Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Philosophical Movement! Who Needs It?

The idea that you need a philosophical movement dedicated to the cause of liberty and reason to create a free and scientific society is a blatant rationalization by some intellectuals. There is no historical evidence to show that such philosophical movements are a necessary condition for the rise of good nations. In fact, such movements lead to intellectual corruption and often fail to create a milieu that is conducive for genuine liberty and reason.

A country can find itself sinking deeper and deeper into statism and mysticism despite being home to several prominent intellectuals who night and day philosophize and rant about liberty and reason. On the other hand, a country where very little attention is being paid to the philosophy of liberty and reason may develop an advanced capitalist culture. Countries like the USA, the UK, and Japan have never had philosophically inspired mass movements and yet they are mostly free and they have a scientific culture. Their politics is mostly in control of the men of action—the politicians, who try to attain power by running extensive grassroots level campaigns.

Also, there is no guarantee that a philosophical movement that talks about reason and liberty will implement those ideals if it manages to attain political power. It is easy to talk about all kinds of values when you are out of power, but once you are in power, you may get corrupted or have a change of mind or find yourself incapable of implementing those values. I think, several non-philosophical factors have a much greater role to play in the development of good nations.

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