Monday, November 12, 2012

Diary of Jean le Rond d'Alembert

February 15th 1781,
                Jacques Necker, the finance minister to the king, published the Compte rendu au roi, an official document presenting the state of France’s finances.  The legitimacy of its proclamation regarding the debt situation is questionable.  It is impossible to conceive that France, a country involved in many wars and heavy fiscal expenditures, is not spending its profits more than its decreasingly productive slaves can create.  The mathematics behind it is astounding, and I should know regardless of the news of my early retirement.  Necker still remains popular, and I guess that is the entire purpose of its production, confidence in the ever weakening government.  This action continues to keep me increasingly skeptical regarding the outcome of rational political maneuvering and the government’s policies.  The justifications for rational political calculations seem to be absent political accountability when irrationally assuming the reliability of a single political body.  However, this problem is not unsolvable; it can be best combated by abolishing the system of unchecked monarchy and embracing a period of separation of powers under a system requiring the delegation of regional and jurisdictional control.  Until such a political system is created, however, we will see the abolishing of respect for church practices, varying interest in the welfare of the people, and death to the very mechanical and law practices I hold dear.  Principles whose expansion and discovery will allow me to be elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year.  Mathematics have propelled me through many other prestigious academies, none of which match the prestige and honor associated with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  My introduction in the Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot should undoubtedly increase my chances, along with Traité de dynamique, my finest decipher of the laws of motion and the complexity of fluid dynamics.  Involvement with Diderot, however, created a confrontation with me and members of the Geneva clergy, who seem to move instinctively towards a more radical position of socinianism.  The Pastors of Geneva answered my claims with a committee; this will lead to much pressure and a review of my findings of which I excused any negative connotation.  However, my Preliminary Discourse did prove inspirational and helpful to Revolutionary Theorists that have read my work and realized its expanding criticism of unchecked, rationalist, policies.  In France Oppression does exist, murder does exist, it is human nature to desire what another has exclusive possession over, and to violate another’s inalienable right to such a possession.  I have expressed the spirit of an intellectual and emotional revolution in France.  I gave power back to the disenfranchised people, who have had their rights, life, and soul stripped from them and devoured.  Its entrance into the encyclopedia aided its popularity as well as its promotion of the impact of the arts and sciences on the healing process.  My writing is the basis, the unique basis for a declaration of principles representing the views of men of letters who knew that their efforts would contribute to the progress of humanity.  Men of principle, men such as Francis Bacon, who once dreamed of the co-existence of scholars driven by common educational value, but could not hope for this revolution to materialize.  Even men I have learned to despise, men such as Descartes, who seeks truth through isolated intelligence in a time of cognitivist thinking embodied in his book Discourse on Method.   Hopefully I am able to influence the divergence in the common erudite and professional activities of closeted savants of today’s scholarly societies.  This is my purpose, this is my goal, this is my reality, the very purpose I joined these freelancing societies and loosely banded organizations.  Encyclopedia will spawn an awareness, an awareness that will realize the power of human intelligence and its impact on the decisions of unaccountable monarchs.  Men of letters, men of principle, men of the revolution are the prime movers of the indefinite progress achievable by this world.  Our social function will bring people from isolation, such as Descartes, and bring them into the affairs of the world, affairs that need solving using the complex intellectual ability of science and analytical mathematics.  Our ever increasing power now demands reform, it demands our recognition in the face of the King with justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity as witness, it demands our freedom.  We will push this world into the greatest technological advancement it has ever seen, we are the intellectual backing of society, and we control the outcome, the power.  What do you control?

Works cited
Adcock, M. (2004). Analysing the French Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A. American Academy of Arts and Science

d'Alembert, Jean Le Rond. Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclodpedia of Diderot. Trans. Richard             N. Schwab. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Hankins, T.L. (1990). Jean d'Alembert: Science and the Enlightenment. p. 26

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