by Paul and Phillip Collins ©, March 21st, 2006
The New Theocracy
In many ways, epistemology is like an economic system. With all the right theoreticians in all the right places, one can arbitrarily bestow epistemological primacy upon those paradigms that are most socially and politically expedient. In such a climate of epistemological suppression, academic and institutional barriers prevent competitors from accessing the ideational marketplace. Meanwhile, a self-proclaimed cognitive elite monopolizes the economy of popular thought. This oligopoly of knowledge, in short, amounts to an epistemological cartel, promoting its anointed ideologues and squelching cognitive dissenters.
Within the traditional theocratic power structures of antiquity, state sanctioned priesthoods constituted epistemological cartels. The Pharisees that engineered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ provide a stellar example. The Mystery cults of Mesopotamia supply another. In both cases, an elite few exercised rigid control over the knowable. In so doing, they maintained the socioeconomic dominance of political oligarchs. Within their authoritarian economy of thought, ideas like “liberty” and “human dignity” were appropriated no currency.
However, it was a state of affairs that would inevitably change. As the ruling elite’s religious institutions began to lose credibility with the masses, it became apparent that the oligarchs would have to adopt a more secular system of control. The result of this transformation was the emergence of what Aldous Huxley called a “scientific dictatorship.” Huxley explains:
The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles, and mysteries.
Under a scientific dictatorship, education will really work with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown. (Brave New World Revisited 116)
In essence, the scientific dictatorship is merely a theocracy premised upon the religion of scientism. Scientism is epistemological imperialism. It stipulates the ecumenical imposition of science upon all fields of study. No doubt, a majority of contemporary thinkers would regard this universal extrapolation of science as desirable. After all, science has contributed to the technological advancement of human society. It harnessed electricity through the light bulb, cured illnesses through inoculations, and traversed space through rockets. Surely, such a force could equally enhance the human condition if applied to questions of history, morality, and governance.
However, the contemporary mind, blinded as it is by its own chronocentricism, has failed to recognize a significant shortcoming in the investigational methods of science. Michael Hoffman reveals this shortcoming:
The reason that science is a bad master and dangerous servant and ought not to be worshipped is that science is not objective. Science is fundamentally about the uses of measurement. What does not fit the yardstick of the scientist is discarded. Scientific determinism has repeatedly excluded some data from its measurement and fudged other data, such as Piltdown Man, in order to support the self-fulfilling nature of its own agenda, be it Darwinism or “cut, burn and poison” methods of cancer “treatment.” (49)
Indeed, as a system of quantification, science can concern itself with only quantifiable entities. Items that defy quantification must be precluded. This prompts a disturbing question. Exactly what items must an exclusively scientific outlook omit? The answer is provided in The Report from Iron Mountain, a document purporting to be the product of a secret government think tank:
Previous studies have taken the desirability of peace, the importance of human life, the superiority of democratic institutions, the greatest “good” for the greatest number, the “dignity” of the individual, and other such wishful premises as axiomatic values necessary for the justification of a study of peace issues. We have not found them so. We have attempted to apply the standards of physical science to our thinking, the principal characteristic of which is not quantification, as is popularly believed, but that, in Whitehead’s words, “. . .it ignores all judgments of value; for instance, all esthetic and moral judgments.” (Lewin 13-14; emphasis added)
An exclusively scientific approach jettisons all “axiomatic values.” The “esthetic and moral judgments” that preserve man’s humanity must be totally disregarded in a purely scientistic society. In fact, man himself must be altered. Because man’s humanity poses a problem for a state governed according to a system of quantification, that particular attribute of his being must be expunged. A scientific dictatorship requires a scientific man. Of course, such a being would cease to be human at all and this is precisely what the social engineers of the scientific dictatorship are endeavoring to create… a machine man or, in the words of Adam Weishaupt, the Maschinenmenschen.
Maschinenmenschen: From Autonomous to Automaton
With the popularization of Darwinism, physicalistic philosophies of the mind seem to dominate both the scientific and academic communities. This paradigm equates mental states with brain states, thus reducing the concept of the “soul” or “spirit” to a metaphysical fantasy. This view seems to pervade modern psychology as well. Ironically, the word “psychology” is derived from the word psyche, which meant “soul” in the original Greek. However, imposing the metaphysical doctrine of materialism upon psychology, Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt would expunge the soul from the halls of psychological research and enshrine the primacy of matter. Several years later, B.F. Skinner would continue the materialist-physicalist tradition of psychology. Dubbed behaviorism, Skinner’s brand of psychology emphasized observable behavior as the primary indicator of mental states. Working from this premise, Skinner developed a “technology of behavior” by which human nature could be conditioned and manipulated. Skinner believed that, as desirable behaviors were promulgated within the human herd, the ideal society would eventually emerge.
Skinner presented his psychologically engineered Utopia as a roman a’ clef entitled Walden Two. Characterizing Walden Two as an innocuous fiction, Skinner stated: “The ‘behavioral engineering’ I had so frequently mentioned in the book was, at the time, little more than science fiction” (vi). Yet, “behavioral conditioning” was much more than science fiction to dark forces with dark intentions. Thanks to a $5,000 grant from a group called the Human Ecology Fund, Skinner was able to pay for the secretary and supplies he needed during the writing of Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Marks 171). When approached about the grant and its origins, Skinner claimed to have no memory of the contribution (Marks 171). However, he did make the slightly suspicious comment: “I don’t like secret involvement of any kind. I can’t see why it couldn’t have been open and aboveboard” (Marks 171).
