Sociological Pipe Dreams

"IT must be realized once and for all, writes Dr. A.G. Keller, Professor of the Science of Society, Yale University, "that as yet nothing worthy of the name of science exists within the societal range. Every candid student knows that 'sociology' languishes in a well-deserved disrepute."

This should be apparent to anyone who has given serious thought to the question. It should be particularly clear at this time, when our social salvationists and post-war planners are plotting the future of the world. It is their intention to regulate the future by official proclamation.

As a science, sociology is a little better than alchemy. With all its statistical and historical data, it cannot predict what Mr. Hitler will do next, what the United Nations will do after the war, who will doubt-cross whom, what political factions will rise to power, and who will arrive with the next best smile and radio voice. Not knowing this, it cannot foretell what the social set-up will be one year from tomorrow.

History is full of ups and downs and violent upheavals. Civiliations are never secure, and rarely endure for long. You cannot be sure that there will never be another maniac in Germany with global ambitions, or another balcony-boy in Rome to bloat and brag, or that an Asiatic horde may not rise in might and overwhelm the world. Since we cannot be sure of these things, what are catch-phrases with in the light of experience? "History shows us", says the Rockefeller Foundation Report for 1942, "that it is possible to lose a civilization even while armies and navies are triumphant."

The course of a star can be predicted for the next thousand years, but you can no more predict the mass movements of men from one year to another, or even from one week to the next, than you can predict the way a jumping-bean will hop. What, then is the value of all the ephemeral big-talk and blue-print plannings for the future of the race? Something more than political resolutions and portfolio promises govern the future. Pretty slogans and fireside chats are not enough.

With 10,000 years of human history behind us, we have not yet learned to eliminate war, to slough off our animal heritage, or to settle our differences amicably. We are still, in spite of our veneer, as primitively brutal as ever, and will revert to savagery when our fighting fibers are tapped. Yet even now, while we are engaged in the bloodiest kill-fest in history, we are told that freedom from fear, and freedom from want, and freedom from tyranny and oppression are just around the corner. The things you fear are soon to be eliminated at an international conference by the stroke of a pen.

If you can believe that, you can believe anything the preachers tell you about a heavenly paradise.

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