Enlightenment Now? Book Review By Peter West
Here is something new, a book review to be done on a book not yet published, which I have not even read: Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, February 27, 2018. The book apparently argues that everything is getting better, we are safer, more peaceful, happier and so on. It’s all done by looking at statistics. I suppose that his concern is with Americans, rather than places of social anarchy as in most of Africa, which would refute his thesis. Likewise for rape in Sweden.
But, that is the problem with naïve empiricism, which looks at statistics rather than looking through them. It is like a friend I met, who told me that he felt in the best condition of his life, then went home and died of a stroke. The fact is that official statistics does not capture those issues that concern us. It does not even capture much of crime, such as organised ethnic crime and corruption. And, most importantly, the world situation could change overnight, with one EMP strike, showing not the “better angels of our nature,” but Hobbe’s nature red in tooth and claw: