They know not what they do.
A Trade Union official of Indian extraction who said that he had spoken from the same platform as London's Mayor Livingstone told me; "A politician is careful to not understand something which it is in his interest to not understand."
This total contradiction of the epigram "Knowledge is power" goes to the heart of the mechanics of The End of the Enlightenment.
Is there any point in rising to the top of Science if one must become a puppet in order to do so, and remain a puppet in order to stay at the top? Dingle and many other cases show that if a Pillar of the Establishment, who rose to the top on a balloon of orthodoxy, thensteps out of line, he is rapidly isolated and castrated.
Someone like Rees is at the top because of his past record, as a steady hand, and only remains in "power" if his hand remains steady. This means that he can be relied on to help to block major scientific advance. A "steady hand" takes one to the top of our scientific elite, along with other masters of "Crimestop"
It is clear that everyone - Rees, Catt, Harold Hillman, is in the paralysing grip of the "thought-proles", or Intelligentsia .
When I was a college lecturer, the idea occurred to me of "education as a means of social control". I was not thinking of the attractive model - that in order to garner fruits, the young blood must wade through years of "education" and gain "qualifications" which classify him as a safe Defender of Agreed Knowledge. Rather, I was thnking of the sandle-clad "hippie" lecturer confronting 30 thrusting "students". A stable society needs protection against such elan vital. This multifarious threat includes, on the one hand, hippie "intellectuals", or "lecturers", and on the other hand truculent youth, in the ratio of about 1 to 30. The "college lecturer" kills, or defuses, two destabilising threats, one being himself, at the small cost of one "lecture room" to accommodate the defusing process.
Rather than the above, very attractive model for stabilising society, I was thinking of the complementary, cancelling, roles played by Catt and Rees.
Rees defends a dogma that he neither knows nor comprehends, while Catt is prevented from replacing it.
Who wants the existing system? Who created it? Can it be reformed?
Crimestop means the faculty
of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any
dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies,
of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest
arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or
repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in
a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
Comment from Forrest Bishop
Dingle puts his finger on the phenomenon we are dealing with:
"Part Two is of secondary - though I believe still considerable -importance, but I should not have troubled to write it had not the necessity of Part One afforded an opportunity, if not issued a command, for it. I should have left it unsaid because I know its futility, since those to whom it should be of concern have lost the ability to read it. The eyes of a few of them might have passed along the lines, but the meaning could not have entered their minds because those minds are closed by an impenetrable barrier to any suggestion that special relativity is not irrefragable truth."
This same principle, which Orwell calls "protective stupidity", is at the psychodynamic core of our civilization's ongoing disintegration. They do not simply know not, they can not become aware without a disintegration of their self identity. This, particularly for the narcissist, but also for anyone in general, is a form of psychic death, as real to the subconscious as actual death. An additional barrier is put up in defense of a perceived, potential loss of resource stream.
We see this over and over in the interpretations of Catt's work, most of which is put into plain English. The ability to comprehend and to reason has been subsumbed by the fight/flight/submit response, i.e. the infantile or animal response. This is pervasive here (in the US) in every area, not just academia. As a consequence, we are rapidly returning to the primitive state, with a brief, current sojourn in semi-barbarism. I think we are witnessing the most rapid decline of a civilization ever seen. Sometimes I call it quad-speed Rome, as these degenerative processes are occuring at very crudely that sort of pace.
Forrest Bishop, 30nov06