Have the Courage! To Profess Nothing and Be Nothing

By Alex Blum

Today I was to speaking to someone (and by speaking I mean texting) about Immanuel Kant, a conversation in which I assessed him as a man of reason. The response: “What do you mean by reason?” was at once facetious and deeply telling of a mindset which has become the spirit of an age. Gone, is the Enlightenment ethos, Kant’s giddy expression of humanity’s light, “Have the courage to use your own reason!” We now live in an age in which reason itself is subjective, where Truth with a capital T means nothing and Plato is naught but an old white fascist. A world where the microaggression merits the recession of the intellect into a safe space, where prejudice is now the original sin that we must all cleanse ourselves of. ‘Prejudice’, which is the formation of almost all our opinions, based on aesthetic preferences and not reason or experience. To purge the human being of prejudice is to force us to find another way to decide on matters of life, love and philosophy – but what? Not reason, which is subjective. Not science, which is a sexist social construct, and least of all religion, which is an old boy’s club of superstition and foolishness. All that’s left to us is the sterile nihilism of a relativistic attitude, a world seen through the lens of race and gender where the goal is a ‘conversation’ but everyone already knows the right answer as soon as they’ve entered the room. The ‘dialogue’ is a farce, because there is only one right answer. However, these are the people who also believe that everything is subjective, save for of course the objective evils of racism and sexism through which all of human existence becomes a clear tale of oppression along superficial lines. The answer to that oppression? To promote cultural change within the bubble of an already liberal school. These social justice proposals shall surely sweep the world stage. The echo chamber, indeed, echoes a little louder.

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A Partial Manifesto

By Alex Blum

Last year at this time, my enemy was scientific materialism. In between then and now, I thought it was existentialism. Now, I know it to be relativism – the postmodern nightmare. What comes next must transcend all of these, as well as religion, which is but myth and dust. However, whatever transcends it must be religious. It must hold a place for the transcendence of the human being, a foundation for morality and dignity that shall not be trespassed.

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Monadology

By Alex Blum

NOTE: This one’s from freshman year, not as complicated, but a nice concept

Walking through the city, we find a world that spans outward from our perspective. The shining skyscrapers reflect an endless sky. The park benches reflect the shadows of trees above. But if it happened to be August 6th of 1945, the benches would reflect the ashes of dead children. The sky would reflect the death cloud of the city. These two experiences are necessary to paint a full portrait of the city, and yet we can only have one of them. Those who inherit the legacy of annihilation live in a different world than the Americans who cheered the news of the bomb. Those who have not experienced the ruin of the city cannot understand those who have. We all experience a portrait of the world, and yet we are enslaved within our own portraits. We deny the reality of the other because we are so trapped within our own experience, and our experience of the world is a Monad. Each human being can be seen as a Monad – a perspective, an observer, a cul-de-sac through which soul passes through matter. Can we ever see the city as it truly is? Can we transcend our own Monads and understand the reality of the other? We must create the perspective that is every perspective, the eyes that see the self as other and the other as self. This is the pinnacle of our conscious evolution, the Monad that contains all other Monads, and thus reflects reality most clearly.

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