Tag Archives: Enlightenment

The Cost of the Enlightenment, by Daniel Ajamian

Does libertarianism need more than the nonagression principle? From Daniel Ajamian at lewrockwell.com:

I would like to thank Joe for the introduction and invitation, Lew for his leadership of and vision for the Institute, the supporters and friends of the Mises Institute for helping to make it the premier source on economics and liberty in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and I especially would like to thank The Lou Church Foundation for annually sponsoring this lecture.

It is broadly accepted that out of Enlightenment thinking came many of the “goods” of our society; goods economic, political, and social.  Goods ranging from the material wealth and the technology we enjoy to classical liberalism and libertarianism.  It is on the latter that I will focus.

An exhaustive discussion of the connection of Enlightenment thought to Classical liberalism and libertarianism is not necessary for this audience, so I will summarize: reason, the individual, equality, property rights, the separation of church and state, and science and politics freed from religious dogma.  These pillars underlie the classical liberalism that many point to and exclaim: here, we finally found freedom!  Instead, what if these have cost us our freedom?

What is Enlightenment?  Immanuel Kant gave his answer:

Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another….”Have courage to use your own reason!” That is the motto of enlightenment.

There is Diderot’s Encyclopedia, considered one of the greatest cultural and intellectual achievements of the Enlightenment; a 20 million word man-made blueprint for the creation of a rational, improving and cultivated society.

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The Metaphysics to Our Present Global Anguish, by Alasdair Crooke

Many are rejecting one-world utopian visions, but what will emerge in its stead is not clear. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

James Jatras, a former US diplomat poses a highly pertinent question in his piece Lenin Updated: Firstly, he says, President Trump meets with President Putin and appears to make some progress in easing bilateral tensions. “Immediately all hell breaks loose: Trump is called a traitor. The ‘sanctions bill from hell’ is introduced in the Senate, and Trump is forced onto the defensive”.

Next, Senator Rand Paul goes to meet with Putin in Moscow, Jatras notes. Paul hands over a letter from the US President proposing moderate steps towards détente. Rand Paul then meets with, and invites Russian Senators to Washington, to continue the dialogue: “Immediately all hell breaks loose. Paul is called a traitor. The state Department ‘finds’ the Russians guilty of using illegal chemical weapons (in UK) … and imposes sanctions. Trump is forced even more on the defensive.”

Clearly, from the very outset, Trump has been “perceived by the globalist neo-liberal order as a mortal danger to the system which has enriched them” Jatras observes. The big question that Jatras poses in the wake of these events, is how could such collective hysteria have blossomed in to such visceral hostility, that parts of the ‘Anglo’ establishment are ready to intensify hostilities toward Russia – even to the point of risking “a catastrophic, uncontainable [nuclear] conflict”. How is it that the élite’s passion ‘to save globalism’ is so completely overwhelming that it demands their risking human extinction? Jatras suggests that we are dealing here with hugely powerful psychic impulses.

Jatras answers by evoking the zeitgeist of Lenin, when, in 1915, he made his infamous turn towards civil war inside Russia. That is, a war versus ‘Russia’ – in and of itself – its history, its culture, its religion, and its intellectual and political legacy. With up to 10 million Russians left dead by his cleansing, Lenin said “I spit on Russia. [The slaughter is but] only one stage we have to pass through, on our way to world revolution [i.e. to his vision of a universal Communism].

To continue reading: The Metaphysics to Our Present Global Anguish