Spengler on Kant via Heaven on Earth

One of my favorite analysts of the world scene, David Goldman, aka Spengler, has just written an excellent piece on why liberals have so much difficulty these days (and many days) coming to terms with reality. As he succinctly puts it: “Liberal rationality is a pose. Knowledge is existential.” Read the whole piece, but here I reproduce his comment about my book.

Prof. Richard Landes’ new book Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience contains a marvelous discussion of the grandfather of all World Government schemes, Immanuel Kant’s “Universal Peace.” Kant, the supposed exemplar of Enlightenment rationality, wrote with cultish enthusiasm of “the realization of Nature’s secret plan to bring forth a perfectly constituted state as the only condition in which the capacities of mankind can be fully developed.” Reading what Kant actually wrote, we confront not a rational philosopher but a deluded dreamer.  Scratch a liberal, bleed a millennial fanatic. My review of Richard’s book will appear in the next issue of First Things magazine.

With his extensive knowledge of ecclesiastical history (e.g., Augustine), and his wide-ranging analysis of the current world scene, I eagerly anticipate one of the more substantive reviews of my book.

One Response to Spengler on Kant via Heaven on Earth

  1. Ray in Seattle says:

    Just a thought to add: I would say that anyone who lives their lives immersed in ideological belief will find rationality an obstacle to be avoided rather than a useful tool for understanding reality. But I have found that liberals have no monopoly on that defect. Every ideological paradigm has its zealots and true believers who lose the ability to be objective observers of nature.

    Fortunately, most humans also have the ability to compartmentalize. In that way they can function normally at work as a loan officer at the bank, for example, but may attend neo-Nazi picnics on the weekend.

    ****

    PS: I finally found a copy of your new book for under twenty bucks. It was shipped today. I’m very much looking forward to reading it this fall.

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