian term, 'freedom through the state' describes well where Hegel is coming from.

According to Hegel freedom is not a God-given right, inherent in man and therefore inalienable as the Enlighteners held it, but is temporary and conditional, granted and taken by the state as it sees fit.

Under the principle 'as above, so below' the state is acting as the instrument of God. It is the 'ethical whole', the 'actualization of freedom', and the self-consciousness of the Absolute.

As a mere aspect of the state it is the individual's duty to submit to its needs, and worship it as a 'terrestrial divinity'. Consider the following quote as illustrative of the idea:
''Otto Braun, age 19, a volunteer who died in World War I, wrote in a letter to his parents: "My inmost yearning, my purest, though most secret flame, my deepest faith and my highest hope - they are still the same as ever, and they all bear one name: the State. 
One day to build the State like a temple, rising up pure and strong, resting in its own weight, severe and sublime, but also serene like the gods and with bright halls glistening in the dancing brilliance of the sun - this, at bottom, is the end and goal of my aspirations.''
Hegel's views are a fine example how volition, human free will, the essence of morality, is shifted from man to God, thus dodging human responsibility and lumbering God with the dire results of human free will.

'World historical figures' as operatives of God's Plan, might be exacting high cost in terms of human lives, but collective historical development is of a higher order than mere morality. This hierarchy of ethics sounds familiar.

The suspicion may be justified that the rift between the Enlightenment and the Counter-Enlightenment, the American-Continental fault-line, Locke versus Rousseau, is still visible today in the geopolitical differences between the United States and the European Union (Part I, The Counter Enlightenment).

Americans have taken up ownership of their politeia, safeguarded by the guarantees of the Second Amendment, ensuring the rule of law will be defended with something more impressive than corroded pitchforks and burning barricades.

Europeans on the other hand are still stuck in the mind-set of subjects. They have not given up being the pawns of Hegel's 'world historical figures', the new operatives of 'God's work' who happen to be carving out a heroic role for themselves as unelected road-builders to Kantian world government by the new world order.

Admittedly EU citizens were misled by their political leaders, but how else can one account for the civic tolerance of the collectivist, centralist super behemoth, the post-democratic techno-rule that is now controlling most of the continent and the United Kingdom? Is Hegel's hierarchy of ethics, the flow of 'world historic events' before individual rights - empire building before Enlightenment values - alive and kicking in the third millennium?

The EU recently betrayed its Hegelian credentials in the matter of the wave of Islamic fundamentalism that is encroaching on the Turkish secular democracy founded by Kemal Ataturk. The latter - knowing his Youngturks from his Liberals - made the military the custodians of the secular Turkish government.

In a recent crisis the EU made a perhaps not surprising, but very revealing choice. The military were to stay in barracks, Sharia come what may. This choice should not be interpreted as a mark of respect for the fundamentalists' freedom of conscience, because this liberty has already been officially subordinated to postmodern moral legislation.

This was a choice to sacrifice democracy, rather than save it by a military intervention, for putting the flow of 'world political events' before the values of liberal democracy. Statist habits die exceedingly hard, it seems.

Expert on anti modern Counter Enlightenment thoughtStephen Hicks, lists four of Hegel's contributions to postmodernity:

1. Reality is an entirely subjective creation (or, thought creates reality) (or, reality  for its existence is dependent upon the subjective mind); (a reversal of reason made possible by Kant, who enclosed the mind inside the skull, rendering knowledge of the external world impossible);

2. Ignoring Aristotle's law, contradictions were built into reality which made them a natural part of reason (from here onwards anything goes);

3. As reality evolves contradictorily, truth is not absolute, but relative to time, place and subject (the immediate victim of this logic is morality, the knowledge of good and evil);

4. The collective, not the individual, is the operative unit.

All this unfixed relativism and subjectivism may be surprising, but compared to the Counter-Enlightenment movement's later religious as well as atheist philosophers who have become known as the Irrationalists, Kant and Hegel sound like the sheer essence of reason.

NASA psychiatrist and blogger Dr Sanity has written extensively about the Counter Enlightenment and Hegel in relation to schooling and education, early victims of the 'new logic'. Here's a self-explanatory example:
- Left and Right Hegelians battling it out! -

"Ayers and his Cohorts are what's Wrong with Education Today"

Hegel, building on Kant, Rousseau and Fichte (next part), would go on to write, "It must be further understood that all the worth which the human being possesses--all the spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." Hegel's heirs went on to divide into left- and right-wing camps. The charge of the left was led by leftists like Karl Marx, who transformed Hegel's "dialectic of Spirit" into an economic and social system that depended on godless dialectic of "oppressors versus oppressed." The right-wing Hegelians tended to stress the omnipotence of the state and were less willing to abandon a deity. For more than a 100 years, the two camps have been battling it out, each trying to impose their utopian vision onto the human species.

Both Hegelian offshoots summarily dispensed with free will and human freedom; and between them, they brought forth the philosophical abomination that we now call "postmodernism". The 20th century was the battleground where the two totalitarian branches of the collectivist philosophers vied for spiritual and physical control over humanity. The amount of death, destruction and misery they ushered in is perhaps unprecedented in human history.

By the mid-20th century, the right-wing, or nationalist, Hegelians, or National Socialists (Nazis) had been defeated by an alliance of the left-wing Hegelians and those who stood for human freedom and democracy. By the end of the century, the social systems favored by the Hegelians of the left had been exposed to the world for the lie and deception it was.

