Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What do you mean by "left"?

This title seems to ask and answer a question:
What's Left of Enlightenment?: A Postmodern Question 
One could understand this title as asking what remains of the Enlightenment, now that we are postmodern. (Possible Answer: The question stated remains.)

Or one could understand it as asking what is politically to the left of the Enlightenment, now that we are postmodern. (Possible Answer: The question stated is politically to the left.)

Other possible readings: e.g.?


At 6:28 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Both readings--simultaneously accepted, held, and passionately defended--is the correct hermeneutic.

As Orwell explains:

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Excellent. Now, forget it.

Jeffery Hodges

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