Thursday, July 14, 2016

How did this happen?

Immanuel Kant, Critique of pure reason, preface to the 2nd edition, Norman Kemp Smith, translator and editor, St Martin's Press, 1965.

Kant says the great mass of men are "ever to be held by us in the greatest esteem."

He says this in context of discussing mass opinion on matters of religion and morals.

Who is "us"?

We who are not of the masses, of course.

Whence began such flattery of the masses in places the illiterate, and even the literate, rabble would never be?

Why was or is it felt to be necessary?

Fanfare for the common man.

Whitman on democracy and the people.

Sandburg.

But absolutely not Jeremy Bentham or John Stuart Mill or Karl Marx.

Much less Ortega y Gasset.

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