But, in this new century, both utopian systems have been given new life by recruiting a potent new ally in their attempts to control the minds of men. That ally is postmodern philosophy and rhetoric, which I have written about multiple times. This 18th century philosophical rise of collectivism is still playing itself out several hundred years later in the competing ideologies of our own time.

The most important battlefield in this war in our time is the educational system, from kindergarden through college, where strenuous efforts are being made by the remnants of both types of collectivists to claim the minds of the next generation. (...) >>>

Coming up next: "Flunking Fichte": "Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished."


Related dossiers

- "Postmodern Ravages"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ideological Archeology: Countering Kant (III)

Continued from Part II: " Rousseau's Ravages" 

Often erroneously classified as part of the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) in his mindset is entirely antithetical to the values of that movement: he is a collectivist and is the inventor of subjectivism. His is not the mind of a scientist, but of a religionist.

The revered Kant is also a wee bit intellectually dishonest. His 'trick' was to stretch reason beyond the limits of what is reasonable and then used the outcome to discredit it. It culminated in his critique of "Pure Reason". Postmodernism has made it its own, and applies it in every argument. In his Second Preface of the first Critique he writes that he found it ...

"necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith." ...
These are hardly the words of a scientific thinker. Kant was an austere Lutheran Pietist and a great admirer of Rousseau. The individual to him represented little more than a miserable sinner in need of a strong master, only good as canon-fodder to teach some morals.

The Second Coming
Kant foresees in a teleological progress towards an end-game by means of strive, war and discord. This supposedly brings man as a species to a more ethically evolved order. The process will ultimately culminate in a world government, an international and cosmopolitan federation of states, awaiting the coming of the Day of Judgment. This is the Hidden Plan of Nature, according to Kant. But he was so honest to admit that this might as well lead to the greatest tyranny imaginable.

You think?! Progressivism and the new world order, anyone? While the Enlighteners worked towards the separation of Church and State, the philosophers based on Rousseau, Kant and Hegel - even the atheists - confusing 'is' with 'ought' (Hume's Law), reverted to recreating 'paradises' on earth, now synonymous with collectivist distopias.

The tenets of the Enlightenment were abandoned and replaced by philosophical principles reflecting reliigion: realism made way for idea-lism, and individualism for collectivism; intuition and revelation were adopted as sources of knowledge rather than reason and experience, social theories replaced liberal capitalist theory.

The Incarcerated Mind
While today's postmodernists are mostly virulent atheists, they are at root adept followers of Rousseau, Kant and Hegel, faithfully subscribing to their most irrational tenets. Plato's mind versus body dualism, reflecting the macro and microcosm of heaven and earth, male and female, the sacred and the mundane, yin versus yang, tends to identify the mind with the soul, giving rise to visualizing the mind as non-physical pure substance, distinct from the physical organs and brain. Rather then thinking of them as tools to knowledge, this led to a view that the senses and the brain as obstacles to knowledge, standing in the way between the mind and reality.

Moreover, some sensorial imperfections (color blindness, for example) in some people, induced Kant to declare the senses unsound tools to knowledge overall. To clarify the Kantian position on the separation of the mind from reality, Objectivist philosopher Stephen Hicks in "Explaining Postmodernism" makes a feminist analogy: to support Kant is to say that women are absolutely autonomous and free to do as they please, as long as it is within the confines of the kitchen; Kant imprisons the mind in the skull and isolates it from reality.

Amoralism
It is ironic that the Counter-Enlighteners, who sought to prevent the Godless, spiritless and amoral future that was supposed to be the result of reason and individualism, have brought about precisely that by Kant's subjectivism and his imprisonment of the mind.

Hicks: "Once reason is in principle severed from reality, one enters a different philosophical universe altogether." According to postmodernists 'the' truth - as 'a thing in itself' (according to Kant) does no longer exist - a statement whose first victim is the notion of good versus evil, in fact, morality.

Thought creates reality
Kant also held that reality conforms to reason, not vice versa: as by magick, thought has become the source of reality instead of reality providing the mind with information. This marks the infamous shift from objectivism to subjectivism, the basis of the postmodern egocentricist pathology of the Master of the Universe syndrome (each individual creates his own personal version of reality, a so called 'narrative'.

N.B. According to this particular 'truth', science is but a grand, Western 'narrative'.

It beggars the question, if I die overnight, will the sun rise tomorrow? It sparked Einstein asking the question: "Do you really believe that the universe does not exist when you are not watching it?

Anthony Rizzi in "Science before Science: a Guide to Thinking in the 21st Century" laments Kant's now codified idea-lism, ...
" ... the default declared position in academia and in nearly all other environments. Kant's success is partly explained by his tying his philosphical system to Newtonian physics [which he wanted to] have a certainty that it did not have. However, Kant thought that one could not know the thing itself
(...) Kant and Kantians múst say, "Kant doesn't know anything about anything." Such is always the end of the matter when one forgets that all knowledge in man comes through the senses. We non-Kantians can be simultaneously more accurate and kinder; we can say, "The foundational principles of Kant's philosophical system were wrong, but still he knew a lot of other things."
This enthusiasm is at once tempered by a footnote:
"Many attribute to Kant a developed skill in physics. Physisist and renowned philosopher and historian of science, Fr. Stanley Jaki has shown that Kant's knowledge and ability in physics was minimal (though Kant considered himself another Newton) (...) the book [Universal Natural History] is a storehouse of inaccuracies, contradictions and amateurism and plain fancy."
What else is new in subjectivism?

Up next: from Part IV: "Heckling Hegel": "Hegel's theme was the state. Freedom is not God-given as the followers of the Enlightenment held, but granted by the state".

