I’ve decided to add a new and regular feature to this blog—quotes on social engineering. The first is a doozy, just in case you’re snoozing!
This was lifted from the excellent article in Strategic Culture by Cynthia Chung, From Trotskyism to Radical Positivism: How Albert Wohlstetter Became the Leading Authority for Nuclear Strategy in America
Russell would put it forth most succinctly in his “The Scientific Outlook” (1931):
“The scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless and contented. Of these qualities, probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researchers of psycho-analysis, behaviorism and biochemistry will be brought into play… all the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “cooperative” i.e.: to do exactly what every body else is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished will be scientifically trained out of them.”
“In 1953, Russell would update this creepy piece of work and make it even creepier, writing:
“It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment… This subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship. Anaxagoras maintained that snow is black, but no one believed him. The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.”
In his “The Managerial Revolution,” Burnham echoes the Fabian Society methodology and Russell’s “The Scientific Outlook,” writing:
“Nevertheless, it may still turn out that the new form of economy will be called ‘socialist.’ In those nations – Russia and Germany – which have advanced furthest toward the new [managerial] economy, ‘socialism’ or ‘national socialism’ is the term ordinarily used. The motivation for this terminology is not, naturally, the wish for scientific clarity but just the opposite. The word ‘socialism’ is used for ideological purposes in order to manipulate the favourable mass emotions attached to the historic socialist ideal of a free, classless, and international society and to hide the fact that the managerial economy is in actuality the basis for a new kind of exploiting, class society.”