Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today, and the role that can be played by organizations such as the RSA.
Matthew Taylor became Chief Executive of the RSA in November 2006. Prior to this appointment, he was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister.
Taylor was appointed to the Labour Party in 1994 to establish Labour's rebuttal operation. His activities before the Labour Party included being a county councilor, a parliamentary candidate, a university research fellow and the director of a unit monitoring policy in the health service. Until December 1998, Taylor was Assistant General Secretary for the Labour Party. During the 1997 General Election he was Labour's Director of Policy and a member of the Party's central election strategy team. He was the Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research between 1999 and 2003, Britain's leading center left think tank.
Taylor is a frequent media commentator on policy and political issues, and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Observer, New Statesman and Prospect.
European intellectual movement of the 17th18th century in which ideas concerning God, reason, nature, and man were blended into a worldview that inspired revolutionary developments in art, philosophy, and politics. Central to Enlightenment thought were the use and celebration of reason. For Enlightenment thinkers, received authority, whether in science or religion, was to be subject to the investigation of unfettered minds. In the sciences and mathematics, the logics of induction and deduction made possible the creation of a sweeping new cosmology. The search for a rational religion led to Deism; the more radical products of the application of reason to religion were skepticism, atheism, and materialism. The Enlightenment produced modern secularized theories of psychology and ethics by men such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, and it also gave rise to radical political theories. Locke, Jeremy Bentham, J.-J. Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Thomas Jefferson all contributed to an evolving critique of the authoritarian state and to sketching the outline of a higher form of social organization based on natural rights. One of the Enlightenment's enduring legacies is the belief that human history is a record of general progress.
Let's be specific. The reduction in Empathy in US culture was social engineering through "money as speech" funders and perpetrators of "Culture Wars" - WF Buckley, Murdoch, American Idol...its all traceable this time..."Culture War" used against the American citizens by private media owners and political donors despite their Constitution just like CIA might use it against Iranians to destabilize and topple their government! And of course degrading consumerism exported all over the world into the spreading "quiet desperation" that goes along with US style capitalism.
And the rise of inequality? Attacks on democratic institutions by the very few in high places who felt they lost out and were the ones being robbed over the last 60 years! It's obvious now this class war...and this contrived financial attack against the USA, UK, and EU...its all traceable this time...it starts with Mont Pelerin Society/American Enterprise Institute types in Britain and the US to take out effective governments to eliminate tax and laws for labor, industry, and extraction.
No mysteries to cover it up this time like with Isabel of Castille (how could she do that? Duh!), the Inquisition, Counter-Reformation, Religious Wars, Fascism, Communist extremism, Totalitarianism, Red Scare...all covers blaming the people themselves for succumbing to the evil of Reactionary concentrated wealth fighting against rising educated and independent middle classes. Jealous vindictive Minerva dangling talented Arachne from a thread and destroying her beautiful web playing out again each time over and over again!
Now whatever they're going to call this Era...The Anarcho-Capitalist Reactionary Putsch against Global Democracy! Will they finally get caught now that social science knows from neuroscience that manipulating the masses through economic terror and reflexive fear has always really been the cause of this real Evil? As Augustine of Hippo said, "Fear is the beginning of evil."
It's always been about dismantling educated middle class people naturally pursuing their naturally creative work for Progress and Enlightenment! Which means wealth being shared with more and more creators instead of fewer and fewer Plutocrats and Thugs! They always knew they had to manipulate the subconscious, and they knew how to. They cherished that knowledge and passed it along judiciously to each generation's Werkzeug! Today, we know there is a subconscious and we know exactly how it's manipulated for these destructive ends! We see them do it to us today! And to the world!
Love the film. Recently discovered Taylor's essay and the RSA. Always great to find like minded groups. The follow up question is the subject of my latest book Anti-Social Engineering the Hyper-Manipulated Self, "so what can we do about it."
Click here to watch the book trailer.
This man's whole speech is intended to convince you that the powers of the government need to be expanded, hence increasing the power and prestige of his own station in life.
His whole bit about how "some things fail to conform to human intuition"
Translation: You are an idiot, and its best to leave it to the "experts" in Parliament.
Three logics of the Enlightenment? What about one integrated logic? What about Reason? Why assume a dis-integrated, schismatic triptych of logics? Has Kant driven his cleaver into the root of your concepts of consciousness?
What about using the same tool that has been accepted in science to great productive effect? An absolute and unreserved acceptance of existence. An acceptance that your sensations are valid and that your mind is free.
It is difficult to accept your social empathy quotient numbers when you realize that you are talking about billions of free-thinking individuals, and not merely parts in your social machine.
This sounds like a social scientist trying to understand the individualist movement, from the top down. "Global Happiness achievement < 50%", "Anti-immigrant sentiment > 80%", "How can we increase the empathy quotient?", "What programs can we mandate, and what inputs can we regulate to lead to a more optimal society-entity?"
But in the immortal words of Michael Stipe "You can't get there from here". You cannot reach an understanding of the individual by studying society anymore than you can reach an understanding of human health by studying hospitals. You must start at the beginning, at the individual.
Tiny little box?
Why the ad hominem?
Because I do not support totalitarian or mob rule?
Science, technology, innovation!
You think are regressive and lacking imagination?
As for Neanderthal: Based on current evidence I am sure to have a few Neanderthal bits of DNA. How about you?
As for Ignorance I profess mine but strive for new insight and light!
Fundamentalism?? Hardly! The term ZEALOT should have been a clue!
Eric, I guess you fall into the category of the regressive or Neanderthal, lacking the imagination or the will to see a better way. Its the likes of you that will keep western society banging its head against the concrete wall of ignorance & fundamentalism in perpetual war of civilizations & cultures. You really need to learn to think outside that tiny little box you live in.