The View From 1776

Science vs. Scientism

Socialism, of which liberal-progressivism is the American sect, is a gross misapplication of presumed science to inappropriate fields of human experience.  18th century socialists, progenitors of today’s socialism, were strongly influenced by Newton’s laws of motion and his equations measuring the effects of gravity.  The Newtonian world, as they saw it (though Newton certainly didn’t see it that way) was matter set in motion and continuing so without the intervention of God, Whose existence was expressly denied.

The hubristic presumption of early modern socialists was that human political and social interactions were, as Newton’s universe, subject to laws of motion that the socialist elite alone were able to perceive.  This is quintessential scientism, not science.

In the socialist and American liberal-progressive view, because only the elite professoriate were able to discern and apply the presumed laws of social and political interaction, it is both the prerogative and the duty of that elite to control and direct the daily behavior of the rest of us.

That deformation of our original constitutional ethos is brought into focus in Mark Hendrickson’s essay on the Forbes Website:

The Pandora’s Box Of Progressivism: Positive Law

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/18 at 01:04 PM
  1. Thomas Sowell has made the useful distinction between hard science and soft science. The former has been blessed by the scientific method and the ingenuity and innovative minds of physical scientists to make our lives easier, healthier, and happier. They have been doing this for over 3,000 years, most notably commencing about 700BC with Thales and other ancient Greeks. It is notable that, the soft scientists, theorizing about social, economic, political, and cultural institutions, have done little to improve any of these fields of human activity in the same extended time period: Pericles, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Cleisthenes, Solon, et al., outlined and implemented the principles of social and political organization. Together with the merchants of Phoenicia, Venice, and Greece, the artists and playrights of Rome and Greece, their level of performance in the soft-arts has never been bested. There has been no progress in 2,000 years in the soft-sciences. The application of socialism by bloated governmental mandates is a backward step, unscientific, and disproven as an inefficient system throughout history. The folly of today's socialist theorists is best evidenced by their attempt to lend dignity to their abstractions by claiming a physical science basis for dealing with human beings; an absurd claim that is patently inapproriate when you consider how totally unpredictable, irrational, stubborn, and downright contrary the average person is even at his or her best! Further, it is the folly of progressives to ignore the one fairly predictable thing about human behavior: If you reward bad behavior, you will get more of it. If you punish good behavior, you will get less of it. Even my dog understands that!
    Posted by bill greene  on  06/23  at  10:43 PM
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