Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891

Lettres

Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

The Enlightenment is Over

Penned upon the 20th of June, 2005

It ended more or less with the birth of the 19th Century. I should know, I was there. In the years that have passed, the ideas and values of the Enlightenment have passed into disuse – we no longer believe that the franchise should be extended only to the propertied classes, for instance. Yet the intellectual arrogance of the Philosophes lives on. Reacting to the decades of religious tyranny and bloody war, they declared the falseness of birth and divine right as entitlements to rule, arguing instead for rule by the most capable, the most skilled, the most intelligent.

This, to me, is akin to the psychological theories of Freud – vastly superior to what had come before, but still riddled with flaws and unsubstantiatable personal touches. A meritocracy is an imposible construct – to measure intelligence and skill one would need an omniscient being to create the scale – and we’re right back to divinity again.

Yet this idea appears again, and again, and again, in ever less considered forms. The idea that people are too stupid to have any say in their own lives – even that their stupidity has doomed the world! And with it, a growing disrespect for all those considered ‘stupid’ – those without a higher education, those in rural areas, women… arrgh. The majority of the population of the world, those that create all the food we eat and the tools we use…

(I had thought this confined to the United States, with their ‘Hipsters’ and their ‘Ironical Fashions’, but I see it surfacing here, as well…)

The first step to an ideal world is not equal access to public baths for the differently-socked or protecting the beluga from the albino beluga. It is making sure everyone has enough food to eat. If anyone claims that people are too stupid for there to be enough food for everyone to eat, well, I call that a sham of an excuse.


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Commentary upon “The Enlightenment is Over”

  1. Cornelius_Hemingway was heard to remark,

    Upon the 20th of June, 2005 at 5:53 pm,

    Forsooth there is much food to be had, but it seems some ‘englightened’ fellows involved in the green peace don’t think the people of the ‘deepest,darkest Africa’ are smart enough to decide the quality of their own crops.


  2. Chesterfield Snapdragon McFisticuffs was heard to remark,

    Upon the 1st of July, 2005 at 4:59 am,

    It’s people! Soylent Green is people!


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