Regress

In some of Kant’s more social and political writings there is a distinct sense in which he tacitly thinks that the Eurocentric view is not only the correct one; but that there are important features to the contemporamous European mindset. This goes in line with Kant’s more general address of the broadly enlightenment values.

One particularly interesting notion (in the Antrhopology), is the claim that there is nothing that prevents a regress to a previous and less civilised mode of social living. Libraries may be razed, religion may lose its control, and perhaps even the system of rule can be abolished. What is there to save us from ourselves? I am not entirely sure how we may answer this. It seems like a perennial worry of generations: how the next batch after us may undo what they have strived for so long to protect, save, or establish.

In our times, this too seems a relevant worry. With the economic upsets, there are distinct critical concerns about our current system of political economy; with our geopolitics, we find that the large nationstates are increasingly coming to the realisation of their invasive world invovlement; and with the physical geography itself at stake, we are always at the fear of the fundamental foundations of what establish order, stability, and the status quo, at the risk of falling apart. There is nothing certain, even within a legal order, to stop such drastic of changes, in some respects such is the nature of agency itself.

The notion of an outside, or greater agency to govern us, or govern the rules of conduct, seem desirable. The salvation narrative is a comforting allegory to our current situation, and I can expect a very neat theology of social change to be given here. That the world changes it the gift of human agency, it is as much a blessing as it is a curse: for we are responsible for both saving the world and damning it. It is our choice to determine whether we can save ourselves, by what we do. It is the relevance of the salvation narrative to so many social situations, and its plasticity (and yet, its universality) to interpreting a situation that I find the Christian theology to be endlessly fascinating.

Sinistre

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