“‘Social engineering’–a synonym for dictatorship and totalitarian tyranny. The idea is to treat human beings in the same way in which the engineer treats the stuff out of which he builds his bridges, roads, and machines.”–Mises

“Life itself is exposed to many risks. At any moment it is endangered by
disastrous accidents which cannot be controlled, or at least not sufficiently…
Every man banks on good luck… He counts upon not being struck by lightning
and not being bitten by a viper… There is an element of gambling in
human life… With regard to noncontrollable natural events man is always in
the position of a gambler.

The engineer, on the other hand, knows everything that is needed for a technologically satisfactory solution of his problem, the construction of a machine. As far as some fringes of uncertainty are left in his power to control, he tries to eliminate them by taking safety margins. The engineer knows only soluble problems and problems which cannot be solved under the present state of knowledge. He may sometimes discover from adverse experience that his knowledge was less complete than he had assumed and that he failed to recognize the indeterminateness of some issues which he thought he was able to control. Then he will try to render his knowledge more complete. Of course he can never eliminate altogether the element of gambling present in human life. But it is his principle to operate only within an orbit of certainty. He aims at full control of the elements of his action.

It is customary nowadays to speak of “social engineering.” Like planning, this term is a synonym for dictatorship and totalitarian tyranny. The idea is to treat human beings in the same way in which the engineer treats the stuff out of which he builds his bridges, roads, and machines. The social engineer’s will is to be substituted for the will of the various people he plans to use for the construction of his utopia. Mankind is to be divided into two classes: the almighty dictator, on the one hand, and the underlings who are to be reduced to the status of mere pawns in his plans and cogs in his machinery, on the other. If this were feasible, then of course the social engineer would not have to bother about understanding other people’s actions. He would be free to deal with them as technology deals with lumber and iron.

In the real world acting man is faced with the fact that there are fellow men acting on their own behalf as he himself acts. The necessity to adjust his actions to other people’s actions makes him a speculator for whom success and failure depend on his greater or lesser ability to understand the future. Every investment is a form of speculation. There is in the course of human events no stability and consequently no safety.”

The Mises Reader, pp. 73-74, Shawn Ritenour, Editor

(Pages 59-60 PDF)


The Mises Reader


As the behaviorist tells usman can be thought of as “an assembled organic machine ready to run.”3 He disregards the fact that while machines run the way the engineer and the operator make them run, men run spontaneously here and there. “At birth human infants, regardless of their heredity, are as equal as Fords.”4Starting from this manifest falsehood, the behaviorist proposes to operate the “human Ford” the way the operator drives his car. He acts as if he owned humanity and were called upon to control and to shape it according to his own designs. For he himself is above the law, the god sent ruler of mankind.”


Positivism and Behaviorism–Mises


Nassim Nicholas Taleb: mathematics, engineering and social science—how they are alike and differ


C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism


Antonio Gramsci–described how the state and ruling class use cultural institutions to maintain power


Failure to speak against evil and passivity–WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY? And what did Dietrich Bonhoeffer say?


Evil and Evil Men–Must Pray Against (Bible)


Praying against evil and evil men

He who passively accepts evil is cooperating with it


Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers?


Remaining silent against evil and the resulting consequences


Passivity in Church Leads to Captivity; and Captivity Leads to Death-Jesse Penn-Lewis


Isaiah 58:1: Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet,..show their transgression, and their sins


Thomas Sowell: Social Justice Philosophy Is a Blank Check for Government Power




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