Harari, Skinner and Chomsky: utopians of sorts

Screenshot from video about Harari, World Economic Forum
Screenshot from video about Harari

Harari of the World Economic Forum

When it comes to the political side of this weblog the category AAA, Against All Aristocracies is the most important one. That category contains several post about the World Economic Forum wherein a Mister Schwab and a Mister Harari feature as two of the most outspoken anti-democratic forces.

In that first ODP blog post about Harari I focused on his lack of rationality, integrity and common sense. 

It wasn’t until some time after I wrote that criticism that I realised the very disturbing similarities between the thinking of Mr. B.F. Skinner and the way of thinking at the World Economic Forum.

In the year this Harari person was born I decided to start studying psychology and the main reason I chose to do that in Tilburg was based upon what I had read of and about B.F. Skinner. I was worried about that approach and wanted to experience it first hand.

Chomsky: great linguist, silly political commentator

I’m glad I did a little search for other critiques of Skinner in preparation for this blog post. Especially because I came across a critique from the great linguist Noam Chomsky.
For two very different reasons I was glad to find his review of Skinner’s most famous book: ‘Beyond Freedom and Dignity‘ he wrote in the December 30, 1971 issue of the New York Review., titled ‘The case against B.F. Skinner.

The goody-goody man spent more than 9000 words on it!
It warned me not to make this review too long!

And it reminded me how terribly left-wing scientists—even those who aren’t outspoken communists, criminals, nitwits or nihilists—can and do go wrong.

Partly that was thanks to the two most recent reviews I published here. This one of Miriam Grossman’s phenomenal ‘Lost in Trans Nation and this one of a book by tireless, genius farmer’s son turned neurologist, Jan Bonte.

I simply quote from the first one:

Here and there it seems that she somehow wants to apologise for the then colleagues of Mengele 2.0., because they could not (yet) really cope with his criminal intents at the time, due to a lack of knowledge about the colossal importance of XX versus XY in every cell of the body. In my opinion it was not necessary for them to debate Mengele 2.0 with knowledge about chromosomes. They should have trusted their guts and rely more on their estimation of him as the inhuman bully he was.

The same was true for Mr. Chomsky at the time.
Instead of looking inappropriately respectful exclusively at his scientific ‘Beyond freedom and dignity‘, he should simply have read the ‘utopian novel’ by that disgusting Skinner (1904-1990) alongside it.

A novel that Skinner wrote in the same year that the phenomenal George Orwell wrote his book ‘1984’!
It’s title was ‘Walden Two’, today he probably would have called it ‘Walden 2.0.’.

Skinner’s Walden two

The Wikipedia lemma about that novel -although uncritical towards Skinner in the way Chomsky is- is remarkably useful reading. I quote:

Walden Two is a utopian novel written by behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner, first published in 1948. (…) Walden Two is controversial because its characters speak of a rejection of free will, including a rejection of the proposition that human behavior is controlled by a non-corporeal entity, such as a spirit or a soul. Walden Two embraces the proposition that the behavior of organisms, including humans, is determined by environmental variables, and that systematically altering environmental variables can generate a sociocultural system that very closely approximates utopia. (…) [thanks to] Walden Two’s decision-making system for not being authoritarian, anarchic, or even democratic [it] avoids the way that most societies collapse or grow dysfunctional: by remaining dogmatically rigid in their politics and social structure. Except for a small fluctuating group of community Planners (temporarily including Frazier), Walden Two has no real governing body or power to exercise violent force over its citizens.

Take note: This Frazier guy is an obnoxious figure in the novel. There is also a doubting person named Castle and a character named Burris. So that is Skinner himself: the B in his name stands for Burrhus … 

I think the reason Noam Chomsy fails so miserably is the fact that to some extent he believes dreaming about utopias and some ‘never tried but good form of communism‘ is somehow rational.

PS: Walden 1.0. is a book (‘Walden or Life in the Woods’) that was a romanticized account of a kind of prepper experiment by Henry David Thoreau. To name his own novel after Thoreau’s was, in itself, quite despicable on Skinner’s part.

Harari: beyond democracy

The similarity in the thinking of the World Economic Forum on the one hand and Skinner on the other hand is truly overwhelming.
The question whether, for example, this Harari person was inspired by the ideas of B.F. Skinner, those of Machiavelli, of ancient Greeks or of Egyptian Pharaohs is of little importance.

Harari does not quote this sentence from Skinner ...
Harari does not quote this sentence from Skinner …

Of importance is the fact that today so many politicians and billionaires openly flirt with China’s communist view on politics. And mind you: there are no puppets and puppeteers here. The elites consider themselves a new kind of nobility. Just some two years ago Dutch long time prime minister Mark Rutte in parliament (!) claimed that the World Economic Forum was just some debate platform he had little contact with.

The image is from the blogpost I refer to in the first link at the top of this one.

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