In the French Revolution (European Enlightenment: Age of Reason, = 17th century) in France in Europe: a new Imperium
was invented, with all the characteristics of a religion.
The belief 'ratio'
Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) 'Have the courage to use your own understanding' is another motto of the enlightenment. This suggests that there is more than skill.
The religion 'ratio' was supposed to be universal and to spread the ideas of the revolution, summarized in its main motto "Liberté, égalité, fraternité". The ritual language of this cult was: 'rational language'.
This new shape of 'oppression' smothered already initiating social revolutions against aristocratic and hereditary power. Language Imperialism replaced physical war (Imperialism) with 'addiction to words'. It was close to a major paradigm shift. People suddenly became willing to die for 'words' like 'freedom' (empty abstract concepts).
The former rule of life 'might makes right' was replaced by values around the word 'equality'.
A kind of zombie paradise. Equality of 'individuals', equality before the law, social justice, universal human rights and democracy for individuals. 'A man's word is his bond' was replaced with 'freedom of speech'.
Power shifted from the 'upper class' to an 'upper middle class', where shrude individuals (superzombies) proved to be masters in using the equality concepts to make huge individual profits. This system of 'rational' social principles raised the average standard of living in the west never seen before levels. Rational technology realized 'miracles.
Practically all progress was realized by exploitation of people and resources outside the Western World. But for a few ages this 'dark secret' was kept hidden from general attention, by usage of all kinds of myths. From 'stupid blacks are happy to serve as slave for western masters' to 'infinite growth'
The general idea was that by worship of Ra-tio, man could pass 'the final fronture'. 'The church' was replaced by a trust in logic and individuality, a puritan suppression of emotion.
This Cult of Ra-tio copied a lot from The Church of catholicism: schools as churches, universities as cathedrals, teachers as priest of reason, professors as highpriests, ratio as god, theory as belief. New credo: life = pure ra-tio (not a break with Aristotle, but confirming the dualism in the view of life of Aristotle).
Enlightenment worshipped Ra-tio in 2 ways: 1) practical Ra-tio (natural sciences, technical sciences); 2) humanistic Ra-tio (social sciences).
Humanistic rationality from the very start was split in a moderate part that was open to change and a puritan part. The part open to change evolved to modern social science, but is a church nevertheless.
Puritanism in hard shape fled from England via Holland to the New World. During the course of the early seventeenth century, however, increasing numbers of immigrants, extreme Calvinistic Protestants, managed to establish a group of autonomous North American colonies, including Plymouth (1620), Massachusetts (1628), New Hampshire (1629), Connecticut (1633), Maine (1635), Rhode Island (1636), and New Haven (1638). American Puritanism would become more severe than the European variant.
The position of Immanuel Kant end of Enlightenment is illustrative. Kant revived 'metaphysics', and following Aristotelian tradition in Catholicism and Protestantism adopts the view that our 'mind' determines the nature of our experiences (mind body split). In fact Kant claims that 'intelligence' is 'in the mind', causing the belief that there is more than skill.
Since then the debates about 'intelligence', 'understanding', 'consciousness' that it is not fruitful to discuss things that don't exist.
Kant about Enlightenment:
Enlightenment is the emancipation of man from .... incapacity to use his own 'intelligence' without external guidance.
Henk Tuten: Again presuming that immaterial 'intelligence' exist.
Puritanism echoes in American society today. The American Puritans changed the course of history.
In Europe outside England and Germany most of hard Puritanism (Lutheranism, Calvinism) disappeared, but in America it was the driving force behind slavery, Industrialism, Capitalism, Klu Klux Klan, ...
American Rationalism directly evolved out of hard Puritanism. After WWII American rationalism conquered Europe, and indoctrinated the new class of pro America Middle East dictators.
'Rational' law and order became a perfect excuse for 2nd rate leaders to forget about common sense and to do whatever they wanted. All that was needed was an own interpretation of Ra-tio.
Cult of Ra-tio (Religion of Reason)
1. The Founding Fathers of the United States were heavily 'drugged' by Enlightenment-ideas like 'deism' (belief in Supreme Being) easily accepted slavery of non-christian human animals. The 'Law of Nations' was strongly influenced by the German 'rationalists' Leibnitz and Christian von Wolff. Much more than on the ideas of Locke.
2. European adventurers in Africa promoted the hunting down of men, women and children like beasts, and the burning down of complete villages to capture the inhabitants and sell them like cattle. Such slave traders presented Africans as murderous savages so that extremely brutal slavehunting and inhuman transportation to the Americas appeared as 'Christian concern' and 'enlightened' behavior. European 'Enlightenment' caused darkness in Africa.
Enlightenment made a cult around 'reason' (later: 'understanding'), and promoted 'liberty', 'science', 'rationality' and 'divine' or 'natural law' (the catholic view of life).
The Cult of Ra-tio resulted from the wish for individual profit (egoism) and tremendously expanded skill, but only in the Western World. It was based on belief in infinite growth, and in practice that mostly meant exploitation of the Third World.
Rationalism during Enlightenment was adopted by leading rulers and politicians, and thus weakened the authority of the Pope. In this way it broke down the defences of Catholicism.
Especially those who frequented the universities were affected by the victory of Ra-tio in Enlightenment. Everywhere throughout Europe, 'ra-tionalism' conquered the centres of education.
In 1946 German social theorist Max Horkheimer traced 'the collapse of a large part of the intellectual foundation of our civilisation'. back to the Enlightenment.
Defenders of 'rationalism' and 'individualism' often say: The Enlightenment brought us reliance on the individual, not God or nature
Replacing god 'God' by god 'Ra-tio' is not something to be proud of. And 'reliance on the individual' translated means 'egoism'.
Henk Tuten: You might say that a 21th billionaire relies on individual egoism and values his Ego and Ra-tio higher than the life of say 1 million people in Africa.