Abolishing Freedom: A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism

Abolishing Freedom: A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism

Abolishing Freedom: A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism

Abolishing Freedom: A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism

Synopsis

Pushing back against the contemporary myth that freedom from oppression is freedom of choice, Frank Ruda resuscitates a fundamental lesson from the history of philosophical rationalism: a proper concept of freedom can arise only from a defense of absolute necessity, utter determinism, and predestination.

Abolishing Freedom demonstrates how the greatest philosophers of the rationalist tradition and even their theological predecessors--Luther, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Freud--defended not only freedom but also predestination and divine providence. By systematically investigating this mostly overlooked and seemingly paradoxical fact, Ruda demonstrates how real freedom conceptually presupposes the assumption that the worst has always already happened; in short, fatalism. In this brisk and witty interrogation of freedom, Ruda argues that only rationalist fatalism can cure the contemporary sickness whose paradoxical name today is freedom.


Excerpt

Heaven which wants! We never know what Heaven wants or
doesn’t want, and perhaps Heaven doesn’t even know itself.
—Denis Diderot, Jacques the Fatalist and His Master

Nothing, less than nothing, without any further determination. This book will argue that any rationalist should start from this assumption in order to conceptualize freedom. Fatalism, the pure fatalism it will defend, aims at abolishing freedom in all prevailing senses of the term. the motivation for beginning this book in such an apparently unappealing way is linked to a diagnosis shared by many contemporary thinkers, namely that “freedom” became (or is) a signifier of disorientation. As a result the signifier freedom can function as a signifier of disorientation, that is, in an utterly repressive way. But how could one not be in favor of freedom? in an age when freedom functions as a signifier that enables the dismantling of all forms of social protection, it is important to understand how freedom effectively works. the fact that today people often get only temporary job contracts, for instance, is presented to us as an opportunity to freely explore different job opportunities. Similarly the implementation of universal health care in the United States was attacked by stating that only in the absence of such a system is one free . . .

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