My husband and I had a conversation in bed last night that I'm going to share with you. Don't be shocked! You should have figured out by now that pillow-talk between a mathematical physicist and a historian is probably not what you would call a racy conversation! But I guess that depends on what you think is "racy." Anyway, I was telling him about some things that were weighing on my mind as a result of the book I am currently reading: The Origin of Comets by Clube, Bailey and Napier. The topics covered in the book include the more-than-dismal record of science in the fields of astronomy and cosmology. I was bemoaning how incredibly backwards our Science of today truly is because of all the great ideas that have been quashed by governments and religions in the interests of control of the masses and that has led to the dire state of our world and so-called 'civilization'..
As I wrote in "Dark Ages and Inquisitions":
Science took a serious wrong turn in the middle of the nineteenth century, about the time Darwin published his Origin of Species and that is why we do, indeed, live in a Dark Age as a consequence. It wasn't that Natural Selection was wrong, per se, but the way the principles have been applied has been disastrous. Natural Selection was seized upon as the one and only underlying law of the Universe - and this seizing was done by individuals with a very particular psychological make-up as we will see. The same kinds of people that become uber-religious and kill people in the name of their god, can - and often do - become adherents of the religion of science. [...]
in the nineteenth century, certain discoveries led to economic and political considerations, and that is when Science took the wrong turn because those folks who tend to black and white thinking also have other character traits that include a need to dominate others, as well as a strong tendency to greed. The pursuit of science became a career rather than a hobby, and an army of scientific workers was sought to serve the agendas of what was to become known as the Military-Industrial Complex.
Now, what is wrong with that last sentence? Did you catch it? Nobody BELIEVED Zwicky. What that means is, BELIEF blocked all of the scientific community from doing one, simple, scientific thing: check the math! And so, for over 30 years, science was ignorant of Dark Matter and all the work - entire careers - of hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of individuals, was lacking a key piece of data.
Because nobody believed Zwicky.
They didn't bother to check his math because he was "eccentric." That is to say, he was not an authoritarian follower.
Authoritarian followers have the psychological characteristic known as right-wing authoritarianism. This personality trait consists of authoritarian submission, a high degree of submission to the established authorities in one's society; authoritarian aggression, aggression directed against various persons in the name of those authorities; and conventionalism, a strong adherence to the social conventions endorsed by those authorities. Why do psychologists call authoritarian followers "right-wing" authoritarians? Are they all members of a conservative political party? No. Right-wing is used here in a psychological sense, meaning wanting to please established authority. One of the original meanings of the adjective right (riht in Old English) was "lawful, proper, correct," which in those long ago days meant doing what your local lord and the king wanted.Over and over again it is seen, in retrospect, of course, that irrational beliefs that are promulgated by authorities who desire to maintain control, and believed by the followers who want to be 'good', trump True Science; and here I mean the mode of Scientific Cognition, not just 'science' since the so-called Enlightenment. Over and over again, throughout history, going back even to ancient times, you can note that there were a few really intelligent free thinkers who made observations, drew useful inferences from those observations, and suggested solutions that were ignored, ridiculed, reviled, buried; and often, the thinker who dared to voice his ideas was destroyed by one means or another because Authoritarian Followers are also aggressive against anything that is not pronounced to be 'okay' by their leaders. Most often this destruction was - and is even today - due to power considerations: the individual has an idea that, in some way, threatens the political/social power structure.
- Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology
Why is it, one has to ask, that truth is so threatening to power?
Yesterday I read "Iraq: An Education in Occupation and Institutional Destruction" by Hugh Gusterson, published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Hugh Gusterson is an anthropologist whose specialty is 'nuclear culture'. He is very active in the Network of Concerned anthropologists and thinks that science in general, anthropology is particular, ought not to be militarized. The article is about the destruction of the universities, libraries, culture and education system in Iraq by the illegal and immoral U.S. invasion, along with the multiple murders of scientists and professors and intelligentsia in general. It's heartbreaking because it immediately reminded me of Katyn. Do you know about Katyn? Let me tell you about it.
