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Bastardi: Eisenhower was correct about ‘danger public policy could itself become captive of a scientific-technological elite’

Here is one of the greatest generals of our nation warning against the military-industrial complex, and many took it to heart.

But we of that generation also knew about the second part of his warning.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government. …

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Ike was right.

Here is where Nye is correct. He understands that the people who were brought up in the form of Americanism and who believed the individual should question authority are getting older and will not be around when the new vanguard takes over. Enlightened he believes himself to be, and I suspect others like Al Gore think they are simply leading the new wave to replace the old wave. But instead of attacking Nye and making it seem like he has a death wish for his opponents, why don’t people actually look at the facts of what he is saying and what that actually means for things like critical thought and skepticism? Those things are essential not only to the scientific method but also for the basis for man to use his free will to better himself. The bottom line is that Nye’s statement does not identify a problem with Nye, it identifies a problem with what has happened over the post-Vietnam generations. Nye, and the climate issue looked at deeper, reveal a deeper problem that strikes at the core of what has lead to the elevation of the nation to where we are.

Bottom line: Nye is right about the inevitable result. It does not make him right about CO2 being the climate control knob. But Nye is not the demon here; he is more a messenger of the very changes that Eisenhower warned us about in his speech. And what is apparent is that the generation which followed that speech took his word to heart over one thing but went the opposite way on another.