When one examines the Human Ecology Fund closer, the reasons for the secrecy become clear. It was assembled in 1955 under the title of the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, which would later change to the Human Ecology Fund in 1961 (Marks 159). For the sake of convenience, researcher John Marks simply calls it the Society. The Society itself was funded and controlled by the CIA “for studies and experiments in the behavioral sciences” (158). In addition to behavioral research, the Society also entertained a preoccupation with the occult: “No phenomenon was too arcane to escape a careful look from the Society, whether extrasensory perception or African witch doctors” (173).
The Society’s president was Harold Wolff, a neurologist involved in CIA research and operations (Marks 156). The vice president was Lawrence Hinkle, Wolff’s colleague from Cornell Medical College in New York City (Marks 135, 167). According to one long-standing CIA associate, Wolff was:
“an autocratic man. I never knew him to chew anyone out. He didn’t have to. We were damned respectful. He moved in high places. He was just a skinny man, but talk about mind control! He was one of the controllers.” (Marks 161)
Evidently, the organization itself took on the character of its president. One of its board members, Adolf Berle, expressed concerns over the Society’s mind control projects:
“I am frightened about this one,” Berle wrote in his diary. “If scientists do what they have laid out for themselves, men will become manageable ants. But I don’t think it will happen.” (Marks 167)
Perhaps “manageable ants” was what the Society had in mind when it financed Skinner in his behavioral research. In Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Skinner candidly states:
What is being abolished is autonomous man–the inner man, the homunculus, the possessing demon, the man defended by the literatures of freedom and dignity.
His abolition has long been overdue. Autonomous man is a device used to explain what we cannot explain in any other way. He has been constructed from our ignorance, and as our understanding in creases, the very stuff of which he is composed vanishes. Science does not dehumanize man, it de-homunculizes him, and it must do so if it is to prevent the abolition of the human species. To man qua man we readily say good riddance. Only by dispossessing him can we turn to real causes of human behavior. Only then can we turn from the inferred to the observed, from the miraculous to the natural, from the inaccessible to the manipulable. (189-91)
This, the vision of a “de-homunculized” and “manipulable” man, was probably what prompted the Human Ecology Fund’s $5,000 investment in Skinner’s research. When Walden Two was released, many critics saw “shades of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World” in Skinner’s fictional Utopia (Taylor 418). This analogy is very appropriate. Like its Huxlian kissing cousin, the roman a’ clef of Walden Two is a reality in the making. Serious credence has been given to Skinner’s behavioral theories. His methodology of behavioral tyranny has been employed in today’s educational system. Researcher Ian Taylor elaborates:
Nevertheless, the Skinner teaching techniques have been widely used for school children, although by use of a teaching machine rather than in a box with food pellets! In addition, by cooperation with drug companies, the effects of certain drugs to aid children with learning difficulties have been studied. Although new understanding has been gained, the whole idea of modifying human behavior in a purposeful way has not been an overwhelming success and the specter of crossing that fine line, from “aid” to “control” of tomorrow’s society in today’s classroom, has yet to become a total reality. (419)
Meanwhile, Skinner’s method has also been applied under the guise of therapy. Taylor explains:
The vision of behavioral modification still has its enthusiasts. For example, in 1978 Sobell and Sobell reported a program to modify the behavior of a group of twenty gamma alcoholics. In this they used the electric shock “punishment” technique. These researchers believed that behavior therapy would enable hard-core alcoholics to become social drinkers, rather than having to become total abstainers. The experiment was widely reported to be successful, and the United States government began to invest considerable sums of money into this new approach. However, an independent study of the same twenty patients in a ten-year follow-up showed a totally different picture with only one success. This is another scandal, and the most charitable conclusion would be that… the theory in the minds of the Sobells assumed greater importance than the facts. (419)
Skinner’s alter ego in Walden Two probably most succinctly voiced the rationale guiding such psychological engineering programs:
“I’ve had only one idea in my life–the idea of having my own way. ‘Control’ expresses it–the control of human behavior.
. . .it was a frenzied, selfish desire to dominate. I remember the rage I used to feel when a certain prediction went awry. I could have shouted at the subjects of my experiments, ‘Behave! Behave as you ought!’” (271)
For Skinner and those who carry on his tradition, humanity is little more than a lab animal to be conditioned and controlled. This authoritarian mentality becomes all the more evident when Skinner states: “… Russia after fifty years is not a model we wish to emulate. China may be closer to the solutions I have been talking about, but a Communist revolution in America is hard to imagine” (Walden Two xv). In other words, the communism of mass murdering Red China is preferable to the Russian variety of communism. Why? The Russian communists did not go far enough.
Skinner concludes Walden Two with the following contention: “…in the long run man is determined by the state” (257). Of course, the omnipotent State was also the god of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. According to deceased researcher Antony Sutton: “Both Marx and Hitler have their philosophical roots in Hegel” (118). This is also the intended result of the methods employed by Skinner and his adherents: the obliteration of the individual and the apotheosis of the State. Such a goal synchronizes comfortably with the vision of the power elite, which might be one of the main reasons that Skinner’s methods have enjoyed widespread application today.
