Enemies of Enlightenment

I’m continuing to enjoy these lectures.

In the last article, I speculated about how at the end of every great age of Western history two different types of radicals emerge. There are the status quo fanatics who combust the current social order by taking it to a ludicrous extreme and there are reactive creative deviants.

At the end of the 18th century, we can see the turning from the Enlightenment to Romanticism. The French Revolution is setting France ablaze. It is the time of the Jacobins and The Terror. The Napoleonic Wars are coming which will fall like an avalanche on the German states. Meanwhile, there are these assholes in the future Germany who are beginning to break with the Enlightenment.

According to Isaiah Berlin, an obscure figure named Johann Georg Hamann was at the forefront of the Romantic reaction against the Enlightenment. He claims that Romanticism which dominated the 19th century grew out of the German Counter-Enlightenment at the end of the 18th century.

Note: We live in a different time. The Enlightenment era is long since dead. It was followed by the Romantic era which in turn gave way to the Modernist era which began to emerge out of the art and philosophy of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is Modernism which has shaped our world and which should be the focus of our criticism.

About Hunter Wallace 9710 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

30 Comments

      • Kant was his acquaintance, and probably too kind. Hamaan “confessed that he could not conceive of a Creative Spirit without genitalia; indeed, he was quite happy to assert that the genitals are the unique bond between creature and Creator.”

        From the source you linked: “He left university without completing his studies and (…) led a high life until he ran out of friends, money and support. In a garret, depressed and impoverished, he read the Bible cover to cover and experienced a religious conversion. He returned to the House of Berens in Riga, where they evidently forgave him his failure. He fell in love with Christoph Berens’ sister, Katharina, but was refused permission to marry her by his friend, on the grounds of his religious conversion. Berens was (…) nauseated by the more pious manifestations of Hamann’s new-found religiosity. Smarting from this blow and its motivations, Hamann returned to his father’s house in Königsberg, where he lived for the rest of his life until his final months (…) Eventually, through the intercession of his acquaintance, Immanuel Kant, he found employment as a low-level civil servant working in the tax office (…) During this time, despite his committed Christianity, he lived with a woman whom he never married….”

  1. Hunter I think you are over-projecting from the subversive nature of Modernism, onto the way you interpret previous ideological changes, which were not really that stark

    Renaissance and Reformation often are regarded as flowing together … the Reformation was subversive of the mediaeval church but less directly so of the Renaissance, although it was a step backwards from Renaissance sophistication and humanism

    Enlightenment and Rationalism and Liberalism likewise flowed from the Reformation … Luther’s idea of read for yourself, think for yourself, had its own consequences

    Romanticism likewise did not really ‘fight’ Enlightenment, so much as re-direct in order to fill in what was felt to be missing

    The real-problem was that Reformation Bible reading, exposed Christianity as something Semitic, Judaic and not really true, the Bible really a fairly awful book despite some lovely passages

    And similarly, Reason also could not bear the burdens placed on it, so Liberalism was unbounded in its potential for excess

    And with both Christianity and Liberalism being too weak to support a culture, the way was open for total subversion, Marx, Freud and the rest, the Cultural Marxist and Modernist social engineers, largely Jewish, seeing a field wide open for their particular seeding and ploughing, and the white oligarchs finding they benefit from this game as well

    The violence of various stages is really in general various groups jockeying for power, using the ideology at hand for cover, that is no less true today

    Oligarchs have decided to enshrine their power currently, by a mixed mafia of Jewish elites, LGBT, colour minorities and migrants, who are all instinctively feeling that power is being offered to them on a platter, they are the empowered agents of oligarchs, the new praetorian guard of emperors

    The goal to destroy the middle class of European whites and their lives, given that such whites, given a little security and opportunity, are the most dangerous dissidents and independent people of the world

    • Good comment, as usual, Brabantian. Yes, “using the ideology at hand for cover” is exactly what the Usurers do, in every age, decade, and year. But isn’t “Oligarchs have decided to enshrine their power (…)by a mixed mafia of Jewish elites” redundant?

    • The rejection of Christianity is inherent in all things Jewish and Subversive. From LGBT, to Feminism, to the Sexual Revolution to Atheist subculture and even materialism which pacifies the masses.

      There is no White ethnostate in the future that doesn’t include Christianity, and it will be those Christians who will rule over it, not LARPers or fedora tippers.