Related dossiers

- "Postmodern Ravages"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Revolution Has Begun (updates)

Update: December 14, 2010

This article is typical of the spin of Wikileaks supporters. Some were as early as last week calling for the incarceration of Geert Wilders for offending Muslims. Today these fake Libertarians claim to be free speech fundamentalists!

The Guardian: "WikiLeaks backlash: The first global cyber war has begun, claim hackers"


You'd think this is a postmodern Robin Hood at work, all for the sake of 'democracy', openness and freedom.

The Blaze: "‘OPERATION PAYBACK’: NOTORIOUS HACKER GROUP ‘ANONYMOUS’ UNVEILS PRO-WIKILEAKS MESSAGE"



If you think so, think again. A short survey of YouTube learns that "Operation Payback" by the hivemind Anonymous (not to be confused with a cause to raise awareness for veterans) has been in the works since the beginning of September, if not months longer. It has little to do with the arrest of Wilkileaks boss, Julian Assange.

Indeed, Anonymous has in the past launched cyper attacks in support of perceived 'anti racist' causes (the Habbo raids, the Hall Turner raid), Project Chanology was against the Church of Scientology for their claim of copyright infringement, and a host of other supposed causes 'against the will of the people'. The Chanology project even sparked a series of actual, physical protests.

The only causes one could possibly applaud would be the one against sexual internet predator, Chris Forcand and the support of Iran's Green Wave movement.

This video, released by Anonymous one month ago, is filled to the brim with Marxist memes and anarchist themes: the poor and oppressed, workers and persons in need, vie for attention with Big Media, massive capitalist enterprises and The Evil Capitalist Power Structure.

If you think this is against those in power, you are sadly mistaken. This is against those in power, other than Marxists.

To the intrepid citizen the attacks of Anynomous and Wikileaks are no surprise. After the assaults yesterday on Paypal, MoneyBookers and Master Card (all 'capitalist' symbols) and a Swedish governmental site (power structure), today in the Netherlands the Prosecution Office and a police portal (power structure) have been taken down in retaliation of a 16 year old who was taken into custody for participating in the first assaults.

Anonymous and Wikileaks are not the sole organizations using the Internet as a revolutionary weapon. Avaaz has adopted the typical Marxist victimhood pose and has started a petition asking people for support against "the vicious intimidation campaign against WikiLeaks".

Typically it is demanding respect of democratic principles while it supports a cause that goes roughshod over every other principle of moral conduct.

The 'student revolt' in the streets of London is no coincidence either. Last night even a car, carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla was viciously attacked.

The newly elected right wing Dutch government is bracing for similar 'student' protests due to plans to rationalize funding of higher education.

The Coming Insurrection* indeed has been in the works for years. It is rooted in the anti Iraq war movement and has since gone underground. From time to time it rears its ugly head. We have seen them in the streets of Athens, Marseilles, Paris and elsewhere (dossier).

The threat earlier this week to 'explode a bomb' if Wikileaks honcho, Julian Assange would be arrested, has sprouted from a mind (hive or otherwise) with a mafia mentality. Indeed, Wikileaks publishing diplomatic material and sensitive terrorist targets that seriously endangers the lives of people should be enough to convince anyone of the real nature of these anarchist groups.

Their cause isn't freedom for We The People, but anarchy and mayhem resulting in tyranny. Don't fall for it!

* A German translation of "The Coming Insurrection" has now become available. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Süddeutche Zeitung are besides themselves with enthousiasm! The left-wing paper taz, however, describes the pamphlet, as 'decidedly right-wing'. Read it all in Signandsite.

Update

Libertarians appear to be confused on the issue. Objectivists shouldn't be: Ayn Rand was clear on anarchism.

Update
The title of my book and the blog is The Path to Tyranny. The book describes how the demand for free gifts from the government leads to tyranny. But this road does not always lead straight to tyranny. It often falls into anarchy first. (...) This is the real reason so many today advocate anarchy and anti-globalization. They do not really want anarchy. Instead, they want to establish a situation which would call for immediate order, to be established by the government and "intellectual elites." First stage is anarchy, second is totalitarianism. These "anarchists" hope they can direct events towards socialism, as they successfully did in Russia in the 1910s and attempted to do in Italy and Germany, though other collectivist regimes beat out the socialists and communists, though both the Fascists and Nazis adopted socialist platforms to win favor among the people. (...) >>>
Related

- Telegraph: "WikiLeaks: Julian Assange 'could face spying charges'"
- Telegraph: "Anarchist groups threaten to target Royal Wedding"
- Telegraph: "Alan Johnson 'amazed' at Royal couple police protection communication breakdown"




Related news

- Nourishing obscurity: "The old neo-Hegelian one-two"
- Nu.nl: "Suspect of attack on Prosecution service apprehanded

Update December 12, 2010

Wikileaks support and imperatives to 'openness' are nothing but cheap cover that is hiding virulent anti Americanism. Even the 'military industrial complex' has come out of the moth balls.

Hive mind Anonymous has left a socialist calling card. The name "describes a way of communicating and promoting social change", a postmodern shibboleth for socialism.

Oh, nice! Wikileaks falling apart over leaks and its finances -


Wikileaks is facing questions over its finances as lawyers for its alleged main source, Pte Bradley Manning, said they had not seen a penny of tens of thousands of dollars raised by the site to help pay for his defence and promised to them three months ago. (...) Mr Domscheit-Berg and other ex-WikiLeaks staff will tomorrow launch a rival site, OpenLeaks, which promises to be "democratically governed by its members, rather than one group or individual." WikiLeaks was unavailable for comment (...) >>>


Related dossiers

- "The Urban Guerrilla"
- "Assault of the New Storm Troopers"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yes, We Cancun: 'modest' deal for $100,000,000,000

First, there's the utter hypocrasy of these socialist watermelons. Still, they know how to pull off a heist.

