The Scientific Outlook - Alan Watt

23/01/2014 20:25

1. The following quotes are from the book "The Impact of Science on Society" (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1951 and 1953):

"I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists. The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of that? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people’s." (p. 26)

"...the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology.... The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen. As yet there is only one country which has succeeded in creating this politician’s paradise.” (p. 30)

"Education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished."  (Page 50)

"...most civilized and semi-civilized countries known to history and had a large class of slaves or serfs completely subordinate to their owners.  There is nothing in human nature that makes the persistence of such a system impossible.  And the whole development of scientific technique has made it easier than it used to be to maintain a despotic rule of a minority.  When the government controls the distribution of food, its power is absolute so long as they can count on the police and the armed forces.  And their loyalty can be secured by giving them some of the privileges of the governing class.  I do not see how any internal movement of revolt can ever bring freedom to the oppressed in a modern scientific dictatorship." (Page 54)

"There are three ways of securing a society that shall be stable as regards population.  The first is that of birth control, the second that of infanticide or really destructive wars, and the third that of general misery except for a powerful minority." (pps. 103-104) 

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