In defense of a new project illuminist

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Contemporary thinkers should to mobilize as did the thinkers of the eighteenth century and the ideologists of socialism in the nineteenth century in defense of a new Enlightenment project seeking to create a new model of society and new institutions that help to eliminate the barbarism that overwhelms the world we live in and to promote the pursuit of happiness of all human beings.

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In defense of a new project illuminist

  1. 1. 1 IN DEFENSE OF A NEW PROJECT ILLUMINIST Fernando Alcoforado * In the eighteenth century, several thinkers began to mobilize in defense of ideas that guided the renovation of existing practices and institutions across Europe. Raising philosophical questions they thought the condition and the happiness of man, the Enlightenment movement systematically attacked all that was deemed contrary to the pursuit of happiness, justice and social equality. The Enlightenment was based on the belief in the power of reason and progress, freedom of thought and political emancipation. Many of the philosophers of the French Enlightenment had visited England, which in a sense was more liberal than France. Back in his native France, they gradually began to rebel against the authoritarianism and not long to also turn against the power of the Church, the king and the aristocracy. The Enlightenment was, therefore, a general, philosophical, political, social, economic and cultural movement, which advocated the use of reason as the best way to achieve freedom, autonomy and political emancipation. Most Enlightenment philosophers had an unshakable belief in human reason. Therefore, Enlightenment thought elects the "reason" as the great instrument of reflection can improve and do more just and functional institutions. Enlightenment philosophers understood that if the man does not have a guaranteed freedom, reason ends up being hampered by barriers such as religious belief or the imposition of governments that oppress the individual. Religious institutions were systematically attacked by these Enlightenment thinkers. The intrusiveness of the Catholic Church in the economic and political issues of the time was considered harmful to the development and progress of society. In the opinion of the Enlightenment, political institutions concerned with freedom should replace the reigning Absolutist State. With the Enlightenment's going to have an optimistic view of the world that would not like to interrupt their progress to the extent that the man had full use of their rationality. Natural rights, respect for diversity of ideas and social justice should promote the improvement of the human condition. Offering these ideas, the Enlightenment led the bourgeois revolutions in France and around the world that brought the end of the “ancien regime” and the installation of doctrines of liberal character which prevail in the world today. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, philosophers linked to the Frankfurt School, published in 1985 by Zahar Editora book A Dialética do Esclarecimento (The Dialectic of Enlightenment) in which they affirmed that the Illuminist program radicalized the traditional role of knowledge imagining the objective, neutral, and headed inexorably for the emancipation of humanity. According to Adorno and Horkheimer, the control of nature is taken to its extreme by the dismantling of the myth and truth production that withdraw men the heavy burden of fear and uncertainty in the world, ensuring order and meaning to human existence. Control the world by the technique, making, increasingly, power and knowledge are synonymous. It is, therefore, the disenchantment of the world which underpins the Enlightenment project of modernity. We emphasize that the purpose of the work of Adorno and Horkheimer is to understand how humanity, instead of finding their redemption based on the Enlightenment project has deteriorated in successive processes of self-destruction, heading towards a new form of barbarism like what is happening to throughout history.
  2. 2. 2 As the Enlightenment project has not achieved the intended goals after the bourgeois revolutions in the world, many thinkers, including Karl Marx, tried to keep alive the Enlightenment in the nineteenth century by advocating socialism and communism as models of society that would lead to the achievement of happiness, justice and social equality. The advent of the Russian Revolution in 1917, followed by the establishment of the socialist countries bloc in Eastern Europe after the 2nd World War, the Chinese Revolution in 1949, the Cuban Revolution in 1959, among others, have created the impression that a new world, socialist, even with different nuances in each country would be in gestation. The perspective was that humanity was heading inexorably towards socialism. However, the socialist project as it was built in the Soviet Union and other countries turned into state capitalism, with political power exercised by despotic and corrupt form of a new kind of bourgeois (bourgeois state or nomenclature). The proletariat, on behalf of which the socialist revolution took place did not have the power and the population did not participate in the decisions of governments. Again, a new Enlightenment project failed in the world. Adorno and Horkheimer argue that the supremacy of the technique paved the way for the political rant. Scientific progress, in that technically enabled the elimination of poverty brought, however, its growth, which, for both authors, denounce as obsolete the reason for the rational society preached by the Enlightenment. The failure of human values exposes the transformation of individuals into each other generic beings, empty, equals by isolation in the community, dominated by force. Adorno and Horkheimer end the myth that the Enlightenment would bring freedom to invest the men in the position of lords, the overcoming of domination, which was replaced by reason of market capitalism. In turn, the control over nature was kept, but worsened in the form of domination over men. And market capitalism became the prime instance of this control mode. Adorno and Horkheimer end the myth that the Enlightenment would bring freedom to invest the men in the position of lords, the overcoming of domination, which was replaced for the reason of market capitalism. In turn, the control over nature was kept, but worsened in the form of domination over men. And market capitalism became the prime instance of this control mode. Being global and ubiquitous, market capitalism has the necessary technical, provided by science, to make men gears your engine, negating them through the economic principle of full competition. The totalitarianism of market capitalism extinguished autonomous thinking and enhances uniformity and unanimity in a mass society, amorphous as that experienced in the contemporary era in Brazil and worldwide. Instead of humanistic education, mass education imposed today worldwide is not intended to form the spirit, conscious citizens of the world who live to transform it, but instead, enable the individual to live in this society and chaired by the technical the corporate values of profit, competition and professional success. All are identical in spiritual mediocrity. And the masses are powerless in this society ruled by the principle of coercion. In liberal societies, passions and interests are transformed into all walks of life are determined by economic factors. Associates, distant individuals, industry and science, now merged as if they were a single instance, consolidate their supremacy on contemporary society, determining its direction with the same impudence and impersonality of an invisible hand, according Adorno and Horkheimer. Autonomy for the market goes against total dependence of the
  3. 3. 3 individual. Totalitarianism in the market is able to produce homogeneous with the support of mass media complex that Adorno and Horkheimer called cultural industry that promotes the same time relations materials production and ideological forms of domination. The cultural industry is the term used by Adorno and Horkheimer to describe this way of doing culture (cinema, music, etc.) from the logic of market capitalism. Means that it started to produce art with the purpose of profit. For this, the transmissions should be immediately understood by all. In this context, this precarious form of mass education, which replaces the humanistic education of yore, reinforces the elements of passivity and likeness, within a broader system of domination. The cultural industry is therefore the last link in the chain of bondage society by totalitarianism market. Also using the technique, she works to perpetuate the system. Predominates uniformity and consensus. And society accepts without resistance, according Adorno and Horkheimer, the intolerable. Adorno says that the disappearance in today's world of the last reserves of critical rationality by rejecting the way the media manipulates and imposes a mass culture that determines the values of behavior to be followed by the society blocking the creativity of the human being, who happens to passively accept the purposes previously established by power holders. Changing this prevailing situation in Brazil and in the world represents a huge challenge for contemporary thinkers who need to mobilize as did the thinkers of the eighteenth century and the ideologists of socialism in the nineteenth century in defense of a new Enlightenment project seeking to create a new model of society and new institutions that help to eliminate the barbarism that overwhelms the world we live in and to promote the pursuit of happiness of all human beings. * Fernando Alcoforado , member of the Bahia Academy of Education, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona, http://www.tesisenred.net/handle/10803/1944, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others.

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