    • “…And similarly, Reason also could not bear the burdens placed on it, so Liberalism was unbounded in its potential for excess…”

      and we live everyday with these consequences.

      thanks poster for an eloquent review.

  2. Berlin should have directed his critiques at fellow tribesmen smitten with Marxism and Revolution, would he have blamed the Germans for that as well? Stop taking tribal remedies for tribally-induced malaise!

  3. The idea that some things are somehow inevitable is, I suppose, refreshing and invigorating for some.

    For me however, it induces feelings impotence and utter despair…

  4. In my view, feeling a sense of impotence and utter despair is tied to the belief that the status quo will continue forever or at least for centuries. I don’t think it will though. I think it will run its course and end in some kind of catastrophe.

    • Nothing is set in stone. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people all the time. The evil prosper and decent people get crushed by the machine. Not wanting to get too philosophical, (lol!) but maybe it is all inevitable and cyclical…

      But I simply can’t accept that.

      I WON’T accept that

    • I think you are correct. I’ve never seen the amount of tension this high. Where I live it’s like everyone knows something is about to occur.

  5. Hamann’s linking of sex to creation isn’t odd. There are parallels to Blake and others of the time. Hamann also took on the Enlightenment’s fetishization of Reason, which is sensible. It’s not as if anyone is capable of neutrality or objectivity.

    • That the Anti-Enlightenmentist’s genitalia as the bond to a creator with genitalia has parallels in paganism and pagan fertility rites is a neutral, objective observation. Whereas the Enlightenment’s “fetishization of Reason” seems closer to the Biblical personification of Wisdom as a motherly-protective, wise woman in Proverbs, etc. I failed to address the implied doubt that the Christian faith is true, in Brabantian’s commen, and I don’t agree that the Bible is “Judaic” or the Christian faith is “too weak to support a culture.” Judaism is based not on the Bible but on Talmud and other extra-Biblical sources, and although the Christian faith as such does not support a culture of imperialism and usury, it is the best culture.

      • I prefer the variant provided for by thee author in ecclesiates ” too the man who walks under the sun or the preacher. Much more alpha

      • Who could deny that christianty hasnt taken mankind ie.civilasation to the very apex its highest peak especiall thee adherentes of the faith who spring from the fertile northlands

  6. The more I learn about the Enlightenment, the more gay I think it is. It’s literally a bunch of pampered rich kids who believe savages in loincloths who butcher poorer Whites could be just like them if given the opportunity.

    Oh and then there are degenerates like Marquis De Sade. Really the Enlightenment and the Modern era or Post-Modern era have a lot in common.

    • There are paralells from the Enlightenment to today where affluent elites like Sam Hyde teach African refugees how to program JavaScript.

    • Interested that you mention spoiled rich kids.

      It’s apparent when you look at the BLM movement as a whole, the majority of them seem to be spoiled SJW white brats. Indeed, most of the people fire bombing the courthouse in Portland are white.

      I wonder if you get to a certain point with material wealth that you get bored and come up with crazy things like “systemic racism” and “microaggressions”.

  7. How did the Enlightenment succumb to Romanticism?

    Maybe a better question might be : ——- ‘How did The Enlightenment lead to Romanticism?’

    For me, the answer lies in the Enlightenment being essentially a mental toy of the idle upper class, who, in looking for meaning, found it in the abstractions of fondling the notion of overthrowing convention, nature, tradition, and, perhaps, God, as well.

    In a lot of ways, you might say that the Big City West Coast of 2020 is a spawn of ‘The Enlightenment’ for it is rooted in a nihilism born of idleness.

    That so, it had to give way to something, and, given that all humans have a romantic side, why not ‘Romanticism’?

      • Nobody remembers modern art nothing new and improved about it marginal at best reminds me of the fable ” thee emperor who wore no clothes.

  8. Looking at life from the perspective of a Jonathan Swift or a Lord Chesterfield gets very tedious. “Leonidas was a madman.” – that sort of thinking permits no genuine idealism. In the contemporary age the vulgarizing reductionism of mass media culture is never ending attempt to destroy all genuine artistic sensibilities. The so-called “heirs to the Enlightenment” (the only cultural conceit they need), and the Jews who control their patronage know the danger that any sort of authentic European work poses to their totalitarian aspirations. They’re willing to burn down Notre Dame, rebuild it in with glass and concrete.

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