Never compromise on love. It’s the only thing that isn’t bullshit.Chateau Heartiste
The quote above is from the now-defunct blog Chateau Heartiste. It was mostly about how to get laid. As distasteful as that is, there are lots of magazines, books (ancient and modern), seminars, and poems about this. I found it in like 2008 when thinking about existentialism and love and doing some google searches. Since then, I rediscovered the site while working as a research assistant on a project examining 3rd wave feminism. The chateau, due to the author’s preference for spending private time with the fairer sex, had discovered the ugly underbelly of a feminist society. And as a near-nihilist (he wasn’t totally, see the above quote), he managed to view the sociology of sexuality from a perspective geared almost entirely toward cause and effect. His insights were eloquently and inappropriately put, but they were accurate frequently. All of that is to say, his posts over the years gave modern vendors of BS several reasons to suspend his blog. But it wasn’t until he posted the what you find below, that his blog was taken from him:
C.S. Lewis wrote about this issue decades ago:
Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim to knowledge. If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets. Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend. Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value. Let the doctor tell me I shall die unless I do so-and-so; but whether life is worth having on those terms is no more a question for him than for any other man…We have on the one hand a desperate need; hunger, sickness, and the dread of war. We have, on the other, the conception of something that might meet it: omnicompetent global technocracy. Are not these the ideal opportunity for enslavement? This is how it has entered before; a desperate need (real or apparent) in the one party, a power (real or apparent) to relieve it, in the other. In the ancient world individuals have sold themselves as slaves, in order to eat. So in society. Here is a witch-doctor who can save us from the sorcerers — a war-lord who can save us from the barbarians — a Church that can save us from Hell. Give them what they ask, give ourselves to them bound and blindfold, if only they will! Perhaps the terrible bargain will be made again. We cannot blame men for making it. We can hardly wish them not to. Yet we can hardly bear that they should.C.S. Lewis
The question about progress has become the question whether we can discover any way of submitting to the worldwide paternalism of a technocracy without losing all personal privacy and independence. Is there any possibility of getting the super Welfare State’s honey and avoiding the sting?
In a world of sweet youtube videos, infinite porn, cheap Netflix, and pervasive surveillance tools in our own pockets are we losing the ability to have and express our own thoughts?
Bruce Charlton says
Actually, CSL got it upside down – IMO scientists are in the pockets of ‘politicians’ (i.e. The System) and have been (almost wholly) for the past generation – ever since the primary measure of scientific status became the magnitude (and source) of funding.
In other words, there is (on average, with few exceptions) no real science anymore, because ‘science’ has become just another a careerist bureaucracy, and scientists (those with power, status etc) just a type of bureaucrat.
I think you’re right. But the politicians give the pretense that it’s the other way around. The scientists want political power, the politicians based their policies on “science,” and so the “scientists” do “science” to gain their clout. And in that sense, I think you and Lewis are both right. The politicians are slaves to the concept of “science” and the scientists are their slaves and almost nobody with much power to do anything cares about the truth.