The 'modest' package of climate projects negotiated at the flesh pots of Cancun will make the biblical amount of 100 billion dollar change hands, payble till 2020 by the Western tax payer and receivable by the developing world.

How's that for global socialism?

This is justifiied by our 'climate debt', sustained since the Industrial Revolution, which gave us civilization as we know it.

Information Liberation has a great post by Lord Monckton, detailing how we got here. Don't forget to read the bit about the illusive one worlder, Maurice 'Blofeld' Strong.

In "The Abdication of the West" Lord Monckton describes what we are doing on the national level, by virtually committing suicide in adopting the corrupt philosophy of relativism and the vile process of political correctness, is happening here on the transnational level.

-
- 4-Block World, by Tom McMahon
Read it all in the Telegraph: "Cancun meeting reaches climate change agreement", by Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
The Cancun climate change talks closed in the early hours of Saturday morning with an agreement aimed at stopping climate change.

Related dossiers

- "Greenism"
- "The Controversial Dossier"
- "The Case for Neo Communism"
- "Transnational Bankruptcy"
- "Transnational Progressivism"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ideological Archeology: Rousseau's Ravages (II)

Continued from part I: "The Counter-Enlightenment"

Swiss-French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (1712-1778) personal life is marked by traits sounding awkwardly contemporary. Self-pity and paranoia play see-saw with wrong choices and deflecting blame. Man is by nature good, it is society that is the cause of corruption and vice. Iconic for Rousseauian thought is the image of the noble savage, man in his natural state before his fall from Paradise.

There is nothing ambiguous about his ethics however: he believed his 'doctrine of two substances' to be the key to the absolute quality of good and evil [Jonathan I. Israel, Radical Enlightenment, 2001, p., 2001, p. 719]. In an example in a classical setting he saw in Athenian decadence the degrading influence of reason. He preferred the cruder, militaristic Spartans, an unspoiled and nobler tribe. Their callous practice of exposing babies to nature - now in dispute - may well have inspired Rousseau to expose his own five illegitimate children to the hardships of the Paris orphanage.

Although Rousseau died in 1778, before the French Revolution, his justification of violence to power was the source of inspiration of the Reign of Terror that the Jacobins unleashed during the latter part of the rebellion. In 1792 the French 'citizen army' faced the Prussian forces at Valmy. In a psychological victory they prevented them from marching on to Paris to restore the monarchy. Earlier in the capital a mob had stormed the Tuilleries Palace. In the massacres over a thousand political prisoners were brutally hacked to death. Fabre d'Eglantine declared: "In the towns, let the blood of traitors be the first Holocaust to Liberty, so that in advancing to meet the common enemy, we leave nothing behind to disquiet us!" [Wildmonk]

After "the first Holocaust to Liberty" many more would follow. It is a specific feature, typical of Rousseau's constellation of ideas. The chief ingredients as expressed in "Profession de Foi" are a sweeping rejection of tradition, Revelation, and all institutionalized authority. [Radical Enlightenment, p. 718]

In Roussea's ideas we find the source of every anti-Liberal, violent revolution ever since the French Revolution went off the Lockean track. Rousseau is ultimately the father of many noxious and lethal, collectivist traditions besides: Romanticism, redistributive Socialism, philosophical agrarianism, conservative Communitarianism, Nazism, and more to the point, the Counter-Enlightenment and postmodernism (including anti-human ecofascism). Cultures, adopting Rousseauian ideas found in them a mirror of some aspect of their own identity. [Wildmonk]

Many have descended into the abyss of collectivist hell. In France his radical egalitarianism led to The Reign of Terror, in Germany to Left and Right Socialism with known result, in Russia and the Far East to communism, starvation and slaughter on grandiose scales. In China Mao Tse Tung's Great Leap Forward resulted in the greatest mass murder in human history and in Cambodia the Khmer Rouge's extermination campaign to establish Rousseauian agrarianism resulted in the deaths of well over twenty percent of the population. [Wildmonk] If this is not evil, frankly I don't know what is.

Why Rousseau is different
Rousseau stands apart in many respects. He marks the fault-line in Western tradition between Anglo-American and Continental lines of thought, and forms the point of departure from the Enlightenment because he is essentially anti-modern [Wildmonk]. While loosely following the traditional path of Enlightenment thought, his radical stance differs notably on the crucial issues of anti-individualism [Isaiah Berlin, "Against the Current", 2001], anti-capitalism and against private property ("Radical Enlightenment", p. 273), anti science and technology, his radical egalitarianism, and the inherent mindset in which the means are justified by the perceived noble end.

Rousseau is often quoted as the iconic philosopher of the Enlightenment, but it is quite clear he fiercely rejected all its tenets and values. No doubt, here we have the ground zero of the Counter-Enlightenment.

He was certainly no believer in mutually beneficial interaction, or the beneficial effects on society of self-interest (Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), "The Fable of the Bees"), asserting that "society hardly needs to feed man's love for himself and his desire to be first among men." ["Radical Enlightenment", p. 273].

His radical egalitianism is echoed in the notion that rational and industrious man with dehumanizing machines would replace royalty as an enslaver of the common man, being better and more ruthless on the aggregation of material goods. He argued that the separation of the progress and dissemination of science and art from political and religious control are hazardous for society and for the virtue of the people [Bloom, 1990]. But it gets worse."