Of such a psychologically engineered society, C.S. Lewis writes:
. . .many a mild-eyed scientist in a democratic laboratory means, in the last resort, just what the Fascist means. He believes that “good” means whatever men are conditioned to approve. He believes that it is the function of him and his kind to condition men; to create consciences by eugenics, psychological manipulation of infants, state education and mass propaganda. Because he is confused, he does not yet fully realize that those who create conscience cannot be subject to conscience themselves. But he must awake to the logic of his position sooner or later; and when he does, what barrier remains between us and the final division of the race into a few conditioners who stand themselves outside morality and the many conditioned in whom such morality as the experts choose is produced at the experts’ pleasure? If “good” means only the local ideology, how can those who invent the local ideology be guided by any idea of good themselves? (81)
Indeed, when they speak of a psychologically engineered society, the “mild-eyed scientist” and the fascist mean exactly the same thing. They mean a socialist totalitarian society where the “many conditioned” are controlled by the “few conditioners.” In short, they mean a scientific dictatorship. Such a concept is nothing new. It finds its proximate origins with Auguste Comte, the “principal disciple” of Saint-Simon (Fischer 70). According to Fischer, Comte promoted the “development of a surrogate religion, an idea that Saint-Simon also contemplated” (71). In Comte’s hypothetical theocracy, social scientists comprised the new priesthood. Fischer explains:
. . .Comte advanced the concept of a “sociocracy,” defined as a new “religion of humanity.” Sociologists were to identify the principles of this new faith and to implement them through a “sociolatry.” The sociolatry was to entail a system of festivals, devotional practices, and rites designed to fix the new social ethics in the minds of the people. In the process, men and women would devote themselves not to God (deemed an outmoded concept) but to “Humanity” as symbolized in the “Grand Being” and rendered incarnate in the great men of history. (71)
If sociocracy was to be the “religion of humanity,” then Positivism was its theology. Positivism was vintage scientism, upholding the epistemological rigidity of radical empiricism and supplanting classical metaphysics with the scientific method. Ironically, radical empiricist claims, with their rejection of causality, required no less faith than mystical ones. Moreover, metaphysics was originally the province of religion. Positivism was but one more installment in an ongoing series of secular religions birthed by the Enlightenment. E. Michael Jones further comments on the religious nature of Positivism:
Positivism might be called the Church of the Enlightenment, and through it, Comte attracted a following that would make a significant contribution toward turning sociology, in the broadest sense of the term, which is how Comte intended it, into a system of control which would become the world’s dominant regime by the end of the twentieth century. Aldous Huxley would call Comte’s Positivism “Catholicism minus Christianity,” and in this it was similar to Weishaupt’s appropriation of Jesuit spirituality in the service of Freemasonry. Both men took what they found appealing in the Catholic Church and ripped it out of its matrix and introduced it to a radically different context which changed its meaning completely. Both took what were essentially mechanisms of self-control based on Catholicism’s understanding of the moral order and turned them into essentially heteronomous instruments of social control whose goal was the betterment of “humanity” and whose validating principle was “science.” (92-93)
Comte was one of the chief proponents of the “Positive State,” a societal model premised upon the “hegemony of science and industry” (Fischer 71). Essentially, this new society envisioned by Comte amounted to a scientific dictatorship where “ideals of liberty and equality would eventually be supplanted by the technocratic values of order and progress” (71). This technocratic vision for society was probably a product of Comte’s tutelage under Saint-Simon. Through Saint-Simon, Comte would be introduced to “what Marx and Engels would later call utopian socialism or critical utopian socialism” (Jones 93). Accompanying Saint-Simon’s advocacy of socialism was the contention that science and industry held primacy, a hallmark of Comte’s “Positive State.” Jones explains:
It was from Saint-Simon that Comte got the idea that Industrialism was to be the new form of social order that would replace the old order which had been swept irrevocably away by the revolution. The new order was to be based on science, not the now discredited religion, because no one could argue with science, which [Mary] Shelley has said, was based on fact, not hypothesis. “Hypothesi non fingo,” Newton had written, and Shelley had quoted the passage in a footnote to Queen Mab as the marching orders for the New Man who would bring about heaven on earth. (94)
Thus, Comte’s “Positive State” was a totally mechanized society and its citizenry was to be mechanized as well. After all, in a “totally scientistic society,” all things are subject to quantification. That included man himself. It stood to reason that, if man were a quantifiable entity, then his mental and social behaviors could be guided through the predictive control of science. Following Saint-Simon’s lead, Comte attempted to create a true “science of humanity.” According to Fischer, Comte’s ideas:
proved to be very influential in the rise of modern sociology. Many call him the father of the discipline, a fact that also underscores the technocratic origins of modern social science itself. (71)
Saint-Simon developed his precursory form of social science as a theoretical “means for bringing an end to the revolution” (Billington 212). The same rationale underpinned Comte’s development and popularization of sociology. Understandably, both Saint-Simon and Comte were horrified by the excesses of the French Revolution. E. Michael Jones attributes the atrocities of the Revolution to the Enlightenment philosophy that underpinned it: “The Enlightenment appeal to liberty invariably led to the suppression of religion, which led to the suppression of morals, which led to social chaos” (15). Ending the very revolutions that brought them to power has been the chief aim of technocratic oligarchs throughout history. Invariably, the result has been a scientific dictatorship.
