Over the last twenty years, the political systems of the western world have become increasingly divided—not between right and left, but between crazy and non-crazy. The rapid-fire pace of modern politics, the hypnotic repetition of daily news items and even the multitude of visual sources of information all make it difficult for the voice of reason to be heard.
In his new book Enlightenment 2.0, Joseph Heath , director of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto and the bestselling author of Filthy Lucre: Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism, outlines a program for a second Enlightenment. The answer, he argues, lies in a new “slow politics.” He builds his case on recent psychological and philosophical research which identifies the social and environmental preconditions for the exercise of rational thought: It is impossible to restore sanity merely by being sane and trying to speak in a reasonable tone of voice. The only way to restore sanity is by engaging in collective action against the social conditions that have crowded it out.