Common will" instead of freedom
In Rousseau we see the first social contract at the price of freedom and the birth of a notion called the "common will". The latter is a concept that in Rousseau's approach requires state intervention. This should not be confused with the 'common good'. It is a far more developed conception which, and unlike the former, can only be realized in the context of civil society under the state ["Radical Enlightenment", p. 720).

For the creation of a society of common will, "freedom of all the people", they need only accept the dictates of the state. This was Rousseau's essence of "true civilization." The struggle between rich and poor would then rise to a moral experience of self-restraint. [Wildmonk] With the faculty of moral choice thus abdicated and forfeited to the state, people would be free from lowly - earthly desires and reach full - ideal potential. Man is thus divorced from the social and economic context in which he lives and interacts with others. The ideal state of heaven, separated from earthly considerations.

This totalitarian approach to freedom, an abomination in every sense, was later further developed by Marx, who wrote that "capitalist, individual liberty is the most complete suppression of all individual liberty and total subjugation of individuality to social conditions" [Wildmonk: Marx, "Grundnisse", pp. 131]. "Freedom can only consist in socialized man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of their human nature." [Wildmonk: Marx, "Selected Writings", pp. 496].

In this way man's separation from his nature and morality began. Never in human history were their worse judges of human character than Rousseau and his followers: all seek some degree of formal control over individual freedom for the purpose of creating material conditions deemed necessary for "true freedom", moralectomy in precise equal measure. Rousseau's concept of "common will" became the most savage, bloody instrument of social engineering in the history of mankind.

The Atlantic Ridge
In the United States Thomas Jefferson was the most prominent supporter of the French revolutionary achievements. Nevertheless, property rights and Enlightenment liberties were set in stone in the spirit of Locke, Montesquieu and Adam Smith. The present Democratic Party is being diverted further and further from that tradition as the sway of the postmoderns intensifies. Rhetorical style and attitude betray their influence.

While National Socialist and Communist ideas have swept America to some extent in their haydays - notwithstanding the counter culture, a product of the latter - these Rousseauian inspired ideologies remained by and large a marginal affair. Rousseau entering Locke's territory by the back- door may come as a surprise to some Americans - the wrong brand of revolution is encroaching on its most basic principles.

In Europe the situation was markedly different, as we shall see. Locke's influence remained on the whole limited to the British Isles. France and Germany have both Rousseau traditions, not Lockean. Today of great long-term concern is a possible return to some form of Rousseau inspired extreme ideology. It is chilling to see the rise of an unelected governing body on the European continent. The post-democratic elitism, combined with postmodern ideological chaos understood in the philosophical context, is an even more disquieting prospect.

Counter-Enlightenment projection* is on the order of the day and may even be consciously used as a tactic. Rousseau's brand of radical and revolutionary ideas, combined with the notion that civilization is so corrupt that it must be considered beyond salvation, makes him the father of all violent struggle in the last two and a half centuries.

Americans, tending to confuse Locke's revolution with Rousseau's, occasionally fall into the trap of supporting the wrong causes: initially the Russian Red Terror, and more recently, the covertly Islam inspired call for independence in the middle of Europe's powder keg, the Serbian province of Kosovo in the heart of the Balkans, thus providing a foothold in Europe for similarly based and equally pernicious radicalism.

The zero-sum game approach to economics also originates with Rousseau, which is giving rise to the annual media talking point that "a new report is suggesting that today's rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer". This is incorrect propaganda, some reason requiring regular public re-affirmation, perhaps for that reason alone.

Rousseau and Religion
The great minds of the Enlightenment proper - Spinozists excluded - never saw Christianity as their mortal enemy. To them Church and the Enlightenment were natural allies. Rousseau was no exception, but he had only a passing acquaintance with the Christian political tradition. Therefore he dismissed the role of Christianity as a moderating force in society. He saw the faith as entirely a spiritual undertaking, occupying itself only with "heavenly things."

Rousseau's Christians are so detached from reality that they can hardly be recognized: a people so spiritualized that they display a profound disinterest if their earthly pursuits are successful or not. Rousseau's call for transcendent values to harness the energies of men towards the 'common will', coupled with the rejection of Christianity as a engine of these values, made it a central tenet of all the Rousseauian ideologies [Wildmonk].

To Rousseau religion was an imperative. "... the state cannot ... pursue a policy of toleration for disbelievers, or view religion as a matter of individual conscience. It absolutely must, therefore, reject dangerous notions of toleration and the separation of church and state." and "so fundamentally important is religion that the ultimate penalty is appropriate for disbelievers ..." [Stephen R.C. Hicks, "Explaining Postmodernism", Scholargy Press, 2004, p. 98].

Despite being so enamored with force-feeding religion, after the publication of his work "Emile" he was driven into temporary exile in Bern after a warrant for his arrest was issued. "Emile" was widely denounced as irreligious and seditious.

The Legacy
The loather of civilization, Rousseau was nevertheless greatly admired by the early Counter-Enlighteners, as he is by today's postmodernists. His followers mostly selected from his work what they could use to prop up their ideologies. Marx accepted Rousseau's critique of Locke's economic man but stood solidly by the Enlightenment in his appreciation for science and technology. Marx even went so far as to describe his ideology as Scientific Marxism, basically a pseudo scientific rationalization of his aggregate of ideas.

Hegel as well as Rousseau inspired Marx' theory of dialectic materialism, in which the theme is the dichotomy of the Oppressor versus the Oppressed. Now clearly a tactic of this dialectic, Rousseau's vista of a noble, primordial world destroyed by man's egoism, might well also have sired the epidemic of Western self-loathing.