The scientific dictatorship is designed to create a society where, in the words of Aldous Huxley, “most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.” Huxley himself was a revolutionary and amorality was the catalyst for his cause:
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning. For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality, because it interfered with our sexual freedom. We objected to the political and economic system, because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claim that in some way they embodied the meaning–a Christian meaning, they insisted–of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confusing these people and at the same time justify ourselves in our political and erotic revolt. We could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever. (Ends and Means 270)
Paradoxical though it may seem, the pattern of liberation dissolving into tyranny has been the hallmark of every socialist revolution throughout history. The excesses of radical libertarianism, typified by the violence of the French Revolution and the “free love” philosophy of the sixties counterculture, provided the pretext for rigid social regimentation. Jones explains:
Freedom followed by Draconian control became the dialectic of all revolutions, and, in this regard, the sexual revolution was no exception. Once the passions were liberated from obedience to the traditional moral law as explicated by the Christian religion, they had to be subjected to another more stringent, perhaps “scientific” form of control in order to keep society from falling apart. (15)
Moral law is central to the maintenance of a democratic government. C.S. Lewis most eloquently voiced this truth when he wrote:
The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his own creation. (81)
In the absence of moral law, freedom cannot exist. Jones recapitulates: “Social control was a necessary consequence of liberation, something which the French Revolution would make obvious” (15). To achieve “social control,” the state required a “science of control.” Comte played no small role in the development of such a science:
It was the chaos stemming from the French Revolution, in fact, which would inspire August Comte to come up with the “science” of sociology, which was in its way an ersatz religion but most importantly a way of bringing order out of chaos in a world which no longer found the religious foundation of morals plausible. (15-16)
The technocratic social sciences filled the vacuum left by religion and the scientist became its ordained proselyte. Comte’s vision for a scientific dictatorship synchronized with the vision of Adam Weishaupt, founder of the infamous Illuminati. Like Comte, Weishaupt developed “a system of control that proved effective in the absence of religious sanction” (16). This Illuminist incarnation of the “Positive State” became the “model of every secular control mechanism of both left and right for the next two hundred years” (16).
In examining the doctrine of “reason” promulgated by the Masonic lodges of the Strict Observance, Weishaupt correctly observed that: “[m]orals, cut off from their ontological source, became associated as a result with the will of the man who understood the mechanism of control” (16). Thus, Weishaupt’s own moral cognizance became his “will to power.” The irony of this fact is painfully illustrated by Weishaupt’s own excesses, including sexual perversion and abortion.
The internal contention experienced by the lodges of the Strict Observance was a direct corollary of the Masonic conception of “reason,” which “led more often than not to conflicting ideas of which program to take” (16). By contrast, Weishaupt’s vision for the Illuminati was even more technocratic than Masonic philosophy. The Illuminist was supposed to be the supreme social engineer and ultimate psychological conditioner. Jones expands on Weishaupt’s agenda of behavioral tyranny:
. . .the Illuminist system had to take the law into its own hands and program behavior as its leaders saw fit. In this Illuminism followed the typical trajectory of every other form of Enlightenment social science which would come into being over the next two hundred years. As in the case of Comte’s sociology, the old church was replaced with a new church. The older order, which was based on nature and tradition and revelation, was replaced by a new totalitarian order which was based on the will of those in power. (16)
Of course, the Illuminist program for a “Positive State” failed. However, the Bavarian authorities’ publication of Weishaupt’s work guaranteed the continuation of the Illuminist vision (16). Jones elaborates:
Once released into the intellectual ether, the vision of machine people in a machine state controlled by Jesuit-like scientist controllers would capture the imagination of generations to come, either as utopia in the thinking of people like Auguste Comte or dystopia in the minds of people like Aldous Huxley and Fritz Lang, whose film Metropolis seemed to be Weishaupt’s vision come to life. (16-17)
Jones enumerates the various forms this ideational contagion has assumed over the years:
In Illuminism we find in seminal form the system of police state spying on its citizens, the essence of psychoanalysis, the rationale for psychological testing, the therapy of journal keeping, the idea of Kinsey’s sex histories, the spontaneous confessions at Communist show trials, Gramsci’s march through the institutions, the manipulation of the sexual passion as a form of control that was the basis for advertising, and, via Comte, the rise of the “science” of behaviorism, which attempts, in the words of John B. Watson, to “predict and control behavior.” (17)
Skinner’s “technology of behavior” is really nothing new. It originates with the technocratic thought of Comte and its objective is the creation of Weishaupt’s Maschinenmenschen. Throughout the 20th century and well into the 21st century, the social sciences have ascended to institutional dominance. Under the epistemological primacy of these institutions, society has undergone extensive technocratic restructuring. No longer does the judicial system arbitrate in matters of crime and punishment, but, under the watchful eye of the social scientist, it decides who is “normal” and “abnormal” as well. The political system, which is charged with the maintenance of a civil society, must exercise its prerogatives and issue its mandates within the technocratic parameters of the social sciences. In this state of affairs, the state is becoming the panoptic machine and its citizenry the Maschinenmenschen.
