Tagged: B.F Skinner
by Paul & Phillip D. Collins, Dec. 1st, 2008
In his 1940 book The New World Order, H.G. Wells wrote:
… when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people … will hate the new world order … and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we [must] bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people. (The New World Order)
Wells’ prognostication was, without a doubt, correct. As the global government envisioned by the supranational elite is gradually instantiated, many voices of dissent will be raised and subsequently eradicated. Yet, not every dissenter may “die protesting against it,” but will die unwittingly embracing it instead. Some dissenters may, in fact, naively accept another form of global government being proffered as a viable alternative.
Such is the case with Zeitgeist: Addendum, the 2008 sequel to the pseudo-documentary entitled Zeitgeist, the Movie. The film was produced by Peter Joseph, a proponent of the inherently technocratic Venus Project. While the film presents a few valid critiques concerning the world monetary system, the military industrial complex, and America’s meddlesome foreign policy, it uses these political and social ills as a pretext for the presentation of counterfeit solutions. The movie’s prescriptions are posed within a distinctly Hegelian framework. In many instances, the solutions proffered by Zeitgeist: Addendum merely constitute dialectic extremes that produce precisely the same results as the problems that they allegedly address.
Moreover, Zeitgeist: Addendum either intentionally or unwittingly fails to recognize the problems for what they are: contrived grievances employed as polar extremes to perpetuate a dialectical climate. Instead, Zeitgeist: Addendum portrays the problems as the natural outgrowths of America’s constitutional republican system, thereby vilifying representative democracy and enshrining the technocratic paradigm. The film’s ultimate solution is little more than a Hegelian synthesis, as is evidenced by the dialectical commonalities between the Venus Project and the globalist forces that it purportedly opposes.
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 means [toward utopia] - dictatorship of the proletariat, hidden or open rule of the technocrat, the cultural engineer, the planner, Robert Owen, H. G. Wells, Etienne Cabet, B. F. Skinner - is often, indeed usually, quite definitely the work of an elite.
by Phillip D. Collins ©, June 9th, 2005
In recent years, 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).
By Phillip D. Collins ©, Jan. 8th, 2014
I Corinthians 2: 14-15 establishes a binary opposition that defines the modern historical struggle in which man finds himself mortally locked. This passage of Scripture, as it is translated in the amplified version of the Bible, reads: “But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him].”
Verse 15 presents the reader with the “spiritual man.” The adjective “spiritual” is etymologically derived from the Greek word Pneumatikos, which relates to the human spirit or rational soul. Pneumatikos is that which was breathed into man by God in Genesis 2:7. In fact, the word pneumatikos also pertains to breath, as is evidenced by respiratory-related terms like “pneumonia.” The concept of Pneumatikos forms the basis for the Christian doctrine of imago viva Dei, which teaches that man occupies the unique position as a creature created in the image of God.
In contradistinction, verse 14 presents the reader with the “natural man.” The adjective “natural” is etymologically derived from the Greek word psuchikos. It denotes the principle of animal life, that which men have in common with the brutes. It also connotes the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion.
Interestingly enough, the term “psychology” is etymologically derived from psuchikos. Through the interpretative lens of modern psychology, all those elements of man that initially fell under the descriptive category of pneumatikos are biologicized. With the soul divorced from metaphysics, every thought, feeling, and idea becomes biochemical in origin. Remaining consistent with its etymological root, psychology reduces man to little more than a brute whose behavior must be sculpted by those few conditioners who are accountable to no moral master.