Kardashian and KantFriday, November 9, 2012
On Thursday’s LewRockwell.com, David Gordon’s hilarious book review of the new book from the Cato Institute’s new president was published. David quoted a passage from John A. Allison’s book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World’s Only Hope. Writes David:
This book contains the oddest sentence I have ever read about the current financial crisis, or for that matter about any financial crisis. John Allison, President of the Cato Institute, writes,
I also thought of titling the book How the Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (1783) Caused the Financial Crisis, but that was too obscure for most people, although it was more accurate, since Kant was the major philosophical opponent of reason who put an end to the Enlightenment century (1700s) that indelibly shaped the founding of the United States. (p. 255, n.3)
It is not enough that Kant lies at the origin of Nazism, as Leonard Peikoff so cogently demonstrated in Ominous Parallels. (It comes as no surprise that Allison admires this great contemporary thinker and scholar. “Leonard Peikoff’s book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand enabled me to integrate Rand’s philosophy and use it as a major competitive advantage for myself and for BB&T.” [p. 277]) No, he also caused the recession of 2008! The way in which this machine gunner of the mind brought about the catastrophe is not altogether apparent. Perhaps, by weakening confidence in reason, Kant’s destructionism made people blind to the errors of the inflationist doctrines that led to financial ruin. But were not inflationist and mercantilist policies popular long before Kant?
I facebook’d and tweeted the passage, and the result was this very funny – and telling – comment from my good friend Rob Stove, an Australian author, freelance writer, musician, and composer.
I once sat through a sermon by an extremely intelligent but naive German priest who told us that the reason modern Australia was going to hell in a handcart was the influence of Immanuel Kant, which influence, he assured us, made him ashamed to be a German. Bear in mind that this was a congregation which, far from being unduly prone to Kantianism, would have rejected Kim Kardashian as too intellectual.