This is the motto of the Enlightenment:


Dare to know!  Have the courage to use your own reason!  This is the motto of the Enlightenment.

-          Immanuel Kant

By Not Sure

2 June 2024


            Not long ago, a childhood friend unfamiliar with Alan Watt’s work, but aware that it occupies my time and thoughts, asked me what it was about.  I thought it would be easier if she could hear it, rather than listen to me try to explain it.  I played her a little bit of my favorite blurb, “Sing Your Song and Steal Some Time” from February 28, 2007.  After twenty minutes or so, I could see that she was losing interest, so I stopped the audio.  She had a disinterested, but not unpleasant reaction and said, “Oh.  He’s a philosopher.”

            In that blurb, Alan said “Everyone should have their song and what a tragedy to watch people literally mentally and by the destruction of the soul giving up that spark so early on in life and simply living to get old. There's no fire left in them. The song has gone out of them.”

            In today’s Redux from August 10, 2007, when he guest hosted “Truth Hertz Radio” for Charles Giuliani, he said “Life in this system, which is anti-human, tends to drive it out of you. It makes people dead; and the sad thing is you find so many people when they hit about 50 years of age become desperate. They're saddened...Life is drummed out of people. Spontaneity, the creativity of individualism is under incredible attack.”

            In “Sing Your Song and Steal Some Time”, this is what Alan said about the media.  “Speaking of songs, back in about 1844, I think it was Hebbel who wrote a ballad called ‘Der Heideknabe.’  It was about a little boy going through his life and every fear that he had that could happen, every nightmare, did happen, a form of fulfillment of your worst fears. What we have in this system, in this world, is a perpetual fear mongering from the media because the media is part of government. To control people, you've got to enemies. You've got to have a reason for the suits and ties at the top to stand proudly and gesticulate and pose and read the speeches that are written for them, to tell us all how they're going to take care of the problems, even the ones that might be, all the might be's that are out there, all the fears of what could be, to keep us in perpetual childhood.”

            In today’s Redux, this is what Alan said about the media.  The media is an essential arm of government…the Fourth Estate. The media is so effective, especially since television was given out to indoctrinate the people into false perceptions, which become their reality. Perceptions become reality, you see, how it's presented to you.  Whole nations have been trained and weaned and brought up on television with the same main news anchor people for their whole lives...It takes at least eight repetitions of even a simple advertisement or a term like “weapons of mass destruction” for the public to remember that and start parroting it themselves. That's the trick, after the eighth one the public themselves will parrot those terms, those slogans in a conversation with each other.”

            My friend called Alan a philosopher.  In this Redux, a caller said, “It's great that RBN now seems to have its resident philosopher.”  Alan Watt was wary of the philosophies of man.  “Vanity” he would sometimes say.  He did not need his thoughts organized in a systematic fashion that cut across disciplines to organize a world view, or an approach to life.  He did not want followers, but wanted to expose an ancient, anti-human system based on money, where what is human and spontaneous must be standardized, and life must be devalued, and ultimately destroyed when it suits the controllers.  Alan said, “Every one of the great philosophers in recent times at major universities, like Toynbee who trained Rhode Scholars, talked about this agenda.” 

            One can get lost in philosophy.  The survey course gives you the history and an overview, and you grab the high-sounding catch phrases that ring “true-like” to your ears.  Immanuel Kant’s 1784 essay, “Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?” employs the Latin phrase Sapere aude and thus is born the motto of the Enlightenment: “Dare to know!  Have the courage to use your own reason!”  As a motto that stands alone, it has its uses, but for Kant, the individual mattered in the public sphere.  A soldier must take orders.  A soldier must obey.  But the scholar-soldier can protest the order publicly, in scholarly fashion, in a public square that is enlightened, whose freedom has been secured…somehow.

            In other words, the Kantian idea is to have the courage to use your own reason once the public square has been made free enough for you to venture out there.  To what end?  To be just another “free” voice expounding on rights and reason.  Kant “hoped that perpetual peace could be secured through an international federation of republican and international cooperation.”  Sounds like globalism to me.

            You can see his influence on the Encyclopedists -- comprehensive and democratic knowledge freely available for everyone.  Sounds like the internet.  Kant condemned excesses but he had enthusiasm for the American and French Revolutions.  He claimed that the French Revolution demonstrated that the “human race has always progressed and will further progress toward the better.”  ‘Progress’ is a favorite word of the controlling class who endlessly herd us into the new pens they’ve built.

            Be wary of the philosophies of men.  Dare to know for your own sake.  Freedom is not in some distant time in a public square whose ‘perpetual peace’ has been “secured through an international federation of republican and international cooperation.”  It is available to you now and here, if truth is what you seek, and your own mind is where you look.


© Not Sure