I'm ambivalent about or hostile to the Enlightenment, and insofar as the American experiment is an Enlightenment project, I'm ambivalent about it. After all, my own ancestors were Loyalists who fled the country, if they weren't random Huguenots, Germans, or divers Scandinavians in the Old Countries at that time. Anyway, but I've come to the realization over the past few days that Texas, as a spiritual ideal, signifies almost everything I distrust about the American experiment. Of course, Texas is also my vision of Hell: hot and full of Baptists. But Texas to me signifies the libertarian perversion of the Enlightenment ideal: Ayn Rand or Nozick's solitary individual with no laws to constrain his/her "liberty", which consequently means no laws to protect the less privileged from the whims of the rentier class who are not constrained by conventional notions of virtue. Contrast with, say, a conception of freedom more similar to Epictetus' but not quite the same, which would be freedom from the passions in order to do good or be excellent.
Here is Epictetus on freedom, you'll see how that is not quite what I say it is: http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/dep/dep087.htm
Anyway, in short, I dislike Texas qua Texas.
|< Training and things | I have a new favourite tv presenter. >|