Darwin: Patron Saint of Sociocracy
Comte’s philosophy of Positivism also had a significant impact on Charles Darwin. For Darwin, Comte’s concept of a “theological state of science” was a “grand idea” (Desmond and Moore 260). Years later, two “Positive States” premised upon the theology of Darwin’s “science” would arise. These were, of course, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. Appropriating theoretical legitimacy to scientific dictatorships may have been the intended function of evolutionary theory from the beginning. The involvement of Freemasonry in Darwinism’s popularization certainly reinforces this contention.
The social sciences, which were already devoted to the technocratic restructuring of society, were closely aligned with Darwinism. Harriet Martineau, a fanatical adherent of Comte’s sociology, was even Darwin’s dinner guest (Desmond and Moore 264). Her booklets, entitled Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated, were recommended to Darwin by his sisters (153). Martineau’s work had even drawn favorable attention from those in more esoteric quarters, as is evidenced by Freemason Erasmus Darwin’s affinities for the sociologist. Writing to Charles during the Beagle voyage, his sisters commented on Erasmus’ admiration of Martineau:
“Erasmus knows her [Martineau] & is a great admirer & everybody reads her little books & if you have a dull hour you can, and then throw them overboard, that they may not take up your precious room.” (Qutd. in Desmond and Moore 153)
Enamored of Comte’s Positivism, Martineau would translate his work from French to English (261). In so doing, she would declare:
“We find ourselves suddenly living and moving in the midst of the universe. . .not under capricious and arbitrary conditions. . .but under great, general, invariable laws, which operate on us as a part of a whole.” (qutd. in Desmond and Moore 261)
This view of the cosmos being governed by an impersonal principle of predestination was consistent with the Masonic concept of the Great Architect, which was appointed scientific currency by Darwin’s evolutionary determinism. Comte’s Positivism only intensified this deterministic Weltanschauung(261). With his denial of free will, Darwin would attribute all human characteristics to heredity:
He [Darwin] now routinely reduced thought and behaviour to cerebral structure, boiling it down to bits of the brain. If wishes are a consequence of neural organization–evolving under the “circumstance & education”-then anti-social behaviour can be inherited. “Verily the faults of the fathers, corporeal & bodily are visited upon the children.” (261)
Darwin’s physicalist metaphysics and evolutionary determinism provided the rationale for rigid social engineering. The social sciences were designed to serve precisely this function. Since aberrations like “antisocial personalities” were genetically predetermined, man’s evolutionary development had to be checked by the “Positive State.” Of course, the socially and economically disadvantaged were bred within the dysgenic gene pool of the poor. Thus, the lower classes required the regulation of the technocratic social scientist.
Sociologists like Martineau viewed the eugenical regimentation of society as one method of social engineering. Not surprisingly, Martineau subscribed to Malthus’ concept of carrying capacity, a myth that was central to Darwinian evolution. Astride Martineau’s “edifying homilies,” Malthus’ theoretical eschatology enjoyed widespread exposure (153). Martineau’s proselytizing was very effective. One pundit insisted that credence to Malthus’ demographic prognostications promised to do “more for the country than all the Administrations since the Revolution” (qutd. in Desmond and Moore 154).
Characterizing the poor as the “gangrene of the state,” Martineau endorsed the genocidal Poor Law Amendment Bill (153-54). In fact, Martineau received secret commission reports concerning the unpopular law from Lord Chancellor Henry Brougham (153). Her Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated also did “more to pave the way for the new Poor Law than all of the government propaganda” (153). Arguably, Martineau’s literature qualified as Malthusian propaganda itself. Martineau was a “darling of the Whigs,” a political party favoring the Poor Law Amendment Bill (153). Martineau contended that the reforms would make the poor more self-sufficient (154). However, by immediately thrusting unskilled paupers into a competitive job market, the Whigs were actually “decreasing labour costs and increasing profits” (154). Evidently, Martineau’s technocratic social agenda harmonized rather smoothly with corporate interests. A similar alliance exists between technocrats and Transnationalists today, as is evidenced by the techno-corporatism of the Trilateral Commission. At any rate, Martineau’s contemporaries in the social sciences also seek to reconfigure society according to Malthusian designs.
