The Disenchantment of the World
The great advances in theoretical thought that characterised the social, individual, ethical and spiritual revolutions of the so called Axial Age which culminated between 500 BCE and 200 CE, by which time they had been codified into canons, were fast losing ground against what Max Weber called inevitable rationalism, or the “disenchantment of the world”. Weber believed that the West was characterised not only by rational means but by rational ends, surely an absurd social-darwinist notion. Utilitarian scientific materialism and legally-enforced human rights were taught in the schools and became a more or less compulsory belief system replacing voluntaristic ethical-universalist Christianity and other great faiths. “Rational” scientific reductionism transformed transcendentalism into its exact opposite. As first nation Americans so succinctly put it, “White Man invented matter”.