The Baltic States and Their Region: New Europe or Old?

By David J. Smith | Go to book overview

The promise of certainty, safety and security in an
uncertain, unsafe and insecure world: the emergence of
Lithuanian populism

Leonidas Donskis

The phenomena of innocence and self-victimisation are instrumental in shaping what might be termed the culture of determinism and the culture of poverty. Victimised consciousness is moved by a belief in malevolent and sinister forces of the universe – allegedly manifesting themselves through secret and elusive human agencies – that come to manipulate and dominate the world through subversive activities immediately targeted at the single most fragile actor. The principle of evil is permanently ascribed to the big and powerful, while the principle of good is reserved exclusively for the small and vulnerable.

This means that, by implication, I cannot err or sin if I belong to a small, vulnerable and fragile group; conversely, it means that I can never be on the right side if, by birth and upbringing, I happen to belong to the ranks of the privileged or powerful. My human value and merit are predetermined and can thus be easily judged in terms of my race, gender, nationality, or class.

Such reasoning, which takes all human beings as irreversibly shaped and moved by biological or social forces with no moral or intellectual choice involved, is a powerful element of conspiracy theory. Regrettably, this kind of modern barbarity, which deprives humanity of the sense of fellowship and tends to replace it with the concepts of natural animosity and everlasting struggle between irreconcilable groups or forces, tends to surface and extend its influence beyond underground consciousness. Far from being qualified as social pathology, it assumes the status of something normal and even progressive.

Conspiracy theory allows no room for critical self-reflexivity and critical self-discovery. At this point, it is a mortal enemy of moral philosophy. Whereas modern political philosophy, properly understood, is an extension of moral philosophy, the point of departure for conspiracy theory is a radical denial of theoretical reflection, critical judgment and moral accountability. Infinite manipulation and unlimited power are the ultimate ends that motivate evil forces. The world is too naïve, vulnerable and fragile to unmask the real masters and the sordid manipulations through which they keep that world in the darkness of ignorance, stupidity and self-deception – this is the message that conspiracy theory conveys to its adherents.

In his book Moralizing Cultures, Vytautas Kavolis suggests that this phenomenon is deeply rooted in a modern system of moralisation, which he terms the culture of determinism. Kavolis puts it thus:

-143-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Baltic States and Their Region: New Europe or Old?
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 322

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.