Ioss of indigenous traditions
What was unique about the Scottish Enlightenment was the interconnection and cross-fertilisation of ideas and disciplines. Where. "The interconnections and cross-fertilisation between disciplines that we now regard as having little to do with each other is one of the remarkable features of the Scottish scene. Geologists associated with historians, economists with chemists, philosophers with surgeons, lawyers with farmers, church ministers with architects."
These indigenous traditions seem to be lost in the patina of time. We have all become experts in our own field. The critical connections needed to understand the whole seemed to have vanished in this country of ours. The sciences, engineering, economics, education, innovation. The philosophy that connected the thinkers of the enlightenment was its uniqueness and was its main legacy. It was no idle boast that we once had an education system second to non. At one point we had five universities when Englnd had only two. These things were directed connected to enlightenment thinking.
The Scottish Enlightenment
How is it that a small, poor country in northern Europe became one of the most dynamic centres of Enlightenment thinking?
We have the resources for a new enlightenment, a new dynamic sitting on our doorstep if we applied some enlightenment thinking to it. Applying our tradition of science, engineering, economics and philosophy to an alternative to hyper capitalism.
We live in a country with an abundance of downward moving water, wind around each corner and oceans pounding at each coastline? We live in a world full of experts in need of some enlightenment thinking. Why has the green revolution not started here already? Do we even teach economic theory in universities anymore? Is Adam Smith to be reduced to applets of Tory misconceptions and deceptions.
So why were we one of the most dynamic centres of Enlightenment thinking? Are we supposed to forget about enlightened thinking and go along with the crazies who have taken control of our minds as well as our assets. What is wrong with this country really? It is one thing shouting and bawling for independence. But if we get it how do we change the master slave relationship from persisting in an independent country. Why are we not creating the institutions now for the alternative. In working class communities. Because the alternative is invisible in these places. The folk who will need to be engaged in any alternative transformation, who's politics are transfixed by debt, austerity, the rentiers, big brother technology and the price of everything don't know an alternative even exists never mind how to engage in it. What the enlightenment showed us and we need to learn from it was about engagement, critical connections, clubs, societies, institutions, the cross fertilisation of information, disciplines and knowledge. The complete opposite of the fragmentation of people and organisations that is pushed today by “neoliberal” enlightened thinking. Not divide and rule but - sub divide and sub divide and rule.