Scientistic Statism

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Robert Hanna:

"On the one hand, the Natural Mechanism of scientism tells us that we are nothing but deterministic or indeterministic decision-theoretic “biochemical puppets” or “moist robots.” And on the other hand, Statism tells us that we are obligated to obey the coercive commands of governments — powered by sophisticated formal and exact sciences and by advanced technology, finance, and industry — no matter how absurd or immoral these commands might actually be, without ever daring to think or act or live for ourselves, lest we fall back into the chaotic, evil, pre-scientific, pre-Statist Hobbesian “war of all against all” in the “state of nature,” and lose the marvelous egoistic or collectivist benefits of life as decision - theoretic biochemical puppets or moist robots. I call this tightly-circular, dyadic, and symbiotic conceptual and practical system that governs the 20th and 21st century sociocultural and political world, scientistic Statism. Scientistic Statism is the real-world manifestation of Francisco Goya’s all-too-true observation and warning in the Los caprichos (1797–99) that “the sleep of reason breeds monsters” (el sueño de la razón produce monstruos).

Fritz Lang’s presciently anti-scientistic and anti-Nazi films from 1922 and 1933, Metropolis and The Testament of Doctor Mabuse , and the genre of classic dystopian science fiction novels, especially including Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1920-21 We , Aldous Huxley’s 1931 Brave New World , George Orwell’s 1984 from 1949, Anthony Burgess’s 1962 The Clockwork Orange, and Philip K. Dick’s 1968 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep , and hundreds of films and novels since then, e.g., James Cameron’s The Terminator from 1984 — ominous year! — and Lutz Dammbeck’ s The Net from 2003, jointly capture the soul-destroying and freedom-crushing spirit of scientistic Statism in its most blatantly authoritarian and totalitarian manifestations. Correspondingly, Hitler’s totalitarian Nazi German state and Stalin’s totalitarian Communist Russian state are, to be sure, scientistic Statism’s most brutal, destructive, and horrific instantiations. Scientistic Statism is how the Enlightenment turned into a Terminator."