Irony
Ironically, while Rousseau was convinced that civilization was the cause of moral degradation, little did he know that his followers, by rejecting objective reality, would drop morality along with it. Despite two and a half centuries of genocidal legacy in pursuit of Rousseauian ideal society, it enjoys considerable support among the Western intelligentsia, specifically in the humanities departments of academia, the media, all levels of education, contemporary arts, the political elite, advisory boards, government ministries and departments and what is loosely described as 'the corridors of power.'

The postmodern heirs remain committed to undermining free-market democracy, casting misty eyes upon the Rousseauean atrocities. 110 million dead are not vile enough to discredit 'the Party of Humanity' in the views of some of the most stubborn apologists. Considering that totalitarian societies are today's version of the tribal community he so admired, the Rousseau ideal society could well be described as an agrarian totalitarian state.

Another point of irony is that Rousseau's conviction, that reason engenders egocentrism has been falsified by every non-government sponsored humanitarian organization on the face of the planet, while Rousseau's faithful follower Hegel is responsible for the subjectivism that saw the birth of egocentrism gone mad, the 'Master of the Universe' syndrome (each individual creates his own personal version of reality: If I die overnight, will the sun still rise tomorrow?).

In France, Rousseau's ideal of small, intimate villages and a peaceful, agricultural society built on the consent of the common will has resulted in France becoming a by-word for centralized statism. Rousseau's tenet that reason caused man's fall from paradise may well be the basis of the later Counter-Enlightenment's political ideals, modelled on the re-creation of 'paradise on earth', Utopias which usually turn out to be dystopias instead.

Postmodernism or Rousseauism?
Rousseau can certainly be traced back as the source of all members of the postmodern coalition: environmentalists, third-worldists (Baran-Wallerstein), feminists, anarchists, 'gender, identity and sexual orientation' theorists, traditional socialists of various plumage, and 'classical' postmodernists. It is a true gathering of Rousseauians that has largely remained uninvestigated, underreported and certainly undeclared.

In the chaos of the total postmodern bankruptcy in the wake of mayhem, moralectomy and grandiose failure, there is but one purpose left. A resolve that brings these ideologies together with a tradition with which it has so much in common. We are witnessing a spontaneous feast of recognition with radical Islam.

It is truly remarkable that every prior held conviction and allegiance has by now been jilted in favour of furthering the causes of the intolerant: it's back to the Rousseau basics. The grant plan: a strategy to deconstruct Western, democratic, liberal capitalism by critical theory, and 'irrational means of the will.'

Up next: Emmanuel Kant: "I found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith."

If you think of yourself as a peaceful, loving person, while actually you are full of wrath and hatred, the psychological coping device of projection - as if by magic - transforms the object of that wratch into someone who is hateful, devisive, full of vitriol and bile, bigoted, intolerant and hatemongering.

Related dossiers


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ideological Archeology: The Counter-Enlightenment (I)

Reposted from March 3, 2008

The idea of the creation of a personalised universe, or rather a personal version of the universe originates with Protagoras (Πρωtaγόρaς, 490-420 BC), who said "man is the measure of all things", he meant individual man, rather than mankind.

The sophists of the rough, second generation, notably Trasymachus, a character in Plato's Republic, put that notion of subjectivism to good use. In classical Greece the sophists used language, not in the service of truth or the transfer of information, but as a strategy for political point-scoring. The sophists held that justice is in the interest of the stronger: might makes right.

Objectivist philosopher Stephen Hicks in "Explaining Postmodernism" claims that

"postmodernists - coming after two millennia of Christianity and two centuries of social theory - simply reverse that claim: Subjectivism and relativism are true, except that the postmodernists are on the side of the weaker and historically-oppressed groups. Justice, contrary to Trasymachus, is the interest of the weaker."

Contemporary postmodernists have harnessed this form of political correctness to today's version of the class struggle, the dialectic, a tool to perpetuate into eternity the struggle of 'oppressed' minorities against the 'fake tolerance' of the white, male 'power structure'. The latter should not be understood as 'whoever is in power', but rather 'whoever is in power, other than us'.

Although we have not always seen it for what it was, during the last two and a half centuries or so the fruits of reason have been pitted in an existential dog fight with the reactionary forces of anti-realism. The movement in generally termed 'the Counter-Enlightenment', to underscore the culture's fundamental rejection of reason and the Enlightenment.

In his ground-breaking book Hicks posits two theses: that the failure of epistemology (philosophy's study of human knowledge) made postmodernism possible; and that the failure of Socialism made postmodernism necessary. What Rousseau, Kant and Hegel were for church authority, the postmoderns are for collectivism: their raison d'être is a desperate 'rationalization' for holding on to a rejected system.

The emergence of the Counter-Enlightenment represents the turning point of the age of reason. The era between 1780 and 1815 was a defining period in modernism, as Anglo-American and German culture split into respectively the Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment.

The former began in England, and was picked up by the French. But Roussseau's followers wrested the Enlightenment inspired revolution away from John Locke's (1632 -1704) followers. This quote is from Locke's 2nd Treatise §3:
"In order to preserve the public good, the central function of government must be the protection of private property ..."
... compare that to Rousseau:
"For the creation of a society of 'common will', the people need only accept the dictates of the state" ...
The French Revolution turned it into the Jacobin Reign of Terror, the particularly bloody, third and last episode. The Germans thereafter, already suspicious of the culture of reason, began a counter movement in an effort to rescue religion from what they saw as the onslaught of reason. When the Enlightened French despot, Napoleon Bonaparte jumped into the vacuum left by the Reign of Terror and conquered Europe, the still largely feudal German states knew for sure what the age of reason had wrought.

