5 Answers

  1. Of course, the Enlightenment as a prerequisite for totalitarianism has been discussed only recently-since the middle of the 20th century, when the theory of totalitarianism was formulated and after learning the lessons of fascism and German Nazism. It would be strange if someone had talked about this before without having the term “totalitarianism”at hand. And it was precisely as an attempt to understand the lessons of the twentieth century that this idea appeared, and not at all to “humiliate” someone there.

    This idea was first suggested by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer in their famous book The Dialectic of Enlightenment. The basic idea is that the horrors of Nazism are indeed genetically linked to the lofty ideals of” reason “and” liberation ” that were promoted in the eighteenth century. And pointing out that the Enlightenment is Montesquieu with his theory of the separation of powers, and totalitarianism is a dictatorship, does not mean anything at all, because in addition to Montesquieu, it is Voltaire with his “enlightened absolutism” and Rousseau with generally very vague political ideas that resemble romanticized anarchism.

    And in general, the idea is quite different, it's not at all about the difference in the political structure. The idea is that the cult of Reason as the central idea of the Enlightenment, as well as the cult of the transformative man who transforms the world to suit his needs, relying on this very Reason-the same idea underlies the totalitarian structure of the state, as Mussolini thought, for example (actually, the author of the term “totalitarian state”). Namely, a totalitarian state is a state that controls every aspect of the lives of its subjects, just as Enlightenment man sought to control Nature.

    In general, the Enlightenment is guilty of placing too much hope in man, naively believing him to be a reasonable and responsible being. Instead, today we understand that it is not reason that guides a person, but an egoistic instinct that subordinates reason to its needs. And instead of the beautiful and lofty ideal of a Reasonable person, today we have an idiot with an atomic bomb: he had enough reason to create this very bomb, but alas, he no longer has enough reason to think about whether it is necessary to create such a thing at all.

  2. Enlightenment raised a person to the level of God, put him instead of God. And if a person is the most important thing, then you can choose the person who is the best, who has the right to dictate his will to everyone, destroying those who disagree.

  3. Briefly.
    The Enlightenment gave birth to humanism.
    The measure of everything was not God, but man.
    Almost all secular structures are humanistic.
    Even Nazism, they just shifted the concept of man to some model, but again, racial cleansing and the fight against communism and the murder of disabled people were taken as something that would save the world from crisis, make it stable, peaceful and creative.
    You just need to kill all the extra people and there will be happiness.
    Fascism is even worse, because they are relatively more tolerant within the nation and generally for order.
    However, there are problems with the term, because according to the statement that the enlightenment is the basis of totalitarianism, it turns out that Vissarionych is not totalitarian. Because Sovietism did not proceed from humanism, but considered man to be a means of matter, not a measure of matter .

  4. The age of Enlightenment has never (until recently) been considered associated with totalitarianism. Another thing is that a new ideology is being formed that denies some of the foundations of the Enlightenment as a system of views. In order to promote this ideology, various negative characteristics are being attributed to the Enlightenment. Even such nonsense as to “humiliate the enemy” at any cost.

  5. The age of Enlightenment cannot be a forerunner of totalitarianism, because this era is characterized primarily by rationalism. And the plump people in the portraits wearing gorgeous wigs are some of the smartest people in the history of mankind. It was at that time that people were already free from religion, but not yet enslaved to ideologies.

    The forerunner of totalitarianism is the 19th century, along with all its fantastic, idiotic, mystical, romantic, slavish ideas that were stuffed and propagated by thugs.

    A conversation with an enlightenment philosopher is a polite, intelligent conversation about the theory of separation of powers.

    A conversation with a 19th-century German philosopher is: “… and in the second vision, the Holy Spirit himself appeared to him! But what about hula? That's not what you want. Here the matter is thin. Do you respect alchemy? Do you have any money to borrow until next week?”

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