January 05, 2014

Christopher Hitchens - Enlightenment principles need to be fought for and defended by every generation

On he Enlightenment principles, Christopher Hitchens said here and in the video above:
"I think that the positions I hold against Islamic theocracy are for example - especially its extension by promiscuous criminal violence - are defences of the Enlightenment. Which is the most radical conclusion that humanity has yet reached and the greatest of its radical achievements. I won't enumerate them, I'll just assume that people know what I mean by that. That these things probably do need to be defended every generation, that this is our call for that. I don't want to be found waiting. The reactionaries I think are those who try to accomodate themselves to that or try to make excuses for promiscuous violence or the proposal for a caliphate. What could be more conservative than saying that not just an empire should be established, and a religious one, but a former one should be re-established. Imperial nostalgia as well as imperialism."
Christopher Hitchens has also said that free speech needs to be fought for by every generation. He said:
"The urge to shut out bad news or unwelcome opinions will always be a very strong one, which is why the battle to reaffirm freedom of speech needs to be refought in every generation."
My previous posts on Hitchens on Northern Ireland here, on segregated schools here and on the "parasitic class" here. On Albert Camus and "the rats" here. On Northern Ireland's "barbaric, sectarian leaders" here. His comment that anti-semites are "mentally and morally unwell" here. On Vaclav Havel here. On the US First Amendment here, on the US as an empire and clas-based society here, and on how to succeed here. On women and poverty here. On the US Declaration of Independence here. Christopher Hitchens explained that he left the UK in part because of the libel laws, see here. Christopher Hitchens spoke here about the authority of bloggers and online writers (7m30s) (original video in full here). Hitchens on "being bored" as the worst sin here. On why Hitchens is such a compelling writer here. On cliche here. On socialism here.

To see Christopher Hitchens on the Enlightenment in full, here at 36 minutes.

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