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Churchill’s Grim Warning About Science, Human Nature, and the Future - 1931


Army.ca Myth
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"An admirer of the great Christian writer C.S. Lewis once explained that Lewis “feared what might be done to all nature and especially to mankind if scientific knowledge were to be applied by the power of government without the restraints of traditional values.” In his novel That Hideous Strength, Lewis wrote: “The physical sciences, good and innocent in themselves, had already . . . begun to be warped, had been subtly maneuvered in a certain direction. Despair of objective truth had been increasingly insinuated into the scientists; indifference to it, and a concentration upon mere power, had been the result.”"

"Churchill expressed the concern that Parliamentary government was not up to the task of resisting the morally indifferent march of science and technology. “Great nations,” he wrote, “are no longer led by their ablest men, or by those who know most about their immediate affairs, or even by those who have a coherent doctrine.” “Democratic governments,” he continued, “drift along the line of least resistance, taking short views, paying their way with sops and doles, and smoothing their path with pleasant-sounding platitudes.” The democratic governments, he warned, seem incapable of understanding “the changes which will revolutionize for good or ill not only the whole economic structure of the world but the social habits and moral outlook of every family.” "


Sr. Member
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It’s true. Politicians, largely representing the social value of likeability, maunder along the path of their fellow electees, going along to get along, grabbing for power not to accomplish some greater goal for the betterment of their fellow man, but largely to increase their personal, short-term benefit. This persistent short-term thinking leads to all kinds of ills. Recent examples would be the sale and breakup of companies for profit on the pieces, with the long-term results of fewer companies, less competition and higher prices. Or, looking at how much money can be made by JIT shipping and razor thin margins, all of it thrown in the ashcan when one container ship gets stuck sideways in the ONE path for shipment. Inability to see, or plan for the long term because it’s anything for a buck, now, means there are no contingency plans, no backups, no safety margins. When the inevitable long term consequences of something set in (say, like, if you drained a lake and built on the lakebed), it’s always 5X the disaster it might have been had you taken the long view.