Herbert Spencer, a personal friend of Darwin’s, would successfully integrate evolutionary theory with the already positivistic field of sociology. Among one of the evolutionary concepts most rigidly applied to sociology by Spencer was natural selection. John W. Burrow views sociology’s assimilation of this evolutionary principle rather adversely:
Finally, there is the question of natural selection. In one sense, the influence of the theory of natural selection on sociology was enormous. It created for a while, in fact, a branch of sociology. It seems now to be felt that the influence on sociology of the doctrine of “survival of the fittest” was theoretically speaking, unfortunate, chiefly because it seemed to offer an explanatory short cut, and encouraged social theorists to aspire to be Darwin’s when probably they should have been trying to be Linnaeuses or Cuviers. As Professor MacRae points out, in sociology the principle explains too much. Any state of affairs known to exist or to have existed can be explained by the operation of natural selection. Like Hegel’s dialectic and Dr. Chasuble’s sermon on The Meaning of Manna in the Wilderness, it can be made to suit any situation. However, “Social Darwinism” was only a subspecies of the intellectual movement we are considering. Neither Maine, nor Tylor, nor McLennan made much use of the theory of natural selection and Spencer used it only as a garnish for a theory he had already developed. (115)
The coalescence of sociology and evolutionary theory, particularly the Darwinian principle of natural selection, has been anything but smooth. Donald G. McRae comments:
A peculiarity of Darwinism, both in biology and in other fields, is that it explains too much. It is very hard to imagine a condition of things which could not be explained in terms of natural selection. If the state of various elements at a given moment is such and such then these elements have displayed their survival value under the existing circumstances, and that is that. Natural selection explains why things are as they are: It does not enable us, in general, to say how they will change and vary. It is in a sense rather a historical than a predictive principle and, as is well known, it is rather a necessary than a sufficient principle for modern biology. In consequence its results when applied to social affairs were often rather odd. (304)
Indeed, it had been odd, if not absolutely frightening. The result has been the re-sculpting of society along the blood-stained contours of natural selection. Historical campaigns of eugenics, genocide, imperialism, state socialism, technological apartheid, and slavery all define the character of this conceptual integration. This prompts some interesting questions. What is so natural about natural selection if its social application results in such unnatural volumes of death? Moreover, if evolutionary theory were an immutable reality confirmed by “objective science,” then why does it require human application at all? Adrian Desmond and James Moore may have already answered the question:
“Social Darwinism” is often taken to be something extraneous, an ugly concretion added to the pure Darwinian corpus after the event, tarnishing Darwin’s image. But his notebooks make plain that competition, free trade, imperialism, racial extermination, and sexual inequality were written into the equation from the start–”Darwinism” was always intended to explain human society. (xxi)
Darwinism itself was always a social theory, not a scientific one. It was designed according to Darwin’s presuppositions, which were already oligarchical in character. Darwin was surrounded by aristocrats, technocrats, and other elitists. Freemason T.H. Huxley, who was involved in the establishment of the oligarchical Round Table groups, is just one case in point. The influence of such elements is evident in the Darwinian concept of natural selection itself. Ian Taylor observes that:
the political doctrine implied by natural selection is elitist, and the principle derived according to Haeckel is “‘aristocratic in the strictest sense of the word’” (411).
Darwinism facilitates the revolutionary dialectic of “[f]reedom followed by Draconian control.” First, it appropriates currency to moral relativism, an economy of thought already bankrupted by self-refuting logical contradictions. H.G. Wells reiterates:
If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, no paradise, no fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement collapses like a house of cards. (The Outline of History 616)
Subsequently, the architects of revolution establish their “sociocracy” over the thoroughly demolished “house of cards.” Jane H. Ingraham explains:
“His [Darwin's] shattering “explanation” of the evolution of man from the lower animals through means excluding the supernatural delivered the coup de grace to man’s idea of himself as a created being in a world of fixed truth. Confronted with the “scientific proof” of his own animal origin and nature, Western man, set free at last from God, began the long trek through scientific rationalism, environmental determinism, cultural conditioning, perfectibility of human nature, behaviorism, and secular humanism to today’s inverted morality and totalitarian man.” (Qutd. In Jasper, Global Tyranny. . .Step by Step 262-63)
William Jasper eloquently synopsizes this observation:
The rejection of Divine revelation and the sovereignty of God has resulted in the enthronement of man’s “reason” as the ultimate source of truth and the apotheosis of the State as the supreme authority. (Global Tyranny. . .Step by Step 263)
In essence, Darwinism was an epistemological weapon for sociocratic revolution. As such, it was destined to merge with the rest of the technocratic social sciences. This was a prearranged marriage and one that was made in Hell. In the contemporary religious milieu of sociolatry, the golden calf of the Israelites has been exchanged for the golden ape-man of Darwinism.
