From Metapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Counter-Enlightenment is a 20th-century term used by some commentators to describe claimed multiple strains of thought that arose in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in opposition to the 18th-century Enlightenment.

One starting point of discussion on this concept in English is the Jewish leftist Isaiah Berlin's 1973 Essay, The Counter-Enlightenment. He published widely about the Enlightenment and its challengers and did much to popularize the concept of a Counter-Enlightenment movement that he claimed to be against the rationalism, universalism, and empiricism, associating this most closely with German Romanticism. The claimed consequence of this revolt against the Enlightenment, claimed to have been more important than the Enlightenment itself, was claimed to be pluralism, associated with liberalism. In contrast, some of the supporters of the Enlightenment were claimed to be monists, whose claimed political, intellectual and ideological offspring were authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and terror.

There were earlier somewhat similar views by authors from the Frankfurt School, such as in Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), by two Jewish authors, claiming that certain Enlightenment aspects, supposedly epitomized by the Marquis de Sade, led to the Holocaust.

Leftist Wikipedia, possibly disliking even leftist criticisms of the Enlightenment, strangely categories it as "Lutheran history", "Right-wing politics", and "Anti-intellectualism".

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.