The Revenge of Unreason

The real battle of our age is not Right vs. Left, but Enlightenment vs. Counter-Enlightenment. And the Enlightenment is losing.

During the Weimar Republic, a US journalist with the impressive name of Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker wrote a bestseller called “Germany, Nazi or Communist?” which portrayed the country’s future as a stark choice between these extremes. It was to become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as having lost faith in both capitalism and democracy after the great crash of 1929, these two radical ideologies also presented themselves to the public as the only possible solutions to the ailments of society. Furthermore went out of their way to paint their respective nemesis as an absolute evil that they would protect them from. To this end, they deformed language to present reasonable arguments against them made by moderates as evidence of the omnipresence and pervasiveness of their enemies, continually upping the levels of hysteria and sense of urgency to scare people into their clutches. In other words, they needed each other to animate their respective nightmares, and to this end shared a common enemy; truth itself.