Aug 11 2010
Chumming the anti-enlightenment waters, beautifully (pdf)
Like it or not, we are all children of the Enlightenment, utterly incapable of escaping the clutches of ideals and arguments put forth over two centuries ago. Or so, at least, many critics of the Enlightenment seem to believe. Michel Foucault claims, for instance, that the Enlightenment has largely determined “what we are, what we think, and what we do today,”1 and John Gray insists that “all schools of contemporary political thought are variations on the Enlightenment project.”2 There is, of course, something to such claims: given the number of values, practices, and institutions that we have inherited from the eighteenth century, it is difficult to imagine what our world would look like without its Enlightenment heritage. Yet it is remarkable how few political theorists still defend this heritage; in fact, I can think of few topics on which recent work in political theory has displayed greater consensus than on the conviction that the Enlightenment outlook is radically problematic.
Obama is an anti-liberal, a post-modernist without conviction, against a two-century-fucking-tradition. Fuck ’em.
Let’s rock’ems. Gibbs can suck an anus.