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Why "New Enlightenment"?

Real democracy means self-determination by self-administration in self-responsibility. The latter needs a new Enlightenment, since the first one (1650-1800) was too weak and has been mostly undone. Let's do it better!
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VoysonM
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Why "New Enlightenment"?

#1

Post by VoysonM »

The first Enlightenment a.k.a. Age of Reason
began around 1650 and lasted about 150 years.

It was a philosophical revolution,
lifting reason and rational thinking,
in society as well as in each individual person,
above the powers of traditions and institutions.

Education, research, science got propelled forward;
striving for knowledge, understanding, insight
was an ideal shared by many.

Through all that also technology and culture
progressed as never before.

And, most importantly, the power structures
of monarchs and churches got called into question.

These didn't passively watch that for 150 years,
but kept learning in their own way and continuously
worked the so-called Counter-Englightenment.

The end of the Enlightenment, however,
came only with the French Revolution (1789-1799),
which, though born from the Enlightenment,
lead by massive excesses of violence
to a traumatizing shock.

This and the return of power corruption in the
leaders of the very revolution caused a deep
resignation and lead from the Age of Reason
to the escapism of Romanticism.


Those in power had learned a lot in the Enlightenment
and began to purposefully filter and steer
in which fields progress would rapidly continue — and in which fields not,
what the masses learn — and what not,
which ideals and values would be widely shared — and which ones not.

This works never perfectly and everywhere,
minorities and individuals always go their own ways,
but only the mass effect determines the world.

Therefore we have fascinating, rapid developments
in technology and culture, whereas in politics
and the general intellectual advancement
we do not make any real progress.

Particularly the power-serving developments
in technology and manipulation lead, by way of
the relative to them increasing inadequacy of man,
to ever greater threats.

Of these, the nuclear bombs and the Holocaust
are but the widely recognized tip of a gigantic iceberg
of suffering caused and future at risk.


Intellectual circles have tried again and again
to revive and continue the Enlightenment.

But a truly New Enlightenment is needed,
one that consciously learns from the failing of the first,
that consciously factors in adversary currents,
that consciously compensates for the past
two centuries of power manipulations —
and that consciously prevents excesses
such as those of the French Revolution.

The New Enlightenment simply has to strive for
such social and philosophical progresses
that exhilerate and liberate all people,
including those who today still live off harm,
such as exploitation or conflict.

The name "Enlightenment" still fits today;
to speak of a Second Enlightenment,
however, would be incorrect.

Firstly because, even though only from 1650-1800
people officially actually spoke of "Enlightenment",
earlier progress movements occassionally
get counted as periods of Enlightenment, too,
such as a Greek and a Roman one,
so there is big confusion as to the numbering.

Secondly because the first Enlightenment
shall not and can not be repeated.

Indeed, the fundamental ideals and goals remain
(education, knowledge, insight, justice),
yet the New Enlightenment has to, as mentioned,
consider several additional issues, and it should
not only strive for reason and knowledge,
but also explicitly for wisdom.

This post/thread here can only be a spark for that.
You too decide now if it will be fully realized.
Last edited by VoysonM 1 month ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why "New Enlightenment"?

#2

Post by Silver Kestrel »

Which series? (In the last paragraph it says "This series here ...".)
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Re: Why "New Enlightenment"?

#3

Post by VoysonM »

Oh, thank you! I took this text from my old website where it actually introduced a (planned) series on New Enlightenment. I started it early in the Corona Crisis, but did not get very far beyond some introductory chapters and hundreds of notes for planned articles. I soon decided to write Future Democracy instead then. I have now removed from the post above the reference to a series. Thanks again! :)
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Re: Why "New Enlightenment"?

#4

Post by Larissa1 »

That's quite similar to the book's preface. Both explain very well how we got into the shit we have today, the book actually much better, and it explains a lot more. I liked that very much. I've always wondered about some of these things and I think the explanations in the book are the best one could find, mostly you get only blanks there, people don't even ask the important questions, as if it was unspokenly clear how mankind got into the deep shit we are in today, and most probably think everyone else knows and only they are too dumb, because it must be obvious, as everyone is playing along with all the crap as if it was the only way to live. Homo sapiens? Good, err, bad joke!
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