The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 19 June 2019 - Page 15

Kant in his work "Universal History" proposes in his 9 propositions a philosophical psychology and picture of human nature which provides us with a picture of the political man that may perhaps explain to some degree this hostility. Kant's intention is also to explain the more vicious kind of hostility that lies behind acts of war, He claims firstly that much good is achieved by the antagonism which arises when men encounter each other in the world of tasks to be done: this, he claims is a world in which there are disagreements. The consequences of such antagonism are often good he argues. He goes so far as to say that even the consequences of war which are not to be wished for might produce in their wake a redrawing of the boundaries of states which are for the benefit of all concerned. He claims secondly that man is a being who needs a master but does not wish to have one, preferring to resolve all issues pertaining to his affairs himself. In his moral writings, Kant takes up this characteristic again when he points out that man may even agree in general with the law but in special circumstances wishes to exempt himself from the reach of that law. There are in other words tendencies toward antagonism and egoism. Throughout history, we have seen these tendencies play out on the world stage. The UN is the master men need but do not want. Men support it with their money and signatures to documents but they wish to exempt themselves from the reach of its sanctions. This is clearly demonstrated by Luck's lecture. Aristotle speaks in his work on Politics of man as the social animal possessing the capacities of trust and love. The city-state, Aristotle argues is held together by bonds of trust and friendship. Man is presented here also as a political animal with the capacity of Logos(speech and reason), a capacity which provides us with freedom not possessed by animals. A capacity which also suggests the role of knowledge in political activities as well as the earlier referred to the role of political friendship. Such political friendship is not a romantic idea but rather refers to the kind of relationship we find between siblings who we know can be antagonistic toward one another yet be the best of friends. Sibling-love is the kind of love that citizens should have for one another, argues, Aristotle, a love which competes for the attention, recognition, and esteem of the city- state/surrogate parent. This Aristotelian image of our relation to authority is a far cry from the above modern image of a spider weaving a trap for an innocent fly. There is, in Luck's image a clear substitution of an unfriendly antagonism for the friendly sibling antagonism of Aristotle. Perhaps this difference of mood is one of the markers which distinguish our modern times from the Golden Age of Greek civilization. Charting the course of this change of mood is no easy task. The spider lives in a state of nature where there is a war of all against all. The philosopher who describes this state best is Hobbes. Man emerges from a state of nature with two