Reposting What is living and what is dead in the Enlightenment?

Talking about “The Enlightenment”, when understood as something like “an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in…

3QD: What is living and what is dead in the Enlightenment?

—- The repost asks a question that is presumed to add support for Enlightenmnent values. My answer is this: it is only from the standpoint of enlightenment values, formulated as such, which is to say, whatever way is formulated, for examples of in this re-post, that I would be able to formulate an answer to a question such as “in what time period of history would you live if you didn’t know where you would end up?”

my pushback: I would wonder what my percent chance would be for any time. To end up in an oppressive regime? judging from the context of history, I would say as an average human being, the probability of me ending up knowing that I’m oppressed in an oppressive regime would be very small.

in fact, I would say, I would move to argue, but the very notion of enlightenment comes at a point in time where there is a certain condensation, a certain threshold of compressed people, such that some of those people can begin to conceptualize that there is such a thing as oppression. Get further, that this condensation of people Brad a certain manner of viewing themselves and the world from the standpoint of what they want, as opposed to what is actually occurring. This is why “the European enlightenment” is often associated with colonialism, racism, and those types of notions. 

Before that point, people were merely living.

And I would say that what I might view as an enlightened modern citizen as a terrible way of living life, having to hunt and forage and deal with the vicissitudes of nature and, what I would consider from my standpoint really rough and terrible, for those people, it probably wasn’t very rough and terrible. It was just life.

further, I would say that how I am living right now is pretty lame. Everywhere We look in our world we have reason to complain. And I would submit that my complaint towards my world right now is no greater or less than any human at any point in time in their assessment of life. Sure, I could say as I said in my very comfortable house in upper middle-class America that, oh my gosh, those people live such terrible and harsh lives and of course this comfortable life I live is built on the shoulders of the past, such that indeed we have come a long way, so far a standard of living, water, plumbing, food, disease etc.

yet, so much as I live, my complaints are no greater or less than any other person that lived throughout the history of the world.

It is only from my position of privilege, which is to say from my modern enlightened view upon the world, that I can reflect upon other people’s situation and say “I definitely would not like to live that way.”

so, going back to work. Of time I would want to live if I did not know where I would end up, I would say my chances are pretty good that I would be living the same life that I’m living right now. I would be having the same depression, the same happiness, the same hatred, the same joyfulness; And this, simply because that is what humans being do at all times.

To measure a greater than or less than, it’s just what human beings do when they look at the past or the future or the present.

To think about things any differently is utterly modern propaganda, entirely ideological,

…and yet at the same time, also quite useful in the fact that here I am today living in this world as a human being.







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