Control System

None of modern science has the slightest value as knowledge; rather, it bases itself on a formal renunciation of knowledge in the true sense. 

The driving and organizing force behind modern science derives nothing at all from the ideal of knowledge, but exclusively from practical necessity, and, I might add, from the will to power turned on things and on nature.

In fact, the concept of "truth” in the traditional sense is already alien to modern science, which concerns itself solely with hypotheses and formulae that can predict with the best approximation the course of phenomena and relate them to a certain unity.

And as it is not a question of “truth,” but a matter less of seeing than of touching, the concept of certainty in modern science is reduced to the “maximum probability.” That all scientific certainties have an essentially statistical character is openly recognized by every scientist, and more categorically than ever in recent subatomic physics.

The system of science resembles a net that draws ever tighter around a something that, in itself, remains incomprehensible, with the sole intention of subduing it for practical ends.

These practical ends only secondarily concern the technical applications; they constitute the criterion in the very domain that belongs to pure knowledge, in the sense that here, too, the basic impulse is schematizing, an ordering of phenomena in a simpler and more manageable way. As was rightly noted, ever since that formula simplex sigillum veri (simplicity is the seal of the true), there has appeared a method that exchanges for truth (and knowledge) that which satisfies a practical, purely human need of the intellect.

In the final analysis, the impulse to know is transformed into an impulse to dominate; and we owe to a scientist, Bertrand Russell, the recognition that science, from being a means to know the world, has become a means to change the world.

The more "comfortable” ideas and theories become "true," in regard to the organization of the data of sensorial experience. A choice between such data is made consciously or instinctively, excluding systematically those that do not lend themselves to being controlled; thus also everything qualitative and unrepeatable that is not susceptible to being mathematized.

Scientific “objectivity” consists solely in being ready at any moment to abandon existing theories or hypotheses, as soon as the chance appears for the better control of reality. Thereupon it includes in the system of the already predictable and manageable those phenomena not yet considered, or seemingly irreducible; and that, without any principle that in itself, in its intrinsic nature, is valid once and for all. In the same way, he who can lay his hands on a modern long-range rifle is ready to give up a flintlock.

[Julius Evola]
Ride the Tiger, p. 131-2

The imperative to overcome culture as part of the project of mastering nature was expressed with forthright clarity by John Dewey, one of liberalism’s great heroes. Dewey insisted that the progress of liberation rested especially upon the active control of nature, and hence required the displacement of traditional beliefs and culture that reflected a backward and limiting regard for the past.

The savage tribe manages to live in the desert, he wrote, by adapting itself to the natural limits of its environment; thus “its adaptation involves a maximum of accepting, tolerating, putting up with things as they are, a maximum of passive acquiescence, and a minimum of active control, of subjection to use."

A “civilized people” in the same desert also adapts; but “it introduces irrigation; it searches the world for plants and animals that will flourish under such conditions; it improves, by careful selection, those which are growing there. As a consequence, the wilderness blossoms as a rose. 

The savage is habituated; the civilised man has habits which transform the environment”.

[Patrick Deneen]
Why Liberalism Failed, p.71

Related posts: