Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Art of Darkness {Quoted}

Obscurantism is a means for creating anxiety and insecurity about not understanding. This phenomenon has an important social dimension, as in Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the emperor who orders a new suit of clothes that, as the tailors assure him, are invisible to those that are either unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor flaunts his new cloths on the streets, everybody can see that he is naked, yet nobody dares to point it out. But as soon as one child cries out that the emperor isn’t wearing anything at all, the spell is broken and everybody starts laughing. Many of the followers of Lacan are undoubtedly sincere, because they have spun their own interpretive fabric around their naked emperor. But the social dynamic is the same. It only takes a couple of sycophants, and a large measure of intellectual insecurity, to make sure that no-one dares to challenge the emperor. The seduction of obscurantism therefore has a self-reinforcing social dynamic. 

Read Maarten Bourdy's full essay on intellectual obfuscation "The Art of Darkness"

Author / Source: Maarten Bourdy at Scienta Salon