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The Enlightenment, the period of hyper-liberal thinking, which we see today as basic revelations, the ideas of which most readers presume the presupposition of the pillars of the West, consisting of the ideas of Secularism, Equality, Freedom, Liberty, etc — the essential principles of accelerating progressivism.
The period of philosophical social thinking which we have adopted as the “norm” for the past 300 Years, These ideas are the base, for the worse, of modern thinking of “good and just”.
Logically, many would state the days of the pre-enlightenment and pre-revolution were “evil” and “tyrannical” thus revolution and enlightenment were in place to create a “Humanisation of society” and evidently it has been tested and survived the test of time, so it must have been good?
Our free-market economies have been better than ever before, creating innovations and connections, and our technology has been the best its ever been! Yet, I want you to look past all of that economic boom & prosperity and technological advancement of society as we have seen it through reality. These ideas have grown into decadence, furthermore, the handed down of basic ideas of the enlightenment such as “the individual, the state and society” have been to legitimize our modern institutional Progressivism.
So for these series of essays produced, I shall take up my armour and my rosary, to dissect this cult of thought and prevail over the Modernist heathens, for God, King and Country, to bring intellectual thought back to the truth.
What is Enlightenment itself then?
To candidly put it, it’s the state of having knowledge or understanding: the act of giving someone knowledge or understanding.
The idea thought out by the “thinkers of the time” was that through reason and intellect, man can morally evolve as a creature, and everything in the past can be averted through “reason and education". The ideas of reason and education can be debated. However, the pinnacle point here is this was the sort of authoritative arrogance that forced us to believe that as we have been more “enlightened” over past centuries, this major flaw in thought has contributed to the idea of western guilt, suggesting we were more violent because we lacked “proper education” and if we had a sort of “reasonable” “liberalism“ all of this, brutal or racist actions, wouldn’t have happened.
Furthering on to that sentiment, another idea as to why the West was so violent in the past is that we had a lack of ethics, hence we are taught in our modern minds that colonialism, slavery, and the Crusades, were all part of an evil white supremacist agenda.
(You can probably think of a family member or friend who believes in one of the commonly espoused doctrines as stated above)
The reason why we are “civilized” now is not that we are “Progressive or Liberal” it is that we are technologically advanced, not ethically advanced. It is idiotic to proclaim that either Voltaire and Rousseau had the authority to make a sudden change to the fundamental principle of man. The modern western individual compared to an individual in the past has no higher ethical standard.
We are creatures by nature. Our ancestors had the first and foremost goal of survival and passing our genes down to generations. It is safe to conclude that it is difficult surviving and thus it is a will determined by what measures we will take for this survival.
It is noteworthy that civilization’s first cause was to make survival easier. No wonder it was better to be in the tribe back then than be an alone wolf.
Thus to counter, the reason why they [pre-enlightenement period] were so vile was not that they were “not enlightened”, rather survival was much more important as it was difficult back then to uphold the tribe and kingdom, which was much needed for survival — it was a necessity.
In our dense modern “flowery” capacity we have no conception of how it was to survive. Yet we understand what it took to survive in past civilization eras; we had requirements of hierarchies, social norms, obligations, etc.
If not the case, rival tribes, monarchies, or empires, would assert dominance. This has been civilizational survival for the past 1000 years.
Many on the right would wrongfully argue that modern judgement should not judge the past with today’s morality. Not for the reasons you would think, however.
By using this argument it validates playing into the narrative that humans have been enlightened over time. Rather we shouldn’t judge man’s technological advancement under today’s standards.
Take a hundred scholars of the West today, place them on a deserted island, back to square one per se.
Funnily enough, they would lose the sense of Enlightenment and quickly revert to means of survival, aka “brutality”, quickly concluding the façade of being in “enlightenment”.
This would place “Western guilt” into folds as “guilt” on resources isn’t a thing to apologise on. Practically speaking Europe was the least brutal of civilizations and has the most successful civilizations we have ever seen endow the world.
I heavily suspect that we have guilt of Western ideas because we are more “enlightened” today, the earlier flaw mentioned.
The point is that in traditional Western civilization, we are seen as sinful creatures capable of bad. Biblically speaking, we are not perfect beings thus if we lose sight of God we will descend into a framework of chaos. Simply the Enlightenment wanted a city that St. Augustine wrote of, but without God.
Contrary to all of this, the Enlightenment framework thinks we are all inherently good creatures and Nature can be changed through education. This leads us to believe we don’t need social norms or religious morality etc. It suggests than serving a civilization purpose, the pre-Enlightenment period just used authoritative irrational means of control which can be better than “reason and education”.
Take multiculturalism as an example of this “englightened problem”. Multiculturalism didn’t work in India, Yugoslavia, Rwanda etc, all leading to despair, chaos and “brutal” archives for historians, yet in many cases, we can hear echoes of overcoming that “evil ethnocentrism” idea and the thought of natural habitat of ones people through “education” and it will only be the majority of the population’s fault to blame for not committing to multiculturalism. it is the same with the Middle East, overthrow dictators for the sake of opening the ideas of “Reason and Liberty”
So why is this ridiculousness as put forward and dissected such a prevalent notion within the modern West today?
It is mainly down to security and comfort. When people forget and know nothing about the struggle to get there, they look back and see the actions of the past and see them as unjust and barbaric and see our past traditional self as “barbaric”, ”too high for that”, just to forget how we got here.
No, humans can’t be more enlightened. Sure it is a given we don’t need to be “brutal”, regardless we should not forget that if the same problems do arise of the past, do not think “Reason and Education” is going to be our saving grace.
Tradition is truth. It is most simply understood as the tried and true. That is one of the reasons why we have tradition — because we know it works. If it didn’t work, it wouldn’t exist. So tradition is truth, tradition is knowledge. For the rebellious spirit, they wrongfully see tradition as the trodden path and wish to create a new path for themselves. This rarely works. Because if the path is tradition, and tradition is the truth, then going off the path is the opposite of knowing. It is the unknown, it is chaos, and it is dangerous.