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On an autonomous enlightenment

Autonomy is at least as unsuccessful in the West as in the rest of the world, if not more: in fact, the West is the extreme of heteronomity, since it introduced capitalism to the world; hence, the pursuit of autonomy and self-determination, this is emancipation, is not restricted to some special version of Enlightenment, and of course not to the West. Even more, with the postmodern paradigm shift, we are in a counter-enlightenment period (against autonomy and self-determination, thus, against the self, even against critique in general) that has, arguably, started in France (next to Greece, Italy and England probably the “prime Western” country) as a neo-idealistic (techno-)philosophy undermining the materialist philosophies of Existentialism and Marxism. Generally, the question of the left should not be “Western or not Western?” (for both, dominion and its most abstracted reality, capital, are not only to be found in the West) but “emancipation-seeking or not?”. If one wants to get to a radical conception of enlightenment, thereby divorcing it from its sole connection to European, especially to liberal history, thereby also being able to state that Europe is not enlightened, and that “the enlightenment” was not an epoch (in this way deconstructing European ideology) but was and is a “political” practice (against the Polis), enlightenment could be understood as emancipation from tragedy, this is as a project of self-determination (auto-nomy). A trans-liberalist, trans-Western, trans-capitalist, trans-modernist conception of the enlightenment then would be the project, shared by millions around the globe not only today but for centuries, perhaps for millenia, and mainly by the minorities subjugated by their respective time and Zeitgeist, an autonomous project against fate, against pre-determination. In this understanding, the fight against capitalism, against the automatic subject of techno-productivity, against the blind tendency of accumulating further (perpetuum mobile), is the prime fight of an autonomous or emancipatory enlightenment, an enlightenment by all the resisting people around the world, uniting to “enlighten” their respective cultures, poleis, and economies that all are lost in pre-history, or heteronomity.

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