In a famous speech given at the University of California at Berkeley in 1962, Aldous Huxley described what he called “the ultimate revolution”:
There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.
It may seem immodest to say so, but Huxley clearly didn’t understand the purpose of modern science. The purpose of modern science, according to its founder Francis Bacon, is “the relief of man’s estate.” Huxley takes it to be “the relief of the estate of those who own estates and never needed relief.” In other words, science has no relationship with truth, nor with humanity in general, it’s just a tool in the hands of the powerful.
The World Economic Forum has told us that in 2030 we will own nothing and be happy about it. Clearly, they are way ahead of us plebs on the Huxley curve. They know things we don’t. An aristocrat, Huxley didn’t appreciate the democratic nature of science; “the relief of man’s estate.”
We have reverted to barbarism, the events of the past year have taken us all – or the vast majority – by surprise. Essentially, the rulers of humanity have discarded millennia of intellectual effort, and reverted to top-down, autocratic tyranny. We are now no better off than the Sumerians, in fact much worse, because the rulers have access to technology that makes them invulnerable; they can murder millions with the flick of a switch, that’s why they’re doing it.
Generally speaking, democracy and science work the same way, bottom-up; as democracy derives its authority from the citizens, science derives its from data. Both systems reject top-down autocracy, placing an abstract, inviolable value on the unit.
Living in the U.S., hearing “democracy” invoked so frequently to justify foreign adventurism, it seemed that those who used the word most believed in it least, and I began to regard the very concept with a jaundiced eye. If you want to know what the ruling class thinks of democracy, look at Brexit. They just refused to implement the will of the people, until covid came along and made it superfluous. Formerly, governments of democratic nations were supposed to follow the will of the people; now, the people be damned, we have the science, and we’re going to follow that.
It’s ironic. Democracy and science work the same way, bottom up, and they have both been replaced with top-down arbitrary authoritarianism.