The reaction was a counter movement by a brand of collectivist philosophers and intellectuals - politically on the Left as well as on the Right, some religious, later on also atheists - with a number of themes in common: Jean-Jacques Rousseau inspired "anti-individualism, the need for strong government, the view that religion is a matter of state (whether to promote or suppress it), the view that education is a process of socialisation, ambivalence about science and technology, and strong themes of group conflict, violence and war.

Hicks: "Left and Right have often divided bitterly over which themes have priority and over how they should be applied. Yet, for all of their differences, both have consistently recognised a common enemy: Liberal capitalism, with its individualism, its limited government, its separation of church and state, its fairly constant view that education is not primarily a matter of political socialisation, and its persistent Whiggish optimism about prospects for peaceful trade and cooperation between members of all nations and groups."

"By the early twentieth century (...) the dominant issues for most continental political thinkers were not whether liberal capitalism was a viable option - but rather exactly when it would collapse - and whether Left or Right collectivism had the best claim to being the Socialism of the future. The defeat of the collectivist Right in World War II then meant that the Left was on its own to carry the Socialist mantle forward."
"Accordingly, when the Left ran into its major disasters as the twentieth century progressed, understanding its fundamental commonality with the collectivist Right helps to explain why in its desperation the Left has often adopted ''Fascistic'' tactics."
Another fateful innovation was set in by the counter movement. As had been the logic during the long period of Church authority over arts and science, all modern mainstream Enlightenment thinkers had accomodated the new advances in science and mathematics into Christian belief. Defying Aristotlean wisdom, human nature, as well as Hume's Law - the confusion of 'is' with 'ought' - the Counter-Enlightenment philosophers following Rousseau, Kant and Hegel - even the atheists - reversed this orthodoxy.

Instead - perhaps even subconsciously or by implication - they developed political models, which reflected religious ideals, the re-creation of paradises on earth, perhaps in an effort to fill the void left by the Ancients Regimes. These political models sought to mirror the heavens, on the basis of 'as above, so below', macrocosm - microcosm: the ideal society. The tenets of the Enlightenment were abandoned and replaced by opposing principles: realism made way for Idea-lism, and individualism for collectivism; emotions, intuition and Revelation were adopted as sources of knowledge rather than reason and experience, social theories replaced liberal capitalist theory.

Universal Enlightenment values were applied, but were limited to specific themes. In these themes God was replaced by whatever fitted the theme: nationalists replaced God with the nation, state adolators deified the state, Socialists society, etcetera. We'll return to that after having a look up close at the main, early protagonists of the Counter-Enlightement drama.

Up next: ... Swiss-French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (1712-1778) personal life is marked by traits sounding akwardly contemporary ...

Related dossiers


A Day of Infamy



What would the reaction have been today? Endless talk at the U.N. and blame America first for World War II. We're sleep-walking into oblivion.

The soft tyranny of political correctness and the deadly fallacy of pacifism have become our Plato's Cave, a self-made mental dungeon. The moral imperative of self-defense has broken down.

We'd rather surrender than make 'dirty hands'!

Relativism is the means by which great civilizations commit suicide. The Greeks had their sofists, Rome its hedonists; we have our postmodern counter-enlighteners.

The appeasers can switch off the light on the greatest civilization since Byzantium. If only this man was still our guiding light ...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another Grandiose Godwin in the European Parliament

The German equivalent of Alan Grayson, Comrade Schultz, the leader of the Socialist faction, has been called a Kapo (concentration kamp supervisor) by none other than Silvio Berlusconi, and many things besides.

Personally he's very fond of loosely applying the style named after Mike Godwin. But he's much less amused if someone else is doling out a reductio ad Hitlerum.

The reason these statists appear to be democratic fundamentalists, is because mob rule is the only thing separating them from the total state. It may come to that yet.



How it ended ...



Strasbourg: EU Parliament votes to oust UKIP's MEP Godfrey Bloom, posted with vodpod

Europe, and that goes for all its institutions, is filled to the brim with neo-totalitalitarians, statists and Hegelians.  Nigel Farage explains why!

PJM: "“Just who the hell do you think you people are?” Nigel Farage poses an excellent question. We’re still waiting for the answer . . .", by Roger Kimball

(...) The problem is, Mr. Farage pointed out, that people all over Europe are waking up and saying “we don’t want this, we don’t want [the EU] flag, we don’t want the anthem, we don’t this political class, we want the whole thing consigned to the dust bin of history.”

And the response by the EU bureaucrats who run things? Well, Ireland was told that it would be inappropriate from them to have a general election; they had to agree on a budget first. Mr. Farage had the perfect response to this effrontery: “Just who the hell do you think you people are? You are very, very dangerous people indeed. Your obsession with creating this Euro state means that you are happy to destroy democracy.”

Mr. Farage got it in right: the political crisis facing Europe may be exacerbated by the domino-like collapse of the economies of the member states. But the critical issue is the future of democracy, i.e., the future of freedom. It is “more serious than economics,” Mr. Farage argued, “because if you rob people of their identity, if you rob them of democracy, then all they are left with is nationalism and violence. I can only hope and pray that the Euro project is destroyed by the markets before that really happens.” (...) >>>


Sunday, November 21, 2010

When Truth Is Irrelevant: freedom of speech in Austria (update 2)

In Defense of Free Speech: "Live blogging from Elisabeth’s court proceedings"

(...) This is the end of reporting for today. Please join us on January 18th 2011 for more news from the frontiers of defending the free societies of the West. >>>

Nov. 23, 2010
~

- Cartoon by Niels Thomson - Hat tip Sappho) -
Updating on the trial of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff on November 23.

