What preceded: man, through manipulations of his brain, hardly has a functioning evaluation circuit anymore and science became an unknowable greatness about which ethical discussions are only served up as an echo afterwards via entertainment shows like Black Mirror.
It is precisely here that we see how pigeonholing or compartmentalisation (the idea that everything should be a profession) fucks up humanity: philosophy was turned into a ‘trade’, something you could become proficient in as if it were carpentry – and there they all sit, the specialists, totally uninvolved in the pyramid of power, and if they had anything to say about the science that became unknowable, nobody would give a damn.
There will never be a discussion about the ethics of scientific developments because this has been made structurally impossible by making philosophy a profession.
But philosophy is not a profession but the art of thinking. And the real philosopher is just as rare as a real poet, or perhaps even rarer. By pretending to be compartments that you can fill with sheep ‘with the right knowledge’ you sabotage philosophy in a completely nihilistic way – until you get books that are filled from back to front with ‘quotations from others’ because the writers themselves are incapable of thinking.
(I never encountered that idea much in philosophy – that it’s reduction to professionalism is nihilism par excellence, but it’s true and it’s exactly what rendered the entire craft useless, that of course being the idea of the system itself. It’s the sort of false egalism the system prevails in – one could think of 3000 or 30.000 ‘squares’ and they would all have the same value: no value at all in the end.)
I don’t think it gets any more sad on this planet than in Dutch philosophy. Even the flimsy tea towel of Dutch poetry can perhaps be used, if you squint your eyes, to fume away a cold, but what is called philosophy in that Psyborg centre on the North Sea is an aphrodisiac for zapped amoebas.
But in reality, philosophy or the art of thinking is the only real guidance mankind could have.
And in reality, in all those think tanks and committees, there are very competent people giving their expert opinions on the subjects they have been given.
They are just not real philosophers, but a kind of civil servants who colour in the right boxes on command.
That’s fine, of course, if you think it’s irrelevant that the world is turning into a terrible dictatorship because, after all, you have plenty of planets to dwell on with your superior monkey body.
But Plato’s much quoted quote:
There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, until philosophers become kings in this world, or until those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.
You have to fill it in with the kind of figures who become ‘Denker des Vaderlands’ in the Netherlands and who make a small bourgeois fart in a newspaper every month.
No, the truest point of departure is that of Karl Popper: humanity and science are still in their infancy. That is the truth; science behaves like the bawling adolescent of the year, but in reality it is still a small, ignorant child.
As long as we see our beloved leader in it, we are just not right in the head, especially since we no longer know science and there has never been an ethical discussion about it and our future.