19/10/16

One of the dimensions of national cultures in Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory, uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), depicts how a society reacts to changes and ambiguity. Reactionary societies that are not open to changes and plurality are prone to have a strong uncertainty avoidance index; in which they have the tendency to be authority-oriented and intolerant towards new ideas (that they would always perceive as deviant). The case of fundamentalist mass organizations limiting us from open-mindedness and critical thinking, which is a product of a society that has been ravaged by strong uncertainty avoidance index, has never been a surprise these days. We have always known how malignant their authoritarian regime appears to be — and how it affects the well-being of the society. Friedrich von Hayek once stated in one of his works called Why I Am Not a Convservative (1960) that conservative people’s inability to adapt with changes that happen in the society, is one of the causes why political conservatism happens to be unrealistic when discerned from an ideological point of view.

Having a strong point of uncertainty avoidance might also lead a civilization to embrace obscurantism. Obcurantism, in which the term is coined from the satirical work towards the doctrines of the monks Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum, is an act of restricting knowledge and information from being known by the populace, or in short, limiting knowledge to be spread into the civilization. One of the notable examples happen to be the anti-intellectual regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge that was established in Kampuchea (1975–1979), in which, they performed genocide towards intellectuals under the motive of rebuilding a society that consists of the representatives of the true working class that have no access to obtain education. In the end, the act of limiting the amount of knowledge to be accessed in a society only causes people to rationalize cultures and conformities that are way too invested in logical fallacies — and it would worsen the quality of education in the society itself, resulting in the forming of a reactionary society where people would strongly hold on to the act of believing that their version of right and wrong dichotomy is inherent and applicable to everyone, and shoving down their views without comprehending first about moral relativism that revolves around how the views that might be alright for us might not be alright for some others.

After coming across what Nietzsche had conveyed regarding obscurantism in his work Human, All Too Human (1878), my urge to have a myriad of things to say increased rapidly, in relation to how his inference is blatantly relevant to today’s discordant society of fallacies and pointless disputes between sophists.

“The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding, but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence.”

Obscurantism refuses enlightenment to come, basically. If obscurantism spreads and becomes even more prevalent, it would be a dark world we live in for then again people would create cultures, social constructs, and conformities without thinking twice whether those authorities they consturcted consisted of logical fallacies or not — and they would also expect everyone to follow the regime they have created, in which, the society would not be able to access information in the larger scale of the world outside the regime.

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