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    Archive for September 1st, 2019

    British Democracy cannot be reconciled with the Enlightenment

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on 1st September 2019

    This was my comment to this article (It has been deleted by Bloomberg’s webmaster. This deleting allows me to expand my comment.):

    Dear Britain, Where Did It All Go So Wrong?
    U.K. politics is making Italy look like a beacon of stability and calm.
    Ferdinando Giugliano
    September 1, 2019, 2:00 PM GMT+8 Corrected September 1, 2019, 5:44 PM GMT+8
    […] for many years, British politicians were the first to wave their democratic fingers at what was going on in the rest of Europe. They caricatured the EU as an anti-democratic moloch crushing the will of national parliaments from Greece to Italy.
    Now we see Boris Johnson suspending parliamentary democracy for the sake of showing that he is serious about a no-deal Brexit. New elections – which would be the third in four years – loom in what was once the land of political stability. Sure, there are precedents (there always are) and the government sees this is as only way to ensure politicians respect the will of the people.

    The problem may be that the British institutions cannot possibly be reconciled with the teachings of the Enlightenment

    Before the Enlightenment Truth could be found “out there”, in the (outside) world. Since the Enlightenment, Truth is to be “in here”, i.e., in the mind of any lunatic. It had been René Descartes (1596 -1650) who had given the first step thereto with his famous “cogito ergo sum”, “I think, therefore I am”.

    Will of the sheeple? Will of parliament?

    Whereas it is true that Aristotle’s “proairesis”, the preference between two possibilities, is the forerunner of the will,
    (Hannah Arendt “The Life of the Mind”, San Diego, Harvest Book, 1978 One-volume ed., introduction to Volume II, p.6)
    it was only with Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712, – 1778) (and reading Rousseau, Immanuel Kant) and GWF Hegel that what older authors had described as OPINION (ratio) was substituted by WILL (“voluntas”).
    Opinion became suspected because it was contrasted with incontrovertible knowledge of cause and effect and a growing tendency to discard all statement incapable of proof.
    (Friedrich August von Hayek, “The confusion of language in political thought with some suggestions for remedying it”, London, Institute of Economic Affairs, Occasional Paper 20, 1968, p.21)

    As ZeroHedge put it this week-end (yes, it’s the same principle): One can’t blame outgoing IMF head Lagarde for trying to keep a low profile: after all her next job is to head the ECB, and after her absolutely disastrous tenure at the IMF, one can’t wait to see just how she destroys the Eurozone as her final parting gift.

    I said that it was the same principle which is at work in London, Frankfurt and Washington. Indeed, just like Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the ECB and the IMF want to impose the structure of their mind upon reality. The ECB does this inter alia with its interest rates, the IMF with its so-called “programmes”

    Ivo Cerckel

    P.S.: Where was it said that protectionism is the rule and free trade the exception?
    Free trade is an “invention” of the Enlightenment? So is the corrupted definition or notion of “democracy” which is being proposed or advocated,

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