C.S. Lewis on technocracy

C S Lewis wrote an essay in 1958, Willing Slaves of the Welfare State. Is Progress Possible?. It is a very interesting read, and he connects this with technocracy, which in its modern meaning hails from the 1930s. Technocracy is an ideology. EU is evolving into that. Technocracy does not have to be very scientific. It is rather a rule by scientism. Bureaucrats are rarely scientists, and if they are they are usually over-valuing their knowledge and insight into areas outside their expertise. Lewis: “Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects.” They also tend to think if they can analyze stuff, they also know the best implementation.

Lewis even mentions Sweden, which apparently even in 1958 was an internationally famous model for the welfare state. The Swedish idea of welfare state goes back to the concept folkhemmet (lit. “the people’s home”) from the 1920s, although the term itself is from an older conservative theorist. Folkhemmet is a rather parochial and conformist concept. It has also been argued that values such as individual responsibility and strong work ethics precede the welfare state, and that the latter also really only can work in a rather uniform society with strong common ethics and goals (i.e. culture). The Nordic countries were extremely culturally homogeneous up until immigration on any scale started after the war. See e.g. Nima Sanadaji‘s Debunking Utopia. Have not read his other books, so will not refer to them.

One can also note that when C.S. Lewis wrote his article, Sweden was not a high tax country; That started in the 1970s. Now we have I think the 3rd highest total tax pressure in the world and declining welfare, health, police and other common systems. That’s what happens when you promote your country as a welfare paradise with a lenient judicial system and practically open borders combined with multiculturalism. Immigration has changed. In the 50s, 60s and 70s is was mostly work force import. People came here mainly because industry had plenty of modern jobs, currency was strong, plus Sweden was a safe and stable society with good public services.

Lewis saw “the worldwide paternalism of a technocracy”, but I don’t know if he saw the modern globalist concept coming. They are connected.

I have not read Lewis’ sci-fi trilogy, which he wrote before the famous Narnia books. Maybe he had these ideas even back then?

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