Ideas do not exist in a sterile vacuum but are often intertwined and serendipitously related to each other. Such is the case of various statist doctrines that came to fruition in the 19th century, and which still dramatically affect our world today. “Scientific racism,” “social Darwinism,” eugenics, Comtean positivism, imperialism, and “social imperialism,” were pseudoscientific rationales for the expansionary and invasive welfare-warfare state at home and abroad. Intellectuals and politicians in the United States were drawn to Progressivism by the same elitist positivism that drew them to other “social control” rationalizations; commitment to the explanatory power of scientific social inquiry to get at the root causes of social and economic problems; the legitimacy of coercive social control, deriving from a holist conception of society as prior to and greater than the sum of its constituent individuals; and the efficacy of elitist social control via expert management of the state apparatus.
7:34 am on April 14, 2013 Email Charles Burris