Sapere Aude and Oedipal Constipation
I think what's happening in the US is a gigantic social-wide oedipalconstipation and freezing of action based on everyone's deeplyengrained attitude to our forms of abstract social authority whichmakes it impossible for anyone to " dare to use their own reason," (sapere aude,) and in daring to do so, acting accordingly.Right now, 7 out of 10 people do not approve of the way that theBush administration has been handling the country.I don't think many people see that turning around and headingupward; the real question now is just how low it will go, andwhat'll happen when approval ratings sink to historically low levels.The major political problem of the last six years has been thatpeople are unable to believe just how venal, ugly, and criminal theBush administration has really been. The evidence is in front ofus, but we can't deal with it. We don't want to believe that whatis so is so, because if we do believe it, we'll have to act, andit'll be ugly and disruptive. " Disruptive." Disturbing,unsettling, negative. We may have reached a point now where we are willing to disapprove,but I think we are still far, far away from taking any disapprovingaction.The Bush administration just lies about what's going on, and thatlying has succeeded in stopping people in their tracks. It is as ifpeople think, " well, who am I ( ie what epistemological authoritydo I have?) to say, 'whew, these guys are liars?' " We sit there andlisten to them lie, and it is as if we won't take action until theystop lying, because it will only be if they stop lying that we willunderstand that they are indeed doing horrendous, evil wrong. Ofcourse, they will never stop lying. Lying is no big whiff to them,and they are in it so deep now that that whatever weak knees anyonein the administration might have about lies,lies,lies , is justgoing to seem very minor to the weak knees they have about otherthings they are doing, and - what'll happen to them if they startedbeing honest...We want to apply Kant's motto , "dare to use your own reason," butdo not want to impose, even in so much as to look a liar in the faceand demand that the lying stop. Is there any reason in the world tobelieve that "dare to use your own reason," will never beimpositional, will never be firm? That's psychotic to think that,isn't it? Where is the dare in someone who never holds firm?Hopefully, could find a way to negotiate what form "holding firm"would take, and that this form will be far removed from violence andharmful disruption. It very well may not, however, and I do quiver,waffle, and shirk in this knowledge.I have to get over that. We have to get over that. Otherwise,there will be no advantage for us, no matter how sizable our numbers.