Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment

Common Dreams, links at site.

We are witnessing an epochal shift in our socio-political world. We are de-evolving, hurtling headlong into a past that was defined by serfs and lords; by necromancy and superstition; by policies based on fiat, not facts.

Much of what has made the modern world in general, and the United States in particular, a free and prosperous society comes directly from insights that arose during the Enlightenment.

Too bad we’re chucking it all out and returning to the Dark Ages.


Now, we seek to operate by revealed truths, not reality. Decrees from on high – often issued by an unholy alliance of religious fundamentalists, self-interested corporations, and greedy fat cats – are offered up as reality by rightwing politicians.

For example, North Carolina law-makers recently passed legislation against sea level rise. [...]

As Stephen Colbert so aptly put it: if your science gives you results you don't like, pass a law saying that the result is illegal. Problem solved.

We are, indeed, at an epochal threshold. We can continue to discard the Enlightenment values which enabled both an untold increase in material wealth and a system of government which turned serfs into citizens. A system which – for all its flaws – often managed to protect the rights of the many, against the predatory power of the few.

Or we can continue our abject surrender to myths, magical thinking, and self-delusion and the Medieval nation-state those forces are resurrecting.

Much more.

Backward, ever backward, heads stuck firmly in the sand, great white ass pointed at the world! Reality is creepin' up on us with a hard-on. Imagine the look of surprise when...

Jesus weeps. The rest of the world laughs.

1 comment:

Fixer said...

... the embrace of ignorance ...

At this point it should be the conservative motto.