The Social Scientific Dictatorship
In the Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson writes:
Communication research is a small but intriguing field in the social sciences. This relatively new specialty crystallized into a distinct discipline within sociology–complete with colleges, curricula, the authority to grant doctorates, and so forth–between about 1950 and 1955. (5)
Indeed, communication research comprises a sizable portion of the standard “college- and graduate-level” curriculums (5). These academic programs produce “print and broadcast journalists, public relations and advertising personnel” and other closely aligned media experts that constitute the “ideological workers” of modernity (5). While the various professions in mass communication do not automatically qualify as technocratic vocations per se, the field’s subsumption under sociology does predispose its occupations to technocratic applications. As a subsidiary of the technocratic social sciences, mass communication research has the capacity for being transmogrified into a weaponized form of semiotics. The military establishment is already acutely aware of this application:
U.S. military, propaganda, and intelligence agencies favored an approach to the study of mass communication that offered both an explanation of what communication “is” (at least insofar as those agencies were concerned) and a box of tools for examining it. Put most simply, they saw mass communication as an instrument for persuading or dominating targeted groups. They understood “communication” as little more than a form of transmission into which virtually any type of message could be plugged (once one had mastered the appropriate techniques) to achieve ideological, political, or military goals. (5-6)
While the hawks sought to militarize communication research, the social scientists of academia hoped to use the field for their own technocratic purposes:
Academic contractors convinced their clients that scientific dissection and measurement of the constituent elements of mass communication would lead to the development of powerful new tools for social management, in somewhat the same way earlier science had paved the way for penicillin, electric lights, and the atom bomb. (5-6)
Meanwhile, there were federal clients who viewed the “analysis of audiences and communication effects” as an instrument for the enhancement of “ongoing propaganda and intelligence programs” (6). Given this multiplicity of dubious parties that expressed an interest in communication research, it is reasonable to assume that the field had polyvalent applications in terms of the technocratic restructuring of society. The emergent scientific dictatorship in the West had discovered a new weapon. Predictably, the modus operandi was purely scientistic in character:
Entrepreneurial academics modeled the scientific tools needed for development of practical applications of communication-as-domination on those that had seemed so successful in the physical sciences: a positivist reduction of complex phenomena to discrete components; an emphasis on quantitative description of change; and claimed perspective of “objectivity” toward scientific “truth.” With a few exceptions, they assumed that mass communications was “appropriately viewed from [the perspective] the top or power center,” Steven Chaffee and John Hochheimer put it, “rather than from the bottom or periphery of the system.” (6)
Converted into an effective semiotic weapon, mass communication research played an active part in the Second World War. The mode of conflict was appropriately dubbed “psychological warfare” (24). This appellation was derivative of the German word Weltanschauungskrieg, a term cribbed from the conceptual lexicon of the Nazis in 1941 (240). The word literally means “worldview warfare” and connotes the “scientific application of propaganda, terror, and state pressure as a means of securing an ideological victory over one’s enemies” (24). William “Wild Bill” Donovan, who was the director of the Office of Strategic Services in 1941, believed that the Nazis’ psychological warfare methods could act as models for “Americanized” stratagems (24). Psychological warfare swiftly became part of the U.S. intelligence community’s operational lexicon (24). Donovan believed the concept to be so significant that it would inevitably become “a full arm of the U.S. military, equal in status to the army, navy, and air force” (24).
Six organizations constituted the nucleus of U.S. psychological warfare research (26). These were the:
(1) Samuel Stouffer’s Research Branch of the U.S. Army’s Division of Morale; (2) the Office of War Information (OWI) led by Elmer Davis and its surveys division under Elmo Wilson; (3) the Psychological Warfare Division (PWD) of the U.S. Army, commanded by Brigadier General Robert McClure; (4) the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) led by William Donovan; (5) Rensis Likert’s Division of Program Surveys at the Department of Agriculture, which provided field research personnel in the United States for the army, OWI, Treasury Department, and other government agencies; and (6) Harold Lasswell’s War Communication Division at the Library of Congress. (26)
Of course, this wartime network was peopled heavily by “prominent social scientists” (26). In some instances, the same social engineers participated in two or more organizations (26). Simpson enumerates the various social scientists involved:
The OWI, for example, employed Elmo Roper (of the Roper survey organization), Leonard Doob (Yale), Wilbur Schramm (University of Illinois and Stanford), Alexander Leighton (Cornell), Leo Lowenthal (Institut fur Sozialforschung and University of California), Hans Speier (RAND Corp.), Nathan Leites (RAND), Edward Barrett (Columbia), and Clyde Kluckhohn (Harvard), among others. (26)
The Army’s Psychological Warfare Division was also largely staffed by social scientists, some of which being OSS officers as well (27). The OSS assigned Morris Janowitz (University of Michigan and Institut fur Sozialforschung), Murray Gurfein, Saul Padover (New School for Social Research), and W. Phillips Davison (Columbia and Rand) to the Psychological Warfare Division to employ their proficiency in “communication and German social psychology” (27). According to Art Kleiner, this wartime network:
was generally an immense catalyst for social science in America (and England), because it pulled university researchers from their isolated posts. They worked together on real-world problems such as keeping up military morale, developing psychological warfare techniques, and studying foreign cultures. (33)
Indeed, the ascendance of the social sciences had begun. The OSS contributed substantially to this rise. Howard Becker (University of Wisconsin), Douglas Cater (Aspen Institute), Walter Langer (University of Wisconsin), Alex Inkeles (Harvard), and Herbert Marcuse (Institut fur Sozialforschung and New School for Social Research) were all “prominent OSS officers who later contributed to the social sciences” (Simpson 27). However, OSS support extended beyond governmental channels. Simpson explains:
OSS wartime contracting outside the government included arrangements for paid social science research by Stanford, the University of California at Berkley, Columbia, Princeton, Yale’s Institute of Human Relations, and the National Opinion Research Center, which was then at the University of Denver. Roughly similar lists of social scientists and scholarly contractors can be discovered at each of the government’s centers of wartime communications and public opinion research. (27)
During Senate hearings in early November 1945, OSS officer Brigadier General John Magruder adamantly maintained that:
the government of the United States would be well advised to do all in its power to promote the development of knowledge in the field of social sciences. . .Were we to develop a dearth of social scientists, all national intelligence agencies servicing policy makers in peace or war would be directly handicapped. . .[R]esearch of social scientists [is] indispensable to the sound development of national intelligence in peace and war. (Qutd. in Simpson 32).
