‘… nowhere have we really overcome… ‘the predatory phase’ of human development… Science, however, cannot create ends… Many human beings, half-unconsciously, determine the slow evolution of society…’ Albert Einstein, Why Socialism? Monthly Review  New York (May 1949).
Innumerable reasons are given to explain why our current global-digital, polity-economy still lacks the imagination to overcome its increasingly tragic limits.
Albert Einstein is a good example of individual genius flying against the winds of authority and science, while science has been brought to heel by its own need for funding and cooperation with power.
Many politicians have no clue what science has become, or ever was, scared off by the claims to reason that classical science invoked to gain its authority.
Today politicians use science, as the old-saying goes, not for illumination, but for support against the gale of the new.
Do they even know what it means?
Let alone how science can be used to adapt our world as fast and as coherently as we people of the world require in the face of global catastrophic risks (see blog, GCR)?
The etymology of the word science derives from the Proto-Indu-European (PIE) root *skei- “to cut, split” (source also of Greek skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan “to divide, separate.”
It does not mean certainty, or indeed, having no doubts.
Science may require specialisation to carry out, but it does not require specialisation to evaluate its conclusions.
It requires human interest, expressed not by special representative, but by all citizens acting in the public interest.
Science is but the splitting of experience into evidence and evidence into expressions that can judged accurate against experience, the experience of each and everyone.
In face of devastating evidence, the planet’s politicans are failing not only to use science to overcome the past.
They are failing to employ science to design the future.
At least in any approach that is not too slow, too compromised, too reductive and too beholden to their close self-interests.
In this, our newly empowered network age, science like citizenship, is under siege from distortion, disinformation and fake-news, used quite deliberately, to reduce the possibility of change.
A fatal compromise imposed ruthlessly by these same self-interests.
Politicians, governments and business — the ‘iron cage’ — are all beholden not to science, but to self-interest.
Science is the expression of public interest — because it is open to scrutiny unlike the iron-cage inhabitants — and may no longer be compromised by traditions of power and organisation that now threaten destruction of ‘our’ one living world.
Science must reassert its role as the transformative and impactful means to reengineer human community on a mass scale, using light-speed digital networks actually capable of such a change.
Because science tempered by social ethics or public integrity, is the only methodological practice potentially able to address the problems of our age.
The present narrow construct of political, government and business organisation has to be opened-up using the digital sciences and technologies now in place.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, semantic reasoning or blockchain — plus more — can involve citizens, by virtue of their innate sovereign rights to control and protect their lives through science, used as the filter for public interest.
Yet also, because each individual is the essential source of data and decisions that create all value in our new digital-network economy.
The idea that a few billionaires or national governments representing elites — rather than entire populations — should intermediate this enormous power: the power to survive, the power to thrive, the power to protect all life, is beyond ludicrous.
A hideous abuse of power that now threatens us all.
A ludicrous loss of transformative potential denied throughout the system by old logics that have nothing to do with science, and everything to do with power.
This change to a new digital public science of society is necessary to support human survival and the survival of life everywhere on this, one living planet.
And this is where the multiple logics of science — communicative pathways — must learn to operate and connect.
In the interstices between disciplines, between elites and the demos, between professions and trades, between resources and technical structures of governance.
Structures that define and measure the very support-systems for life on our planet, at least once rinsed of arrogance, greed, aggression and fear.
Undoubtedly, these persistent human traits remain the hallmark of our present political economy.
An economic system largely defined by vampirism: by gender, by ethnicity, by ability, by poverty or by any other excuse that the few use to assert their ruthless self-interest.
A sort of blatant selfish necrosis: your death is my life.
Only the logics of science, overseen by fully human, democratic ethics, can lay such a beast to rest.
As We Must.