When Kant Was Late

The day he learned of the fall of Bastille, the ever-punctual Kant was late for his morning walk. That’s what the frenzied pace of the French Revolution did to people’s experience of time. It’s now been almost a week since we were on the brink of nuclear annihilation with North Korea. I wonder how cultural historians of the future will record or register the changed sense of felt time in this era.


  1. Carl G. Estabrook August 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm | #

    I understood Kant missed his walk after reading Rousseau’s “Emile, or On Education” – a Romantic, rather than an Enlightenment, view of human nature.

  2. John Maher August 17, 2017 at 11:32 pm | #

    Nietzsche’s walks were more interesting.

    The thing about NK is it is a media spectacle without substance into which the left has been coopted. Empire’s troops have not been deployed, strategic reserves have not been topped off, there has been minimal capital flight and hedging in the markets. It is not just that war with NK will not happen in the present but that no one on the Left bother to inquire whether a local government is legitimate and correct in its belligerence towards the US and ownership of nuclear weapons and delivery systems to balance the threat of aggression so it does not become a victim of regime change so it may be transformed into an emerging market. Maybe that is how time has changed for the Liberal mind: the French Revolution meant the possibility of a transformation of governance, war with NK means a lot of development contracts and a new consumer market.

  3. Mushin August 18, 2017 at 9:34 am | #

    We are living in abnormal time where the increasing technological complexity, chaotic patriarchal political system and institutional contradictions have reached a state of psychosis. The only rational response in this current moment of truth is to embrace the schizophrenia purported in manufactured media of consent. A few years ago the metaphor was watching a ship of fools on Titanic. Today I feel like I am in row boat watching it sink after hitting the Trump Iceberg. I not prejudice I hate the entire political patriarchal culture including Kant and Nietzsche, I’m still holding out on Rousseau and the real possibility of a third wave renaissance in learning how to learn as human beings. Have a great Day!

  4. WLGR August 18, 2017 at 10:06 am | #

    We live in an era where liberal democratic politics is starting to show its weaknesses, and the spectacle necessary to keep people’s political imagination glued to “go team donkey! boo team elephant!” (or vice versa) is getting increasingly absurd, but make no mistake that it’s much of anything beyond an absurd spectacle. Little if any of this spectacle will be remembered at all after the institutions of liberalism have collapsed; what will be remembered is whichever small coherent groups were able to pry their eyes from the news-cycle roller coaster and spend their time and effort working out the framework for a real alternative. Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti.

  5. Fr. August 20, 2017 at 4:39 am | #

    When I heard about the Trump nuclear escalation, my first reflex was to check the Doomsday Clock.

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