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simply to see

May 14, 2009

[Guardian] John Gray is far too forbearing to tell us that he told us so, but he did. The title of one of his key works indicates his foresight: False Dawn: Delusions of Global Capitalism. What is significant is that this closely reasoned polemic came not from the pen of some hot-eyed zealot of the left or a green-fingered son of Gaia, but from a liberal conservative thinker of a quietist cast of mind, an admirer, albeit in a qualified way, of Margaret Thatcher, a shrewd commentator on the likes of Friedrich Hayek and George Soros, and a dedicated foe of Enlightenment values. He is surely the most incisive political philosopher that we have, and one whose time has, sad to say, definitely come.

Sad, because no one wants to be around when Cassandra’s prophecies come true, not even Cassandra herself. Gray excoriates the follies of our globalised world more in sorrow than in anger. He has no grand solutions to offer for the troubles of our apocalyptic age, and urges a programme that is radical only in its mutedness: “Other animals do not need a purpose in life … the human animal cannot do without one. Can we not think of the aim of life as being simply to see?” (read)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    May 20, 2009 12:11 am

    I much prefer the assessment of the state of the world and how we got to here, and what, if anything, we can do about it, offered in these two related references.

    Plus this reference on the origins of the power and control seeking perceptual strait-jacket which inevitably created the situation described above.

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