Today I bring forward "Is Progress Possible?" which Lewis wrote sixty years ago in The Observer (an English weekly newspaper), as part of their series of five writers answering the question. Lewis followed CP Snow. The essay is disturbingly prescient, as Lewis often is. He would not a tendency in society and project it forward, as in The Abolition of Man. He was originally trained in philosophy, not literature. The link is to a Libertarian Christian site, to which I am grateful.
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.
*Given new problems in each eye over the last two years, I wonder if reading will ultimately prove impossible, as it did for my uncle who died this morning. Nothing to be gained by worrying about it now.