THIS ARTICLE IS A CONTINUATION OF SCIENCE VERSUS INDUSTRY: PART ONE: OBSERVANCE AND WHY REVOLUTIONS DON’T SUCCEED pauladkin.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/science-versus-industry-part-one-observance-and-why-revolutions-dont-succeed/
Comte believed that only advanced “scientific prevision can avert or mitigate violent revolutions.” What he did not mean when he said this, was that the scientific prevision should be invented in military projects and reactionary wars of rivalry.
But if this is what he didn’t mean, what did he mean? How could a scientific prevision have made our world a better place than it is today? …
To answer this question, we firstly need a political imagination which is observant of the ways that science can be used positively (i.e. non-superficially and non-militarily). This kind of imagination does not currently exist on any significant political level, in any “significant” nation states, either on the right or the left. This absence only makes the importance of deeper and long-range political thought more urgently necessary. This science-supportive imagination would fuel a positive, purposeful political approach that would make visionary schemes possible. Such schemes would not be industrial because their purposeful aims cannot be corrupted by profit-making needs and remain pure.
We are NOT saying that science has not produced marvellous things with industry, but that it could have produced much better, more human-enriching things if it had not been enslaved to the creativity-numbing limits imposed by the marketplace.
Schooling in this kind of science needs to be nurtured through fantastic and boundless Utopian thinking with a strong idea that we are embarking on a purposeful and limitless journey. The kind of ideas we need are those of futures in which interstellar travel is the norm; in which poverty, war and disease are abolished; in which even death is abolished, and humans will have a chance to live and learn eternally; in which humans have an advanced spiritual connection with the Universe; and in which the ecological destruction of the planet has been reversed. A positive eschatological view of the end of times, in which the descendants of humanity will become the guardians of an ever-expanding cosmos; using knowledge and incredible technologies to work with the physical nature of the Universe in order to prevent its death.
These fantastic ideas exist. It is not hard to conceive of an amazing destiny for humanity’s descendants, but our nihilistic and capitalist system does very little to take the leap into the area where science is seen as a truly transforming power for humanity. By being absorbed into the marketplace, science, like art, loses its seriousness and becomes a mere tool for profits.
The purposeful political imagination needs to imbue science with a humanistic logic and an observance of authentic human development and empowerment, free of the tremendous prejudices heaped against science by the capitalist system in favour of superficial consumerism. Corporate bodies are self-interested. Profit is their authenticity, but also their profound handicap where expectations of making a better world are concerned.
Once it is disassociated from military power and the restrictions of profit-making demands, science becomes the disinterested tool through which humanity can properly understand itself and subsequently develop its own real path towards fulfilment.
Of course, this is a radically new reassessment of the real tendency of civilisation, and yet, people have been crying out for it ever since August Comte began to raise these questions in the 1820s. Not that we want to resurrect Comte’s formulated system, or any Marxist formulas either, the immediate and most pressing crisis facing the whole of humanity at the moment is our ecological one and it is toward the enforcement of a definitive solution to our great existential problem that our purposeful political observance must first be aimed.
To put into effect the solutions to this crisis, science and technology are indispensable; the economy is not. If we must dismantle the capitalist marketplace to save our planet and save humanity, then let us make that sacrifice. It is quite simple: We have the problem A. The problem is caused by B. Only by eradicating B can we solve the problem of A.
Our problem is that the ecosystem that maintains life on Earth is being eroded away by the effects of a civilisation based on the superficial aims of production and growth. Superficialities are the lifeblood of our economic system and their superfluity is dragging our superficial civilisation to an absurd, unnecessary end.
The superficial aims of industry have been linked quite effectively and falsely to the noble ideas of freedom and democracy.
Of course, Wealth is reluctant to surrender the measliest millimetre of the profit-making machine it calls civilisation. Wealth will believe in its principles of constant growth, even though the consequences of this ideology are Apocalyptic. Very much of the profits nurtured by the system of growth are spent on maintaining a constant stream of propaganda that reinforces its ideology and defends it as the lifeblood of our world – even to the extent that profit-growth becomes more important than the ecosystem itself.
Gradually, however, the real enemy starts to reveal itself, and we begin to see (because science tells us) that the lifeblood of our system is a cancer. We are ill, and we need some serious painful therapy if we are to avoid a very ugly, and also very painful, premature death.
Before we can direct our mission toward Utopia, we must first undergo the therapy needed to save us from a grizzly death. This therapy will be the next, inevitable revolution. The form of the revolution depends on us, but two things are imperative: it has to take place as soon as possible, and, to succeed as a revolution (and escape the military-theological system[i]) it needs to bring about a non-violent change. Here, we want to replant Comte’s statement on science with an adjustment: not only can scientific prevision avert or mitigate violent revolutions, it can also propagate non-violent change at a revolutionary level.
Violent revolution has to be averted at all cost, but the revolution itself is absolutely necessary.
The longer we postpone the therapy, the more painful it will be – the more likely it will be bloody, and the less likely it will be of providing any successful result.
It is time now for a great social reorganisation to take place, under the benevolent eye of science and the progressive will of creativity. Let the revolution begin!
TO BE CONTINUED …
[i] For an explanation of this, see part one: pauladkin.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/science-versus-industry-part-one-observance-and-why-revolutions-dont-succeed/