The Katyn Massacre
In late August of 1939, Hitler signed non-aggression pact with Stalin which, effectively, was an agreement between the two of them to divide Poland. When the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, the Polish people hardly knew what the Nazis had in store for them. According to the Nazi grand design for the solution to the need for 'lebensraum', (living space), the whole of Polish territory was to be gradually cleared of its native population for the colonization by German ethnic populations and eventually incorporated into the Greater German Reich.
Thus, unfortunately, the Poles themselves were one of the primary targets of the Nazis, perhaps moreso than the Jews. The Germans considered the Poles to be an inferior race as they did other Slavic nations. So, according to the plan, the Poles were to be sorted according to strictly racist criteria. Those Poles with German ancestry were to be reclassified as ethnic Germans. The transformation of Poland into a German province was to be carried out over a short period of twenty-five or thirty years. Hence, no mercy was to be shown to this population. And, to guarantee the success of this fast despoliation, the intelligentsia was to be liquidated. "It sounds cruel, " Hitler reportedly told Hans Frank, "but such is the law of life."
Seventeen days after Hitler invaded Poland from the West, the USSR invaded from the East. Stalin's 'Scorched Earth' policy called for the evacuation of industries, factories, machinery, skilled workers and livestock - all to be moved East to Russia. Almost 200 major industrial plants were moved to Russia from Ukraine in two months. And, more than that, Stalin ALSO saw it as necessary to annihilate the intelligentsia of Ukraine.
In a speech give by Lech Walesa, President of the Republic of Poland, at the Cemetery of Polish officers in Katyn, June 4th, 1995, the following was noted (translated by Chester A. Kisiel):
"In September 1939 their world collapsed. Everything went to pieces: independence, law, joy in building their country, domestic tranquility. An onslaught from the West fell upon isolated Poland, soon followed by one from the East. [...] Many of them [became Soviet prisoners of war] such as the defenders of Lvov, [and were] assured nothing bad would happen to them, that they had been interned only temporarily, that they would be allowed to return to their homes. [...] How could they know that on the 5th of March, 1940, a few signatures on a short document sentenced to death more than twenty thousand innocent people? This document instructed: 'decide the cases without summoning the prisoners and without presenting charges; the sentence: to be shot.'Over twenty thousand of the brightest and best of the genetic pool of Ukraine were dead with one action. But, this was only the tip of the ice-berg. For example, the population of Kiev, in 1940 was 900,000. In 1945 it was only 186, 000.
"The NKVD carried out their orders precisely and methodically. A separate bullet for each condemned man... hour after hour, day after day after day; the procession of death continued. In the end, there was one common, nameless pit. There were no crosses, no names, no prayers."
"Then followed decades of concealing the truth. Lies, subterfuge and persecutions. In totalitarian Poland, the word 'KATYN' was an anti-State word. The threat of severe penalties hung over anyone who dared to place a candle under a cross with such an inscription. The families of the Katyn victims had to conceal keepsakes of their loved ones."The murder of the educated classes was blamed on the Germans by the Russians, and on the Russians by the Germans.Ultimately it was proved that Stalin gave the orders and the Russian NKVD were responsible for the massacre. The truth, however, is, that BOTH the Nazis AND the Russians were guilty. More than that, there is evidence that the Jewish Holocaust was just such an action: the most intelligent and talented of the Jews were sent to their deaths by various means, and the psychopaths of the Jewish population either collaborated with the Germans, or got a free ticket to Israel.
I once read an account of the Cambodian genocide carried out by Pol Pot and his regime. It was written by a school teacher. He explained that he had to hide his glasses because the Khmer Rouge regime automatically shot anyone wearing glasses because that supposedly signaled that they could read and write!
The fact is, if you read enough history, you will discover that killing the intelligentsia first is the aim of all invaders and conquerors because it is through the elimination or suppression of competent thinkers that any oppressive regime takes hold. This has been done so regularly and extensively throughout history that it staggers the mind to consider it. What it means, essentially, is that over and over and over again, psychopaths and their authoritarian followers have systematically eliminated from the human population, the best and brightest minds, removing their DNA from the human gene pool, and it is ALL of humanity that is suffering. It could very well be that this single strategy is the reason that humanity is on the verge of extinction right now.
The Malthusian Darwinists, of course, will say that it is just 'survival of the fittest'. I guess that depends on what you understand the 'fittest' to be. In the animal kingdom, where fitness is measured by strength and power, the ability to wallop the heck out of all rivals to your possession of food and sexual partners, selection of this type might be useful. But in the human species, where fitness and progress and even survival, depend on brain power, killing off all the brainiest people in any given culture can only lead to degradation and devolution of the species as a whole. And when that species holds in its hands the ability to destroy all life on the planet, well, I think you can see where that kind of selection will lead: a lot of power and not enough brains to know that it ought never to be used.
I would like to invite you to stop and try to imagine what life on Earth might be like if Science had actually fulfilled its mandate of explaining our reality and teaching us how to best respond to it. If science was actually a free exploration of Nature and drawing accurate conclusions, creating theories, testing those theories with no hidden agendas, what might it have accomplished up to now? Can you do it? Can you think of any area of life that could not be improved by having a truly scientific understanding and proposed response that was supported and implemented by the social/power structure?
Oh, you think it has been done? Think again. Read the history of science and human social development. When you see how repeatedly the few individuals who had the right idea were marginalized and/or destroyed, if you have any firing neurons after being born into a humanity which has been genetically manipulated to less intelligence, you will immediately realize that the same conditions - only worse - prevail today: what the mainstream follows is almost always what is politically expedient to those in power, with only enough truth involved to patch over the obvious tears in the now disintegrating fabric of society.
All of this COULD be the conditions of a world where true Science is a valued part of society. It could have been our world.
But that isn't what we have today. What we have today is the Chaos produced by pathological individuals that induces Consent from the Authoritarian Followers. As I noted above, Science took a wrong turn when it was co-opted by Power and diverted to the purposes of Imperialism and materialistic greed. The really sad thing is that the authoritarian followers who 'believe in authority' could as easily follow an authority that has their best interests at heart were such an authority to exist. I don't think it does anymore: the psychopaths have seen to that, co-opting and corrupting even science, to the core. As it is, the authoritarian sheep follow and support the very worst of humanity; pathological individuals who gain power by deception and manipulation. And in the end, as psychologist, Andrew Lobaczewski wrote:
"Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing."Humanity is a Cosmic body and each individual is a cell in that body. But the humanity we see today is a disease-ridden idiot - a shambling, ragged, beast covered with oozing pustules of corruption representing science, religions and government - stumbling from one self-inflicted disaster to another. There can be only one outcome and this, too, is documented: in ancient literature describing how other 'mighty' cultures have ended:
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the time of the Son of Man. [People] ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, right up to the day when Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.In case you think that means being 'Raptured', think again and ponder the following in reference to the above remark about vultures and eagles gathering around a fallen body:
So also [it was the same] as it was in the days of Lot. [People] ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; But on the [very] day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed [them] all. That is the way it will be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day let him who is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, not come down [and go inside] to carry them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve and quicken it.
I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other will be left. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.
Then they asked Him, Where, Lord? He said to them, Wherever the dead body is, there will the vultures or eagles be gathered together. Luke 17: 26-37
Then I saw a single angel stationed in the sun's light, and with a mighty voice he shouted to all the birds that fly across the sky, Come, gather yourselves together for the great supper of God, That you may feast on the flesh of rulers, the flesh of generals and captains, the flesh of powerful and mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all humanity, both free and slave, both small and great!
Then I saw the beast and the rulers and leaders of the earth with their troops mustered to go into battle and make war against Him Who is mounted on the horse and against His troops. And the beast was seized and overpowered, and with him the false prophet who in his presence had worked wonders and performed miracles by which he led astray those who had accepted or permitted to be placed upon them the stamp (mark) of the beast and those who paid homage and gave divine honors to his statue. Both of them were hurled alive into the fiery lake that burns and blazes with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword that issues from the mouth of Him Who is mounted on the horse, and all the birds fed ravenously and glutted themselves with their flesh. Revelation 19:17-21
High-res version of the above image here.