I spent much of yesterday composing a new post about the ‘Anti-West’ stance of countries like Russia, China and Iran – in other words, I thought, ‘Anti-Enlightenment’; only to realise that I don’t really know enough about the subject to qualify me to pontificate. So I stopped.

I just wish other bloggers would exercise the same restraint.

But I do know about my dreams. Last night I had one featuring the oily Catholic Jacob Rees-Mogg dying, approaching the pearly gates, and meeting Jesus; who tells him: ‘of course, you realise I’m a socialist?’ That would be worth becoming a Christian to see.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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2 Responses to Aborted

  1. kstankers5 says:

    Very wise…. and very honest of you, Bernard! And, as you say, contrary to the current ‘Zeitgeist’ where, unhappily, people ‘shoot from the lip’ with impunity 😒

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think, however, that a blog like yours is more like a seminar, where the ‘speaker’ might want to try out ideas and initiate debate. There is a lower validity threshold in such a forum compared with, for example, an article in a refereed journal.
    The topic you mention is an interesting one, I think.
    I will attempt what you rejected.
    The Russian Revolution can be seen as involving a conflict between the Enlightenment themes and principles of Marxism on the one hand, and the imperatives of feudal and imperial Russia on the other, if ‘Russia’ is defined very broadly as comprising components of the former tsarist empire. The Mensheviks and Lenin of the NEP represent the first tendency, and Stalin and his enablers the second. Lenin, for example, was strongly opposed to nationalism and was a trenchant opponent of the First World War, a stance which was decisive in the success of the October Revolution.
    Marxism is generally accepted to have failed in practice, yet it was applied or imposed in greater Russia in circumstances where more traditional, anti-Enlightenment, structures and norms remained dominant. Which is not to suggest that Stalin was not also a supporter of science and technology. The conflict I am referring to was also present to some extent within Stalinism itself.
    Similarly, Mao and his irrationalist projects, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, hijacked the Chinese Revolution and the CCP, whereas there had been powerful Enlightenment forces at work in the CCP and outside it; which did undergo a resurgence after Mao’s death.
    The personality cults which dominated both revolutions in the form of Stalinism and Maoism, that were used to crush the remnants of progressive Marxism, remained manifestly anti-Enlightenment and parasitic upon traditional world views and structures.


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