In Increasingly Authoritarian World, Can People Embrace Enlightenment 2.0?

 

The Age of Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, spread through Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Proponents argued that humans, as individuals and society, hold the power to improve their lives through reason and enterprise rather than tradition for tradition’s sake – thus unleashing respect for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and individual freedoms. “But no American president until Barack Obama has had to report that the Enlightenment’s fundamental values… are under assault in the United States,” explains Marc Grossman, vice chairman of The Cohen Group and a 2013 Kissinger senior fellow at Yale. Pessimism, intolerance and nationalism are dividing citizens. Grossman urges an Enlightenment 2.0 for free societies, developing a set of relevant, morally sound and modern guiding principles and reenergizing to promote sustainable growth, meet global challenges and restore meaning for all citizens. – YaleGlobal