The theme of the Enlightenment was not one I would have chosen. That choice was not made by us in collaboration: it was dictated by Carl.
It was dictated by Carl, who then abdicated.
I was willing to try to play along, but it is apparent to me now I am unable. I am freaking unable.
I am freaking out and I have freaked out all along.
I have more than ambivalence to the Enlightenment: I have extreme aversion to it.
What is the historical Enlightenment?
It’s a willingness to accept an enormous level of anxiety about the basic project of the self. Is that level of anxiety completely unproductive? Quite possibly – I wouldn’t be surprised to see the entire three centuries of intellectual edifice founded on this anxiety come crumbling down.
I might be one of the people cheering, in that event.
I have no willingness to bear this excruciating burden of anxiety.
Kant said, “Dare to use your own Reason.”
But what I would reply is, “There is no such a thing as one’s own Reason.”
Whatever reason is, it is social and political and decidedly not private or natural.
If my autonomy, or my sense of my own autonomy, is founded on use of “my own Reason” but in my heart I suspect that there is no such thing as “my own Reason,” I am suspended, in my project of selfhood, in anxiety.
It is painful to contemplate the anxiety of one’s own anxiety.
I feel regret about freaking out, though.
I would easily understand why my co-collaborators would not want to stay in the “room” with me – how would it be possible to collaborate with, or even talk to, someone freaking out? I think one of the weirdest and most awful things about my participation in the blog has been how difficult it has been to be honest. The “freaking out” wasn’t even honest, a guarantee of honesty. It didn’t provide a way out of the inhibition I’ve felt, either. And this is very strange.
Daring to use my own reason, I boldly state: I have no private reason? (And is it possible to say such a thing boldly?)