Given Magruder’s prominence in the OSS, it is reasonable to assume that this contention represented the status quo within the fledgling intelligence organization. The consensus among those involved in psychological warfare was that the social sciences, which had been successfully tested during an exceptionally violent conflict, possessed equally promising potentials in times of peace. The weapon had become the surgical knife. Now, the incisions were to be made to the postwar psyche of the public mind.
The constellation of World War II psychological warfare programs provided its alumni with a “network of professional contacts” that proved to be “very valuable in their subsequent careers” (Simpson 28). In fact, many received influential positions within the tax exempt foundations of the power elite:
Charles Dollard became president of Carnegie. Donald Young shifted from the presidency of SRCC [Social Science Research Council] to that of Russell Sage, where he ultimately recruited Leonard Cottrell. Leland DeVinney went from Harvard to the Rockefeller Foundation. William McPeak. . .helped set up the Ford Foundation and became its vice president. W. Parker Maudlin became vice president of the Population Council. The later Lyle Spencer [of Science Research Associates]. . .endowed a foundation that currently supports a substantial body of social science research. (Qutd. in Simpson 28)
Of course, these tax exempt foundations play an integral role in the ruling class conspiracy. First, they provide tax shelters for the elite’s wealth. In addition, they heavily finance socialist revolutionary movements, which provide a politically and socially expedient terrorist threat to the populace. Finally, they support further social science research, which provides the oligarchs with the necessary psychocognitive arsenal to wage their Weltanschauungskrieg.
Meanwhile, social engineers were also silently co-opting the mass media. Former members of the OWI became:
the publishers of Time, Look, Fortune, and several dailies; editors of such magazines as Holiday, Coronet, Parade, and the Saturday Review, editors of the Denver Post, New Orleans Times-Picayune, and others; the heads of the Viking Press, Harper & Brothers, and Farrar, Straus and Young; two Hollywood Oscar winners; a two-time Pulitzer prizewinner; the board chairman of CBS, and a dozen key network executives; President Eisenhower’s chief speech writer; the editor of Reader’s Digest international editions; at least six partners of large advertising agencies; and a dozen noted social scientists. (Qutd. in Simpson 29)
With the proselytes of sociocracy occupying strategically sensitive positions in the media, the power elite could re-sculpt public opinion. Historical examples of media manipulation are far too voluminous to enumerate. Ultimately, it is important to note the role of mass media in service to the purveyors of sociocracy. Subsumed under the technocratic social sciences and refurbished for military applications, mass communication research has contributed to the epistemological primacy of the power elite’s anointed priesthood. The field’s development and application is now guided by a coterie of technocratic “experts.” Legitimacy is bestowed only upon those theoreticians and ideologues that maintain the status quo. Simpson elaborates:
Government psychological warfare programs helped shape mass communication research into a distinct scholarly field, strongly influencing the choice of leaders and determining which of the competing scientific paradigms of communication would be funded, elaborated, and encouraged to prosper. The state usually did not directly determine what scientists could or could not say, but it did significantly influence the selection of who would do the “authoritative” talking in the field. (5)
Under the influence of the military establishment, the field of mass communication has become the orthodoxy of sociocracy. It has become an epistemological cartel, selecting the most socially and politically expedient “scientific paradigms of communication” that would be “funded, elaborated, and encouraged to prosper.” It has become technocratic, maintaining a pseudo-meritocracy where the “authoritative” requires the sanction of the influential. In short, it has become a social scientific dictatorship.
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- Carr, E.H. Studies in Revolution. New York: Grossett and Dunlap, 1964.
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- Huxley, Aldous. Ends and Means. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1937.
- Brave New World Revisited. New York: Bantam Books, 1958.
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- Jones, E. Michael. Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control. South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine’s Press, 2000.
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- McRae, Donald G. “Darwinism and the Social Sciences.” A Century of Darwin, 1958, Barnett S.A., ed., London: Mercury Books, 1962, 304.
- Simpson, Christopher. Science of Coercion. New York: Oxford UP, 1994.
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- Walden Two. 1948. New York: Macmillan, 1976.
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About the Authors
Paul D. Collins has studied suppressed history and the shadowy undercurrents of world political dynamics for roughly eleven years. In 1999, he completed his Associate of Arts and Science degree. He is working to complete his Bachelor’s degree, with a major in Communications and a minor in Political Science. Paul has authored another book entitled The Hidden Face of Terrorism: The Dark Side of Social Engineering, From Antiquity to September 11. Published in November 2002, the book is available online from www.1stbooks.com, barnesandnoble.com, and also amazon.com. It can be purchased as an e-book (ISBN 1-4033-6798-1) or in paperback format (ISBN 1-4033-6799-X).
Phillip D. Collins acted as the editor for The Hidden Face of Terrorism. He has also written articles for Paranoia Magazine, MKzine, News With Views, B.I.P.E.D.: The Official Website of Darwinian Dissent and Conspiracy Archive. He has an Associate of Arts and Science. Currently, he is studying for a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Wright State University. During the course of his seven-year college career, Phillip has studied philosophy, religion, and classic literature. He also co-authored the book, The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship: An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century, which is available online here.
Their book, The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship: An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century, is available online.