James Lindsay: The Second Enlightenment and the battle against the Magisterial and Aristocratic Elite

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2023 May 24, 10:39am   105 views  1 comment

by AmericanKulak   ➕follow (8)   💰tip   ignore  

In the biggest picture, something truly revolutionary and disruptive is happening in the world, and particularly the West. All the tumult we're experiencing is downstream from that.

The Marketplace of Ideas is finally being born.

A Second Enlightenment is upon us.

Many people believe the Marketplace of Ideas was born centuries ago, in the Enlightenment. This is not so. A Magisterium of Ideas gave way to an Aristocracy of Ideas in the process we call "the Enlightenment." That aristocracy has ripened now and gone bad. It's corrupt and dying.

I did an influential podcast about this issue a year and a half ago, articulating that what we're seeing from the Managerial Elite, who are the Information Aristocrats, is a Reaction to this Second Enlightenment. They want to maintain the aristocracy.

Welcome to the Second Enlightenment

In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, host James Lindsay walks us through a view that breaks out of our limited historical parallax and considers the question of what's going on around us in …

During the Enlightenment, there were three political Reactions and two idea Reactions, not just one of each, as is commonly thought. These are all different and reflected in our present moment.

Politically, the literal aristocracy reacted to maintain itself; the Religious Reaction screamed to go back to a more Magisterial order; and the Romantic Reaction pushed for what would become Communism a century later.

In ideas, there was a Religious and a Romantic Reaction.

The Aristocracy of Ideas, composed of scholars, journalists, and experts, who are credentialed to tell us what's true, is corrupt and ending. The present aristocrats want to maintain their status quo. The Left is right about them but misplaces their wrath.

The Left, being Marxist, misplaces the Aristocracy of Ideas in the "oppressor groups," defined by class, race, sex, gender, sexuality, national origins, etc. They fail to understand the Managerial Elite as a result and are the Information Jacobins of our time.

They don't want a Marketplace of Ideas to emerge. They want a new Aristocracy of Ideas under their control, based on sensuous, Romantic ideals. This is what the Romantic/Communist Reaction to the Enlightenment wanted too, as history repeatedly proved.

In some sense, the Romantic Reaction of today got the jump on the story. They started saying 50+ years ago that the knowing system is corrupt and that there's no true Marketplace of Ideas. They have been dismantling the system and replacing it with their own ever since.

The Managerial Elite recognizes that their time is up, however, and they have weaponized the Romantic Reaction (Woke) to maintain an Aristocracy of Ideas that they'll end up on top of. They're using that Reaction to their benefit, hence State-Corporate Wokeness, which is cynical.

The Religious Reaction of our time is now springing into play, insisting that the whole system that enabled the present Aristocracy of Ideas to flourish needs replacing root and branch with a new, more stable Magisterium of Ideas based on their faiths, which they see as rock.

The Woke vs Classical Liberalism vs National Conservatism is the expression of this fight, all of which oppose the Managerial Elite now, but the Marketplace of Ideas can only emerge if Classical Liberalism prevails and is updated to deal with 21st century technology.

The update to Classical Liberalism is only a practical update, though, dealing with the exigencies of new communications technologies: data privacy, digitized property protection, etc. The principles must survive into this new era. Neither Reaction allows this to happen.

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1   Patrick   2023 May 30, 7:25pm  


Wokeness first got off the ground in Anglophone universities after decades of hiring and admissions preferences had filled them with revolutionary tinder at the bottom. The expanding administration seized this opportunity, and via ever new initiatives in the area of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, aligned itself with the affirmative action fraternity against that old academic aristocracy, the tenured faculty and their departments. That is, at base, all that Wokeness is. The basic ideological programme found purchase outside the university environment simply because immigration policies and hiring preferences provided nearly identical opportunities for high-low alliances in many other areas. ...

Everyone preaching Wokeness is either a direct, personal beneficiary of the power process it represents, or a would-be target seeking ideological cover. The end state towards which the Woke are driving, academically, is a university system where an all-powerful administration manages a wholly subordinate faculty employed on renewable contracts. At the political level, they aim to expand the managerial state still further at the expense of the native middle classes. ...

I doubt there is any stopping this process once it has begun, though I do see a few bright spots. The first, is that the institutions which Wokeness seizes will be worse in every way once the revolution is complete, and all of us in our own small way can contribute to their decline by withdrawing our efforts and attention from them. I know that’s not very satisfying, but I think in the longer term it will be decisive. The second, is that it’s not clear the puppetmasters of Wokeness have full control of their revolution, and there’s a substantial chance that, at least in some cases, they’ll fail to rein in their low-side allies and find themselves devoured in turn by the Woke at the bottom, as happened in 2017 at Evergreen State College. The third, related to this, is that the escalating radicalism of the Woke very much reflects their brittle and uncertain hold on power. The more they hollow out the middle for their own gain, the more they isolate themselves at the top, and their vulnerability has many expressions. We see the emergence of Soviet-style gerontocracies, as those in power come to fear the rivals they’ve spent decades displacing so much, that they can’t even countenance preparing the way for their own successors. ...

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