As the six year old daughter of an Austrian diplomat she went through traumatic experiences in Iran during the Islamic Revolution (that was overtly supported by the Left), and on 9/11 (which is overtly apologized by the Left) when she happened to be in Lybia.

Jerry Gordon, senior editor of the New English Review had an interview with Elisabeth a few days ago.

A blog, dedicated to the trial of Elisabeth is updated here.

In Defense of Free Speech: "An Interview with Austrian Free Speech Advocate Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff", by Jerry Gordon

ElisabethSabaditsch-Wolff, a Viennese housewife is going before a Kafkaesque tribunalon November the 23rd for doing something which is legal under our US Constitution: criticizing a religion. That is one of the express purposes of the First Amendment which protects the freedom of speech in America. (...) >>>


October 24, 2010

The Wilders court case is currently in a state of legal limbo as a tribunal last Friday found a new trial necessary: one of the Judges who ordered the case to be pursued (against the advice of the Prosecution!) was found to have been trying to influence an expert-witness at a dinner party. As we have seen during the address of the Prosecutor, the truth is simply irrelevant. The free world is under siege!

In the last few years the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) has been vigorously pursuing international efforts in the UN and Europe's many 'Eurabian' talking shops. It is an philosophical montrum, but the OIC has been doing its utmost to make 'Islamophobia' a legal entity. We know it otherwise under the term 'hate crimes', or in the Netherlands - sit down for this one - a 'crime of expression'.

Austria is currently going through its second court case. As with Wilders', Leftist activists are also here heavily involved in curbing the freedom of speech on behalf of their Islamic brethren.

- Caption: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (left) with ACT's Brigitte Gabriel  (right) - 

Europe News has the details:

A criminal complaint is being filed against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for “hate speech” under Austrian law, essentially the same thing that Susanne Winter was convicted of early this year.
Elisabeth gave a presentation about Islam at an FPÖ-organized seminar, and said some of the usual things that anti-jihad advocates say when they talk about Islam. A left-wing magazine, which had planted someone in the audience, caused charges to be brought against her at the same time as they publicized it in their magazine.
Elisabeth held the controversial Islam Seminar at the FPÖ-political academy. Charges of defamation of a religious group have been filed against the daughter of a diplomat. This is her only interview in which she explains her views. (...) 
Read the entire interview with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff >>>

Hat Tip: Patriot's Corner in "Elisabeth's Voice: Help Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in her fight against jihad" has more details.

Update
From Facebook

Espial Informatics November 1 at 11:05pm Reply • Report
Geert Wilders is well-known to most people, but Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is not so prominent. Like Mr. Wilders, she faces trial for reporting factual information about Islam. Her “crime” was to conduct public seminars in which she described Islamic doctrine, quoted from the Koran, and explained to her listeners what she considers the dangers of Islam.

Like Mr. Wilders, Elisabeth has been charged with “hate speech” for her words. Unlike Mr. Wilders, however, Elisabeth is a private citizen, a wife, and the mother of a small child. She lacks the major resources necessary to defend herself against the well-funded organs of the state which seek to persecute her.

Elisabeth was first notified of the possible case against her last December. For almost a year she has been waiting for a formal charge and a court date, and now the other shoe has finally dropped: she will go to court on November 23, 2010.

Here is a video of Elizabeth at the Amsterdam Rally for Free Speech on the 30th October 2010 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jM-JnquP0U

The Counter-Jihad Alliance has created a Facebook Page to support Elizabeth. Please help us to raise awareness of her case by liking the page and suggesting it to your friends. On the page you will find links to relevant articles, videos and photos, you can also help by sharing these and adding any of your own.

Link to Page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Elisabeth-Sabaditsch-Wolff/126382430752983

Thank you for taking the time to read this message!

Related

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pictures from Obama's America

The ultimate irony: as profiling is considered 'racism', free Americans are subjected to enhanced genitalia pat-downs, children, grannies and nuns included. CAIR is working overtime to get Muslim women exempted. Political correctness gone mad!

Washington Post: "Don't touch my junk", by Charles Krauthammer

Ah, the airport, where modern folk heroes are made. The airport, where that inspired flight attendant did what everyone who's ever been in the spam-in-a-can crush of a flying aluminum tube - where we collectively pretend that a clutch of peanuts is a meal and a seat cushion is a "flotation device" - has always dreamed of doing: pull the lever, blow the door, explode the chute, grab a beer, slide to the tarmac and walk through the gates to the sanity that lies beyond. Not since Rick and Louis disappeared into the Casablanca fog headed for the Free French garrison in Brazzaville has a stroll on the tarmac thrilled so many.

Who cares that the crazed steward got arrested, pleaded guilty to sundry charges, and probably was a rude, unpleasant SOB to begin with? Bonnie and Clyde were psychopaths, yet what child of the '60s did not fall in love with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty?

And now three months later, the newest airport hero arrives. His genius was not innovation in getting out, but deconstructing the entire process of getting in. John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security's newest brainstorm - the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett's, warning the agent not to "touch my junk."(...) >>>
By Bosch Fawstin on Newsreal

Related

- American Thinker: "Airport Scanners and Marxist Criminology", by Chidike Okeem

Related dossiers

- "Political Correctness"
- "Postmodern Ravages"
- "The Dialectics"

 
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