Even the most staunchest followers of the Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte, fail to understand the true parameters of his methodology. Comte was first and foremost, a human being and in the above quote we are shown that he assumed a position outside of the iron cage of science to propose that there is more to life than what our structures may provide. That is, these very special points of view to which Comte refers in the above cited quote are themselves issues of human importance that stand outside of sciences. In fact, it can be said that before the raise of Modernist ideology we were all human beings, and then we became civilized, domesticated and controlled. In the following pages it shall be my intent to convey to all of my readers the true humanity that exists outside of the iron cage of science.
When building an iron cage from which humanity shall not be able to escape, it is necessary to identify the first principles of our cage. In this regard we have the rise of modernist ideology. By way of context, we can begin with the years leading up to the modernist period and the state of humanity that was to serve as the launching ground for modernism. The focal point of our considerations, if we are to truly produce an iron cage from which there is to be no escape, is the meaning of truth. Prior to the rise of modernism, truth was uncertain and dependent upon appeal to deities or kings. That is, there was no sure foundation upon which to base truth as it was generally determined by what the various kings would say it is for their subjects.
As it is unlikely that anyone would walk into an iron cage without reason, it was then necessary to produce the most undeniably attractive bridge across which the masses would most readily traverse. This was accomplished with the promise of science which was to control nature to produce goods for the betterment of humanity. Prior to the rise of modernist ideology, the epistemological characteristics of the Western European region of the world could be described as fundamental uncertainty. Truth possessed an abstract, deductive nature, based upon the will of kings. In this context, truth was relativistic, uncertain and useless for being able to establish harmonious societies that could benefit from a control of nature and the production of goods for human consumption.
The promise of science that served as a bridge between the masses and the iron cage of science was an apparent answer to the needs of the Western European region. The first iron bar in the building of our cage was the modernist rejection of abstract ideology as a basis for finding truth. In one regional chop of the guillotine, modernist ideology did away with relativistic ideology and the abstract thinking of kings by its commitment to the empirical verification of truth. Its most fundamental tenet held that nothing experienced in our human existence required abstract thinking and everything could be answered by science. In this fashion all of the ingredients of our iron cage had been built. It only remained for the masses to build the iron cage around themselves.
The bars of the cage were subsequently identified as the Constitution, the rule of law and perhaps most importantly, methodologies in the fields of science and a Positive Philosophy of human social interaction. The architects of science still heralded as our founding fathers were the American philosopher John Locke in his main work, Essays Concerning Human Understanding and Sir Francis Beacon in his text Novum Organum. Locke provided the philosophy of empiricism while beacon provided an explication of our scientific methodology.
With regard to our need for a constitution and rule of law, the architects of our current democratic society were Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu. Rousseau was generally credited with social contract theory while Montesquieu was credited with the separation of powers in our government structure. It is interesting to note that, like Comte, both of these philosophers left themselves a back door from which to escape the iron cage. Specifically, that our chosen democratic society was not perfect and would eventually relinquish power and control to the wealthiest segments of society.
Our current leadership tends to believe that the separation of powers is a safeguard to prevent such a relinquishing of control. This belief fails to realize that these philosophers already took the separation of powers into consideration when they gave their warnings. Today’s citizen is unable to assert his or her inalienable human rights that exist outside of the iron cage of science because it was our inalienable human rights that were relinquished when we entered the iron cage of science. Lip service rhetoric to the contrary is supported and sustained by the false consciousness that is enforced by the rule of law and receives the financial backing of the economic elite.
The architects of our social activity and interactions were Auguste Comte and Max Weber. Comte gave us a positive philosophy with which we could describe, measure, and calculate the ideal form of social interactions. Weber reveals to us the internal logic and behavior of bureaucratic structures along with the subsequent behavior of the citizens that work within the specific social structures. Those that were once considered human beings can no longer see from within the iron cage how to assert their own inalienable human rights because all of the rights we need are already addressed in the constructed iron cage of science and any right or concept we may wish to propose for ourselves would stand in contradistinction to the ideals of truth and justice with which we have already been indoctrinated.