Home
Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Advertising
Summer school
Top issues
Abortion
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
Economy
Environment
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Nudge
Obesity
Parents and kids
Population
USA
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Letters
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
survey
a-b c-d e-h i-l m-n o-r s-u v-z index
Marc Pachter
cultural historian and museum director


The chief challenge for the twenty-first century is to overcome the exhaustion of the Enlightenment project. Born of the once confident struggle to create a modern society that was rooted in reason and the embrace of secularism, that project has grown weary, confused, and unsatisfying. More comfortable in irony than conviction, trivialized by consumerism, orthodox rather than experimental in the testing of its own values, universalist in the defence of parochialism, torn between a worship of specialists and a ‘democratic’ acceptance of the unproven, and derailed by a vision of the good life reduced to endless entertainment, our age is threatened above all by pointlessness.

Some in the rising generation will find refuge in what certainties tradition provides them: fundamentalism, tribalism of nation or region or ethnicity, or even a corpse-cold rationalism. But the hope for the future will come from a reborn and refreshed Enlightenment, confident in the value of its search for a society that is reasonable rather than merely rationalist, that asks something of its citizens, rather than placates them, that is unembarrassed in its acceptance of the human need for higher purpose.



Survey home
What we found
Survey responses
Feedback
RSS feed
Anjana Ahuja
Michael Baum
Peter Cochrane
Richard Feachem
Frank Furedi
Michio Kaku
Ken MacLeod
Jonathan Meades
Munira Mirza
Matthew Parris
Ingo Potrykus
Roger Scruton
Ben Shneiderman
Lionel Shriver
Raymond Tallis
Peter Whittle
Josie Appleton
David Baulcombe
Claire Fox
William Higham
Paul Lauterbur
William Graeme Laver
Ken MacLeod
Fiona McEwen
Victor Stenger