Enlightenment in an Age of Destruction

Intellectuals, World Disorder, and the Politics of Empire

  • Christopher Britt
  • Paul Fenn
  • Eduardo Subirats

Part of the Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series (CPTRP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Eduardo Subirats
    Pages 1-25
  3. Christopher Britt Arredondo
    Pages 27-69
  4. Paul Douglas Fenn
    Pages 71-125
  5. Eduardo Subirats
    Pages 127-163
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 165-171

About this book


This book is about the ways in which modern enlightenment, rather than liberating humanity from tyranny, has subjected us to new servitude imposed by systems of mass manipulation, electronic vigilance, compulsive consumerism, and the horrors of a seemingly unending global war on terror. In a time when national democracies seem an imperial farce, it is not enough for intellectuals faced with all this destruction to blithely recommend resistance. Enlightenment in an Age of Destruction challenges resistance theory, providing a cosmology of enlightenment that regards it as an unstable epiphenomenon. The authors outline the current "English" enlightenment of Pax Americana, and provides an epistemological theory and demonstration: a derivative of Adorno's negative dialectics in a positive dialectic based upon intellectual participation in civil society. The book thus ties American, British, French and German theoretical traditions into a reflexive challenge to the notion of intellectual as critic, and argues instead for a trespassive tradition of cultural leadership.


Environmental Politics Francis Bacon Radical Politics Enlightenment Critical Theory imperialism American Imperialism Philosophy British Imperialism humanism

Authors and affiliations

  • Christopher Britt
    • 1
  • Paul Fenn
    • 2
  • Eduardo Subirats
    • 3
  1. 1.George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Local Power Inc.Comptche, CAUSA
  3. 3.New York UniversityPrinceton, NJUSA

Bibliographic information