“…theology crumbled, and political theory cracked; invention complicated life and war, and economic creeds overturned governments and inflamed the world; philosophy itself, which had once summoned all sciences to its aid in making a coherent image of the world and an alluring picture of the good, found its task of coordination too stupendous for its courage, ran away from all these battlefronts of truth, and hid itself in recondite and narrow lanes, timidly secure from the issues and responsibilities of life. Human knowledge had become too great for the human mind.”
Critical thought helps us reveal the facts, but philosophy allows us to understand what those facts mean. Critical analysis gives us all the pieces, philosophy gives us the box to put them in.
If it seems the absurdity of contemporary life is increasing, I would not argue. Life has always been absurd, and while several branches of philosophical thought evolved to try to explain and understand it, it does seem that forces are conspiring today to create absurdity for the sake of creating absurdity. It is my belief that this is not a random occurrence, rather it is a “movement” of sorts, one coincidental rather that coordinated and driven by a shared ignorance, a state of mental laziness and surrender to the seductive, easy desires of the emotional being that are often destructive over the often distasteful and difficult – and ultimately correct – rational choices.
If you want to cause chaos, you can do it politically – but if you want to create ABSOLUTE chaos – and I mean Marvel Cinematic Universe Avengers Infinity War level chaos – you can’t do that on a nation to nation basis – attacks on nations stimulate tribalism and nationalism and lead to a definitive winner. One country will defeat the other or an alliance of countries will defeat another alliance – the conflict becomes binary, antagonist vs. protagonist, good vs. evil, winners vs. losers. No, you can’t afford to do anything that binds people together, your objective is to break them apart. Like nuclear fission, you must attack and break the most basic individual bonds, in this case, not of atoms but those of humanity – and more than that, you must get individual humans to attack each other. You have to break down any commonality tying people together – common religion, national allegiance, race identity, marriage, family, even love…like a going out of business sale, everything must go.
A dislocation of human existence of this magnitude can only be accomplished by using the 3 M’s – misogyny, misandry, and misanthropy.
Men must despise women, women must despise men and humans must despise humanity. The 3M’s of national, cultural, and societal destruction.
And this is happening. Institutions are being destroyed – the Boy Scouts, the Church, capitalism – all are examples of institutions under declining power and influence. Gays ally with transsexuals to attack heterosexuals and then attack each other. Feminists attack men, the “men’s rights” movement attacks feminists. The rich are attacked by both progressive rich and the poor. Blacks attack whites while despising Hispanics and Asians.
These are facts. Critical examination reveals that they are.
A few years back I noted thato ver 200 years ago, Thomas Robert Malthus proposed that catastrophes such as famine, disease and war are the manners in which Nature culls the population. Thankfully, Western Civilization has largely found ways to avoid such catastrophes – or at least to blunt them. That is a wonderful accomplishment – and if one is truly honest about it, the reason for this is that the ideas of individual social and economic freedom are what unleashed the power of the human mind in a scale never seen in world history.
We are undeniably the healthiest, most prosperous, most free and most mobile world that has ever existed (and those things are distributed more widely than ever before) but I have to wonder if our very prosperity is our greatest enemy. I also must wonder if there is a valid Malthusian perspective where truth and reason are concerned. It seems that while painful catastrophes like the Great Depression and WWII do cull the population, they also serve to cull from society the irrationality, unseriousness and triviality that are so celebrated in our intellectually lazy society today.
Philosophy isn’t an end in itself – what it does do is allow us to see over the visible horizon. I wish that the writings of people like John Locke, Immanuel Kant, More, Aquinas and Hobbes were incorporated in our school’s curricula. That we don’t teach philosophy is a critical, and perhaps fatal, error.
Our world is like an unlabeled box of IKEA furniture missing the instructions. We seem to expect people to assemble it without knowing what the finished product is or is supposed to look like using only disembodied voice instructions coming over an 800 line.