Kant as Destroyer

 Posted by on 21 February 2006 at 1:58 pm  Kant
Feb 212006

Someone who probably wishes to remain anonymous sent me the following comment on my post on David Kelley Versus Ayn Rand on Kant:

[Your post] brought to mind a passage I discovered in a book by Heinrich Heine (a 19th century German poet). Speaking of Kant, Heine writes:
What a strange contrast did this man’s outward life present to his destructive, world-annihilating thoughts! In sooth, had the citizens of Konigsberg had the least presentiment of the full significance of his ideas, they would have felt a far more awful dread at the presence of this man than at the sight of an executioner, who can but kill the body. But the worthy folk saw in him nothing more than a Professor of Philosophy, and as he passed at his customary hour, they greeted him in a friendly manner and set their watches by him.” [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, translated by John Snodgrass (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986), p. 109.]

The “worthy folk” of Konigsberg had an excuse: They were not professional philosophers, had not seen the historical consequences of Kant’s ideas, and had not read Ayn Rand. David Kelley has no such excuse.

Indeed! David Kelley should know better than to think that the Marxist professors who advocate the “dictatorship of the proletariat” are morally better than actual dictators of that proletariat. Yes, those Marxist professors do merely attempt to persuade others — but they attempt to persuade some to exercise brute force while rationalizing and/or denying the resulting rivers of blood to others.

The fact that the professors wouldn’t dream of bloodying their own hands does not exonerate them, but condemns them further. It shows that they wish for the illusion of civilization, even while obviously supporting the very opposite, including death camps for even suspicion of dissent, show trials against loyal communists, and starving whole peoples into submission. (Yes, Marxist professors did support such atrocities, not just by rejecting such “bourgeois” concepts as individual rights, objective law, and economic freedom, but also by defending the USSR and other communist regimes against almost any criticism.) To be unable to slit the throats of your ideological victims yourself, yet continue to preach the ideas which justify and inspire others to slit throats, is not a sign of any redeeming virtue but only of dishonest cowardice.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha