What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

C. S. Lewis on the Extreme Peril Facing Humanity

This week what is reported as being the largest-ever gathering of world leaders is meeting in Paris to make plans to ostensibly combat global warming. I say ostensibly because I honestly don’t know whether these leaders even believe the hyperbolic rhetoric of global warming alarmists these days, but they certainly do understand political opportunity when it comes knocking.

The timing of this particular meeting comes shortly after I came across some very interesting passages from the pen of C. S. Lewis in an essay entitled, “Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.” Given the current situation, Lewis’s remarks seem particularly prescient. Lewis writes:

I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in’. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science.

This of course applies not only to global warming, but any number of current hot-button issues, from same-sex marriage and transgenderism to abortion and euthanasia. Progressives repeatedly and without justification claim the mantle of science to support their preferred positions, dismissing all opposition as “anti-science.”

Lewis continues:

We must give full weight to the claim that nothing but science, and science globally applied, and therefore unprecedented Government controls, can produce full bellies and medical care for the whole human race: nothing, in short, but a world Welfare State. It is a full admission of these truths which impresses upon me the extreme peril of humanity at present.

I am impressed by Lewis’s discernment, writing as he was in 1958. Fast forward 57 years to the present, and his words seem more relevant and applicable now than when he wrote them.

Heaven help us.

Comments (11)

Yes, very prescient. The technocracy will rule us for our own good.

I believe that the fakery in the climate science has been partly carried out for this very purpose--to make us do things that environmentalists think we "should be doing anyway." Occasionally one runs into a climate change advocate who will let this point slip out: We should be doing all this stuff anyway. Of course, that isn't true. The massive damage to developed economies and the stultification of the development of the third world are only even being _considered_ because of climate alarmism.

I was reminded of this quotation from "The Abolition of Man" upon readng Mr. Fraser's post: "We may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses,
and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still
possesses. But the man-moulders of the new age will be armed with the powers of
an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique: we shall get at last
a race of conditioners who really can cut out all posterity in what shape they

The interesting thing about that is that I think Lewis had in mind some kind of either a) prenatal engineering for passivity and/or specific ideological beliefs or b) drugs.

We get some of the latter with the Ritalin over-prescription among boys. But in general, what we have as far as widespread social conditioning is _sheer_ propaganda rather than _biological_ conditioning. Which only goes to show the rather frightful power of propaganda and pscyhological conditioning.

But in general, what we have as far as widespread social conditioning is _sheer_ propaganda rather than _biological_ conditioning.

I am not so sure it is purely mental and social conditioning. I have repeatedly wondered just how much of the effect of the emasculization of boys / men is helped along by the wash of chemicals - i.e. the hormonal contraceptives that (a) have residual effects on a woman's body even after she stops taking them to have her 1.7 kids; (b) keeps showing up in ground water and affecting the physiological development of fish and deer and whatnot; and (c) ubiquitous BPAs in plastic objects. How much is the explosion of gender disphoria ans SSA due to the explosion of the Pill?

That's pretty speculative, and my bet is still firmly on brainwashing there rather than a chemical cause. After all, there's so much overt brainwashing that one almost doesn't need to postulate a chemical cause. Liberal parents and teachers will jump quickly to decide that their child "is" transgendered. And it goes both ways as well--female to male as well as male to female. Recently two daycare workers were fired for refusing to go along with the decision of two homosexual men that their daughter (i.e., the little girl they somehow have custody of) is actually a little boy and is to be referred to as such.

In any event, what the left wants is ideological control, and general emasculation does not per se give them ideological control. After all, they still need people with the force and willingness to enforce _their_ ideological control. They cannot afford to be weak _themselves_. President Obama is a joke as a President, but his problem isn't that he's been emasculated and is in general weak and effeminate. His problem is that his ideas are evil and that he's willing to force them on America by whatever means come to hand.

I thought Lewis was also prescient on the way in which we would come to use technology to interfere with the process of reproduction, leading eventually to supplanting the entire reproductive unitive act with mechanical arts. (As hinted at in "That Hideous Strength".) It still seems amazing to me that he nailed it so long ago.

And it is the free markets and capitalism that are driving all humanity towards its abolition. And we are still expected to cheer for capitalism?
Surely a spell of mild socialism of Bernie Sanders' variety would help to slow down the self-annihilation that is now very explicit in capitalism.

"Surely a small bit of cancer will slow down our declining health due to obesity!"

It is not progressivism that is driving trends in same-sex marriage, transgenderism, and reproductive technology but individualism.
This individualism denies any moral authority to the community and is antithesis of the progressive collectivism.
This individualism celebrates capitalism and thus capitalism (and capitalists) have absolutely no problem with social innovations and social innovators.

While I wouldn't go quite as far as B.I. in his attribution of modern problems to capitalism, it does seem beyond much doubt that "big business" has played a very large part in the rise of the technocracy.

The modern Leviathan has two heads, and the right and left fall into the same error: downplaying or ignoring the baleful effects of the head that they're ideologically intent on defending. For the left it's the state, for the right it's the corporations. Both sides swing away at the head they don't like, disregarding the fact that it's the whole critter that's lethal.

It would be all too easy to follow MarcAnthony's lead and spin out the B.I. parodies at great length.

"Surely a 9mm round to the head would slow down Father's self-annihilation by alcoholism."

"Surely some strychnine would slow down Jim's self-annihilation by prescription opiates."

Good grief.

Post a comment

Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.