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Kierkegaard, Unmasking the Illusion of Political Revolution

Kierkegaard, Unmasking the Illusion of Political Revolution July 21, 2016

In contrast to the age of revolution, which took action, the present age is an age of publicity, the age of miscellaneous announcements: nothing happens but still there is instant publicity. An insurrection in this day and age is utterly unimaginable; such a manifestation of power would seem ridiculous to the calculating sensibleness of the age.

However, a political virtuoso might be able to perform an amazing tour de force of quite another kind. He would issue invitations to a general meeting for the purpose of deciding on a revolution, wording the invitation so cautiously that even the censor would have to let it pass. On the evening of the meeting, he would so skillfully create the illusion that they had made a revolution that everyone would go home quietly, having passed a very pleasant evening.

– S. Kierkegaard, from Two Ages: The Age of Revolution and the Present Age (A Literary Review), published in 1846.

By LatheeshMahe [CC BY-SA 4.0  via Wikimedia Commons
By LatheeshMahe [CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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