Are We Ready for a World Without Reason?


Columnist Anne Applebaum uses Donald Trump’s recent comments about Sweden to reflect on the importance of reason and the Enlightenment to Western Civilization.

Here is a taste of her column “Sweden, Immigrants, and Trump’s Post-Enlightenment World.”

And so: A faked film inspired the president to cite an imaginary crisis, the existence of which was confirmed by a fake expert — and which now inspired another television team to try to create a real crisis using real people (in a neighborhood crawling with both real and fake journalists) to make it all seem true.

All of this leaves viewers, and voters, in a difficult place. Sooner or later there will be actual violence in response to an imaginary crisis. Sooner or later, a Swedish suburb or an American city will erupt because someone needs it to erupt to justify a demagogue’s speech. But will it be “real” violence or fake? Sooner or later, we won’t know the difference at all.

Read the entire piece here.  It is definitely worth your time.