The end of the Enlightenment is upon us. Actually, if Jacques Barzun is to be believed (From Dawn to Decadence), the end of Modern Times is upon us. The future doesn’t promise an advance, but threatens a retreat.
The last 500 years in the West have been the age of Modernity, the age of rationalism if not of reason, the age of scientism if not of science, the age of liberation if not of liberty. It is coming to an end.
Vast movements pursuing irrational and unreasonable
ideas urges are taking hold from the rabid baby-killers of ISIS to American demagogues. The Modern elites who built their empires on reason and rationality are trembling as bedrock suddenly turns to quicksand.
Inasmuch as Reason is a Good, Science is a Good, Liberty is a Good, how could this have happened? Well, any Good, taken to an extreme, and without the moderation of Faith, becomes a Bad.
One example, Scientism, the bastard offshoot of Science, took over and triumphed in Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Dick Dawkins. In their disdain for philosophy, they are more wise than their critics, for they, perhaps intuitively, know that Philosophy is as dangerous to the pretentions of Scientism as any Religion. (Especially Christianity.)
Another, Liberty turned into Liberation. Liberty is freedom under Law, ordered Freedom, which calls for equality of persons and not, “All People are Equal but some are More Equal than Others.” (If you don’t have any idea of what that is all about, never mind.)
Finally, even though I try to avoid the totem thumping practices of the Electoral cycle, Stuff yet seeps through. The Peasants have decided they are Mad A Hell And Aren’t Going To Take It Any More.
Well, we’ve done that. It certainly worked well, did it not?
Years, decades, of abuse and neglect by the Elites are causing them to light torches, grab pitchforks, and march on the enclaves, the Castles of the Elites. And the Elites, who promoted all this in an endeavor to control the Mob (Forget Democracy) are seeing their profits about to be torched.
And so, we come to the End of the Enlightenment. People seem to be unable to agree on facts, even the most elementary, my dear Watson. They seem unaware of logical fallacies, and that fervent desire does not create results. Most worrisome, they no longer comprehend the Rule of Law.
The Rule of Law, what a fine arcane phrase.
Christian Fleck: “The Rule of Law, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law. The principle is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance, whether by a totalitarian leader or by mob rule. Thus, the rule of law is hostile both to dictatorship and to anarchy.”
Rule of Law is a concept which forms the basis of Western Civilization. Even the Soviets under Stalin felt it necessary to pretend they were murdering their enemies according to some external rule.
Without the rule of law, there are no rules at all, only brute force and domination by the stronger or most savage.