Paradox of Modern Western Education — VII]Individualism and the Decline of the West

This article is a continuation of what has been written previously on post-renaissance humanism-individualism. I intend to base this article on what was argued in The Crisis of the Modern World, a book written by René Guénon in which the author states that modern Western civilization, due to its exclusive materialistic rationalism, is doomed to collapse.

He argues that Western civilization is based on so many faulty foundations of which individualism is the most prominent and the most dangerous. Individualism, which we tried to understand in one of the previous issues of this series, is the characteristic feature of materialistic humanism in the renaissance.

In fact, humanism and individualism are just different names of the same thing with an anti-traditional view which is the basis of modernism which has now invaded the whole world through the secular view of western education.

This writing constitutes the sum and the substance of what René Guénon supported in detail. Although only the articulation and presentation are mine, some notes have also been added from various other sources.

The modern world has an abnormal character because it is based on a purely negative principle — the absence of principle — that there is no superhuman principle. It is therefore individualism which becomes the decisive cause of the current decline of the West because it is the engine of the development of only the lowest possibilities of humanity which develop only when it is supposed that it there is “no God”, and which can only flourish freely in the absence of any superhuman element, since they are, in fact, at the antipodes of all spirituality and all true intellectuality. This vision makes the modern world a kind of huge ugly building.

Individualism is first and foremost the negation of intellectual intuition which is essentially a very important source of knowledge. Intellectual intuition is metaphysical – knowledge or belief obtained neither by reason nor perception, and individualism essentially negates metaphysical things.

Because of its aversion to anything superhuman, what individualism understands as metaphysics is nothing but rational structures or imaginative hypotheses, purely individual conceptions, most of which belong to physics or science. nature.

The problems of individualism in research and scholarship can be assessed by the fact that individuality, by its nature, requires “originality”, which means that fame and renown lie in the fact of put your name on a “thing”, i.e. it is exclusively your own creation.

Hence the desire to be original, even if the truth were to be sacrificed to that originality, means to invent a new error only by repeating a truth which has already been expressed by others because in fact a true idea cannot not be “new”, because truth is not the product of the human mind; it exists independently of us and it suffices to know it. therefore, whatever comes out of it is just a simple error. Although this form of individualism is most apparent in philosophers, it is also found in modern scholars and artists.

Seen in depth, even Protestantism was a form of individualism against the Catholic tradition. Although this general statement needs explanation that can be done in another text, let us understand here an important thing about Protestantism, for that is what modernist hermeneutics intends to do even with the traditional understanding of the Koran.

In a way, Protestantism denied the authority of the organization of the qualified to legitimately interpret the religious tradition of the West and claimed in its place to establish a “free criticism”, i.e. say interpretations derived from the private judgment, even of the ignorant and incompetent, and based exclusively on the exercise of human reason.