… for Pinker there are no bad Enlightenment ideas. One of the features of the comic-book history of the Enlightenment he presents is that it is innocent of all evil. Accordingly, when despots such as Lenin repeatedly asserted that they engaged in mass killing in order to realise an Enlightenment project – in Lenin’s case, a more far-reaching version of the Jacobin project of re-educating society by the methodical use of terror – they must have been deluded or lying. How could a philosophy of reason possibly be implicated in murderous totalitarianism?
Saturday, February 24, 2018
… Unenlightened thinking: Steven Pinker’s embarrassing new book is a feeble sermon for rattled liberals. (hat tip, Dave Lull.)