The 20th century

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.”

Professor James C. Scott published his magnificent book “Seeing like a state, How Certain Schemes to Improve Human Condition have Failed” (March 1998). The book is a magnificent review of the past 20th century. Scott criticizes a system of believes he calls ‘high modernism’.

The book is about our ability to design and operate society in accordance with scientific laws. Professor Scott identified four reasons for this failure:

1. The “administrative ordering of nature and society.”

2. A “confidence about scientific and technical progress” that leads to the conclusion that science comprehends all knowledge and therefore maximizes all productivity”. Scott calls this “high-modernist ideology”.

3. “An authoritarian state that is willing and able to use the full weight of its coercive power.”

4. “A prostrate civil society that lacks the capacity to resist these plans.”

The contribution of science to human condition has never been very promising.

Behind every problem there are ‘two scientists’, a ‘businessman’, a ‘politician’ and a ‘worker’. One scientist promotes the disaster and the other criticizes it. The cooperation between the politician and the businessman is for profit. The worker is innocent, he has to feed his family. (Rob Leegwater 2020)

Many scientists believe that science has to reinvent itself. Many people also believe nowadays that the French philosopher Montesquieu should have defined wisdom (science) as the fourth power.

Sustainable development of mankind will depend on the ability of the worldwide scientific society to develop trustworthiness and to unite as the leaders of a sustainable human society.

A way to transform politics into what they are good in, law makers and law enforcement.

In nature everything is real, theories don’t exist. I can’t get it out of my mind that continuum mechanics has always been available in nature!
(Rob Leegwater 2020)