The Allure and Danger of Scientism

It was not unusual in ancient times for individuals to sell themselves into servitude (as "bondservants"), which was often described as a form of slavery. Usually this was due to excessive debt, but sometimes it was done simply to have a roof over one's head and food in one's belly. In other words, for millennia, in order to satisfy their most basic needs, human beings have often been willing (not forced) to suffer under many a heavy yoke. As C.S. Lewis put it, "A hungry man thinks about food, not freedom." Writing for The Observer in 1958, Lewis bemoaned the "extreme peril of humanity at present" that leads to the "Willing Slaves of the Welfare State." Typically, in order for any oligarchy effectively to rise and rule, it needs some "extreme peril," something to cure, some desperate need that the rulers promise to fulfill. As Lewis asked, is this not "the ideal opportunity for enslavement?" When a generation lives in fear or dread of some looming crisis or when a society is made to...(Read Full Article)

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