Monday, January 10, 2011

Reason & Natural Right

Today, in my daily Kantian study session my mind began to wander and consider the relationship between natural right and reason (I'm still studying the Critique of Pure Reason and will be for the forseeable future). I began to think of the Enlightenment, where man began to use reason to break the shackles of authoritarian control.

So I wondered, what would Kant say about the Enlightenment and  read his essay called "An Answer To The Question: What Is Enlightenment ?", here is the first few paragraphs of this great essay - see how it parallels the freedom movement of today while written in 1784, the Sage of K√∂nigsberg had this to say:

(from the Great Ideas Penguin Books series)


An Answer To The Question: What Is Enlightenment ?

Enlightenment in mans emergence from his self incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use ones own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self incurred if its cause is not the lack of understanding, but the lack of resolution and courage to use it without guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore Sapere aude ! [Dare to be wise !] Have courage to use your own understanding !

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large proportion of men, even when nature has long emancipated them from alien guidance (naturaliter maiorennes [Those who have come of age by virtue of nature]) nevertheless  gladly remain immature for life. For the same reasons, it is all to easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so convenient to be immature ! If I have a book to have understanding in place of me, a spiritual adviser to have conscience for me, a doctor to judge my diet for me, and so on, I need not mae any efforts at all. I need not think, so long as I can pay; others will soon enough take the tiresone job over for me. The guardians who have kindly taken upon themselves the work of supervision will soon see to it that by far the largest part of mankind (including the entire fair sex) should consider the step forward to maturity not only as difficult but also as highly dangerous. Having first infatuated their domestic animals, and carefully prevented the docile creatures from daring to take a single step without the leading strings to which they are tied, they next show them the danger which threatens them if they walk unaided. Now this danger is not in fact so very great, for they would certainly learn to walk after a few falls. But an example of this kind is intimidating, and usually frightens them off from further attempts.

Thus it is difficult for each separate individual to work his way out of the immaturity which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown fond of it and is really incapable for the time being of using his own understanding, because he was never allowed to make an attempt. Dogmas and formulas, those mechanical instruments for rational use (or rather misuse) of his natural endowments, are the ball and chain of his permanent immaturity. And if anyone did throw them off, he would still be uncertain about jumping over even the narrowest of trenches, for he would be unaccustomed to free movement of this kind. Thus, only a few, by cultivating their own minds, have succeeded in freeing themselves from immaturity and in continuing boldly on their way.


This has been 1 pages of a 3 page essay that can be found here: What Is Enlightenment ?


This is the embodiment of the message of the freeman movement, none of these people that started this movement have ever quoted Kant to my knowledge, what is written in this 18th century essay is in the hearts and minds of people today who wish to remove themselves from the shackles of government slavery, to not be the cause of wars, pestilence and disease and not to be victimized by the forces of sophistry, licentiousness and intimidation, the three pillars that hold up the institution of modern slavery.

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About Me

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Author of "Power Outage", available on Smashwords. I am a 50 year old free market libertarian who has had the time to read and consider the nature of globalism and the big machine that is surrounding us. I have participated in politics by running at the Fed level and debated Agenda 21 and 9-11 truth in front of large audiences. My background is in engineering and software creation. My business has provided me with significant time and freedom to learn the truth about the world around us. My goal is to expose Agenda 21 / Sustainable Development and Cultural Marxism.