November 10, 2005 by AK
Pink specs off
Much of French and, alas, American social policy is premised on a humanist-Enlightenment ideology that is quite optimistic about human nature. It seems to owe much to Rousseau’s claim that Man is naturally good but artificial barriers of culture, religion and class corrode his primeval goodness. Hence the “noble savage” theory. Therefore, perfect “equality” and “social justice” is what will keep Man straight.
The Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox differ in the ways they assess the impact of Adam and Eve’s fall upon their progeny but agree that Man, though created good and whole, has to suffer the consequences of the first humans’ transgression. Thus Man in his natural condition, post-Adam, is not whole but there is a path to wholeness for him. (Incidentally, some Reformed theologians hold a view of human condition so pessimistic that it seems a mirror image of the Enlightenment euphoria.)
Apparently, a lot of educated people in the West still cling to the Rousseauist fantasy. Perhaps the French government is deliberately delaying decisive action to let the riots develop to a stage when millions will cry out for the government to crush the mob by any means, no matter what. That would shift responsibility from the government to the people but also, hopefully, restore sober skepticism to wishfully thinking minds.
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