The More We Know, the Less We Know

Aug 02, 2017
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“While everyone recognizes the benefits of knowledge, there are those who misinterpret our collective advancement as an invitation to exert control over society, and to impose a centralized structure onto the masses of people doing their own things, working, living, and pursuing happiness in their own ways.”

This is not a new development.  It is part of the Enlightenment vision of a humanity perfected through scientia.

The author argues that this old dream of total control over society has now become absurd with the sheer expanse of knowledge.  “The very complexity that makes us desire order confounds efforts by any individual, committee, or government department to know enough to impose it…access to information solves many of the problems that have been used for justifications of government intervention in markets.”

What the author utterly ignores is that the desire to control others was never a rational desire, and it is not in the least discouraged by the fact of being implausible in its entirety.  As the Romans understood homo homini lupus – “man is a wolf to man.”  It is the weak and the vulnerable upon whom the wolf preys.  There are always plenty of them.

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