The 21st century: This is the age of the New Enlightenment

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In a society based on love and mutual support, information will flow.

By Phil Hall

We need original thinkers. Everything is much more obvious than it is presented to you. What is happiness for a human? The absence of pain, security, membership of a community, love, self development and finally, a sense of spirituality. Chomsky cleared away all the mental dirt.

Noam Chomsky answered the claim made by opponents of humane, democratic, libertarian socialism, that people have no idea of what a future libertarian socialist society might look like. Of course we do, Chomsky replied. We all know: a society without exploitation. A society without sexism. A society without racism or discrimination of any kind. A society where there are not such disparities between people, where the old and the young and the vulnerable are looked after. A society where nature is protected and everyone has a right to eat, to decide, to study, to be healthy. Of COURSE we know what our society will look like.

Of COURSE we know what our society will look like.

This is the age of the new enlightenment. Now, wherever you live, whoever you are, you can find all the information you need to understand the world around you. Not just to wear the right clothes and say the right things and to fall into the orbit of the dark star of selfish consumer capitalism: my Ferrari, my house with a pool, my sexy partner, my f’ you.

Because to be human is an uplifting thing not a condition of past and future scarcity where you stuff yourself with goodies because the goodies might run out or because these goodies represent other people’s stolen labour and so other people might realise that you are only closer to money river because you are threatening them, tricking them and hiding your money away from them.

the greatest joy is to feel that we are becoming more human, not less.

We feel it occasionally: in a football crowd, at a party, when our family supports us, when we sit with friends and share, when we walk through a crowded city full of light and colour and movement.

We feel that joy of things we might not fully understand, and we feel in our gut that we can bring something to the party and contribute. The greatest joy is to feel that we are becoming more human, not less; that as individuating beings we are joined up in a community of free people acting on their own conscience; that we are a part of life, enhancing life, not stealing from life.


Taoists are bad poets; they like to speak in riddles. Everyone takes their metaphors too literally; the immortals gathered in the mountains (and on the island of Dilmun) are just people who are living outside history. There is no eschaton to immanentise, there is no ‘end of history’. There is just a society of equals. That’s all.

Never mind the triggering language and the words. Stop thinking magically. Because you believe something to be so, doesn’t make it so. Believe that things should be better than they are; learn to how to make them better, then make them better.

Think for yourself. Look everything up. Don’t be intimidated. Remember, most philosophy was produced by slave owners. To hell with them! Most social science was produced by elites working for colonial masters. To the devil with them! Most of the ideas that you have heard of have were published by companies owned by billionaires, by exploiters, by people who cream off your labour, by capitalism’s scammers and skimmers. To the rubbish bin with Ayn Rand and every vile, toxic defender of the unjust status quo.

To the rubbish bin with Ayn Rand and every vile, toxic defender of the status quo.

In this new age of enlightenment, form study groups. Do the hard intellectual work. Get the knowledge you require to change the world and build a new one. Keep the good from the old one.

In 2050, Africa will be the centre. Africa will have 4 billion people, 4 billion brains, 4 billion hearts. In 2050 Africa will be the cultural, intellectual centre of the world, Lagos, Kinshasa, Addis, Jo’burg, Nairobi, Cairo and Timbuktu.

But to clear the road to a wonderful near future you must take full advantage of the Internet and every possible opportunity to learn and understand. Don’t be lazy! Learn many languages! It’s not hard. Read, read, read. IQRA! And read critically. Then act.

The self taught are the best taught because they learn, because they have a real thirst for knowledge. They need knowledge to understand why their lives are not what they should be and why their communities suffer. They do not read simply to further themselves, to buy a car and a house, to screw, to eat cream and meat, to drink expensive drinks and then eventually die.

Like the character in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, in Rubyfruit Jungle; in the books of John Steinbeck, of Sembene Ousmane and Nawal El Saadawi Paulo Freire explains in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed we who experience oppression learn in order to free ourselves from oppression.

But we also learn because it is the nature of young people, of all people, to go towards the light, to seek knowledge. Not knowledge as a badge of service to our capitalist masters, but knowledge that is transformative in a new age of enlightenment. Let’s do it.

The self taught are the best taught because they learn, because they thirst for knowledge; they need it to understand why their lives are not what they should be, why their communities suffer.

Ignore mystical bullshit. But if you really feel you have to indulge in mystical bullshit then forget the industrial sewage that circulates: forget Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson and Slavo Zizeck. Try Tom Campbell, instead.

Tom Campbell is a physicist. He says that there is no physics of information systems and so he tries to provide one. In a society where everyone is selfish information doesn’t flow. In a society based on love and mutual support information must flow. The solutions to problems are shared, the wealth is shared. This is simply more efficient, and a global society, because this will be global, has a much greater chance of surviving all existential threats, threats like climate change and pandemics.

Phil Hall is a university lecturer. He is a committed socialist and humanitarian. Phil was born in South Africa where his parents were in the ANC. There, his mother was imprisoned and his father was the first journalist from a national paper to be banned. Phil grew up in East Africa and settled in Kingston-upon-Thames. He has also lived and worked in the Ukraine, Spain, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Phil has blogged for the Guardian, the Morning Star and several other publications and he has written stories for The London Magazine. He started Ars Notoria in May 2020.