|"But what's puzzling you|
Is the nature of my game"
As societies degenerate they begin to suppress writing and speech that challenges the current dogmas.
This eventually develops into tyranny:
"Toynbee wrote volumes about two dozen or so civilizations that we only think about when we are in a history class or a library, however, unlike us he didn't just skim the surface, no, he followed ugly all the way to the bone:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."
That is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, as a world famous encyclopedia points out:
"In the Study Toynbee examined the rise and fall of 26 civilizations in the course of human history, and he concluded that they rose by responding successfully to challenges under the leadership of creative minorities composed of elite leaders. Civilizations declined when their leaders stopped responding creatively, and the civilizations then sank owing to the sins of nationalism, militarism, and the tyranny of a despotic minority.
(How To Identify The Despotic Minority - 14). Unfortunately, this degeneration also impacts educational and scientific realms:
"THE word 'propaganda' is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as "an organized scheme for propagation of a doctrine or practice"; unfortunately it has acquired a bad, and recently an even sinister, meaning. There are few things from which the scientific worker reacts more instinctively than propaganda. Indeed, his wholesome and genuine prejudice against the word has sometimes led to less than justice being done to the work and abilities of those of his colleagues who have undertaken the task of expounding or interpreting to the world the results of scientific work and their significance for human welfare. There are spheres in which the essential task of education is not readily distinguished from propaganda, and propaganda itself has its uses as well as its abuses."
(SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN PROPAGANDA, Nature, 1940). Following perhaps the ways of Bernays ("The Father of [American Propaganda]"), that 1940 article did not even mention Bernays, the originator:
"THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice."
II. Getting Back To Science
I have recently written about a blogging experience that exemplifies what is being pointed out in this series when I came upon a scientific blog:
"Welcome to Small Things Considered! This blog shares the excitement of unexpected and unusual stories of the microbial world. The main contributors to this blog are listed on your right. But we do not just publish our own content, we have many contributions from students, postdocs, and others. We enjoy this, in part because theirs is a world where scientific communication will increasingly involve social media. And this blog is a social medium. Don’t think that we do this to avoid work. We are dedicated editors who spend a lot of time going over the material we receive. We are eager to hear from you, so send us your comments, criticisms, submissions, ideas, or whatever else comes into your mind. Thank you for visiting."
III. Closing Comments
We see propaganda at work all across the nations of the world now, increasingly so in the U.S.A. (the home of Bernays).
It is especially problematic in political parties, most notably the Republican Party, but it also impacts what 'science is made of':
"The subtitle of Naomi Oreskes’ new book, “How Military Funding Shaped What We Do and Don’t Know about the Ocean,” makes her thesis clear from the outset: taking money from someone to fund one’s research probably taints the research with the goals and motives of the funder; because tainted research is not believable research, the published results are perhaps not to be trusted. Oreskes’ point of view is presented in the book’s Introduction, which says, “There is empirical evidence to demonstrate that scientists have been overly optimistic about their ability to maintain their intellectual integrity, particularly in cases where the desiderata of their funders are obvious, as with tobacco or pharmaceutical research.”
(Science on a Mission, page 1). It should not be that way in science, because good challenges are a way to better science.
I have provided a video, featuring Dr. Naomi Oreskes, to further illustrate a certain point which I call The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?.
The previous post in this series is here.