“Dare to be Wise!”: How Free-Thinking & Courageous Citizens Will Steer the World on a Different Course

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These guardians would also do everything to ensure that the immature people not only consider the step towards maturity to be arduous, but also dangerous.

By Dr. Rudolf Hänsel for Global Research
© 2021 Global Research – All Rights Reserved

“Dare to be Wise!”: How Free-thinking and Courageous Citizens will Steer the World on a Different Course

At a time when the peoples of the earth are in great distress because they are being denied their previous humanity and pure existence by the ruling “elite” and their political accomplices, I am not hesitating to recall the motto of the German philosopher and Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 to 1804) “Sapere aude!” (“Dare to be wise!”), which has already been quoted several times once again. For the question of how people can stop the disastrous political, economic and social development has not yet been answered.

Since only free-thinking, courageous and compassionate citizens will steer the world on a different course, we must think beyond the day and take precautions. Therefore, it is the need of the hour for all those involved in education to refrain from making the rising generation obedient and docile on their way to adulthood with authoritarian educational methods. Instead, they must be helped to develop their own nature without being restricted by a denomination.

Thanks to the insight of deep psychology, we know today that man is to such an extent the product of his upbringing that we may cherish the hope of being able, through psychological educational methods, to train people who can think for themselves, are immune to the entanglements of power madness and no longer show any obedience to the cadre.

Kant: “Have the courage to use your own mind!”

The exceptional global situation demands that we be wise and act accordingly. If people in the Age of Enlightenment succeeded in freeing themselves from medieval thinking and using reason, becoming independent of arbitrary authority and extending personal freedom of action (emancipation) – then “modern” man should also succeed in giving up fear and using his own mind without the guidance of another.

But if we humans continue to behave immaturely and are too lazy or cowardly to think for ourselves, it is easy for others, according to Kant, to set themselves up as “guardians” of immature humans. These guardians would also do everything to ensure that the immature people not only consider the step towards maturity to be arduous, but also dangerous. (1)

Common sense instead of authority and a magical world view

In order to drive common sense out of us citizens and demand absolute obedience, rulers of all stripes use fear as a means of discipline and domination. But education according to strict religious and military principles can also lead to absolute obedience. A vivid example of this psychological problem is provided by the autobiographical notes of Rudolf Höß, the former commandant of Auschwitz, and the curriculum vitae of his “kindred spirit” Adolf Eichmann. Both learned blind obedience, dutifulness and the non-questioning of “higher” orders in their childhood and therefore reacted with a “cadaver obedience” as adults.

Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, wrote an illuminating text in the mid-16th century to which the word “cadaver obedience” can be traced:

“We should be aware that each one of those who live in obedience must allow himself to be led and guided by Divine Providence by means of the Superior, as if he were a dead body to be taken wherever and treated in whatever way, or like a staff of an old man to serve wherever and for whatever the wants to use him.” (2)

Long before Ignatius of Loyola, Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226) compared the perfect and highest form of obedience (perfecta et summa obedientia) to one’s superior to a dead, disembodied body (corpus mortuum, corpus exanime) that can be taken wherever one wants without resistance or grumbling.

Counteracting with psychological education methods

Parents, educators and priests must urgently abandon this kind of education and counteract it with psychological educational methods. Pedagogy in the parental home and school must renounce the authoritarian principle – which for centuries was regarded as the unquestionably valid basis of educational behaviour – and any use of violence. The spoiling and pampering style of education, which is characterised by the tendency of educators to take even simple tasks from children with a protective intent, is also a form of violence.

Educators have to adapt themselves with true understanding to the free development and unfolding of the child’s soul life, to respect the child’s personality and to turn to him in a friendly way. Such education will produce a type of human being who does not have a “subject mentality” and will therefore no longer be a docile tool for those in power in our world.

By Dr. Rudolf Hänsel for Global Research
© 2021 Global Research – All Rights Reserved

Dr Rudolf Hänsel is an educationalist and qualified psychologist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.


(1) Hänsel, Rudolf (2020). Handing over power to no one! A psychological manifesto of common sense. Gornji Milanovac /Serbia. Parts I and II and abridged version in: “Neue Rheinische Zeitung” and “Global Research”.

(2) Op. cit.

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