We further our discussion about The Psychology of Totalitarianism, by Mattias Desmet. It his book, Desmet talks about how in a totalitarian society, religion is replaced by science, and how experts and technocrats become the new priesthood. People caught up in the totalitarian mass formation eagerly subordinate their free will to that of the expert class.
On this, he writes:
“Totalitarianism is the belief that human intellect can be the guiding principle in life and society. It aims to create a utopian, artificial society lead by technocrats or experts who, based on their technical knowledge, will ensure that the machine of society runs flawlessly. In this view, the individual is completely subordinated to the collective, reduced to being a cog in the machine of society (see, for example, Bertrand Russell in The Impact of Science on Society.)
The ideal of a technocratic society was inherent to the Enlightenment tradition, especially in its positivist branch. Positivist thinkers like Henri de Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte expressed their fanatical belief in a humanistic-technocratic society in which scientists and technocrats would take the place of the popes and priests. Not God, but human Reason should be glorified. This is the way to a utopian society without war or conflict, a Realm of Freedom.”
Even while people take to the streets in China to protest their government’s draconian zero-COVID measures, people in the West celebrate and welcome never ending COVID measures restricting personal freedom. In the East the Chinese, conditioned from birth to follow authority, shout for President Xi Jinping’s resignation. In the West, Dr Fauci enjoys notoriety as he retires from public life, having led many to give up their fundamental freedoms. In one place, the sway of mass formation has reached its limit. In another, those caught up in a mass formation cling to it.
Many of those same people on the left caught up in the mass formation based on COVID-19 fears, are simultaneously caught up in another– centered around climate-change alarmism. Not just people, but entire countries have subordinated themselves to the gods of climate-change. The twin masters of climate-change and COVID alarmism have hurled countries headlong into self-destructive behavior. National leaders have subjected their citizens to the real possibility of freezing and hunger, largely based on the say of experts and technocrats who’ve convinced them to self-immolate their nations’ farming and energy sectors.
Totalitarian systems call on their members to defer reason and judgment in crucial areas to an expert class. Those swept up in the mass formation are convinced to place their faith not in God or religion, but experts and science. Just like with religion, this new machine messiah demands sacrifice and a subordination of will to itself.