Wednesday, February 06, 2019


This is not an original defense, but I think it is topical.  CS Lewis is criticised for being anti-science in That Hideous Strength. He defended himself that the only real scientist in the book, the chemist Bill Hingest, resigns from the N.I.C.E and is mysteriously murdered on his way home that night. The real scientist wanted nothing to do with those who were claiming to be scientists but weren't. They had a veneer of scientific talk and had an attitude of stopping all argument by claiming the mantle of science, but Lewis called that scientism, an entirely different thing

It is worth noting that these were primarily journalists and social scientists. There were also some second-and-third rate scientists in the background who may have been in legitimately scientific fields of study, but had been co-opted by the excitement of getting to be on the deciding edge of being important and making other people do things charting a course for the progress and uplift of humankind.

With a change of some cultural details, something similar could be written today. They showed their colors 75 years ago, then.  Not to the average observer, perhaps, but at least to one who was as clear-eyed as Lewis.  That's what I call being woke.


james said...

One thing I don't think he quite appreciated was the power of distraction. Mark is supposed to try to shape opinion, and is able to do so better than he expected (Lewis nailed that one). But a blizzard of distractions turns out to be amazingly powerful leverage for opinion shaping. Just set out a few hints of your propaganda and frame them all with scandal and celebrities and presto, there's no room left for other views, or for second thoughts, or for much thinking at all. It makes it so much easier to smother inconvenient facts, should any happen to leak out.

Sam L. said...

Is THAT where the Left got their ideas/plans?