Controlling the Humanities

It is much more important to gain control over the humanities, rather than the sciences. A different way saying the exact same thing is that it is “more necessary” to grant the humanities greater freedom than the sciences.

This is being said in a particular context, and must be understood within it.

The humanities are much more subjective; their essential character is interpretation. Ergo, they can be leveraged more pragmatically for social changes, and are particularly amenable to individual wills. The sciences, by virtue of the rigorous laws of rational enquiry, are much less so. If – and this is a terrifying, 1984-esque “if” – we reach a state wherein the sciences can be suppressed by opinions, society has reached a point of such absolute perversion that all liberties are rendered irrelevant. Such is not the case with the humanities – there is a greater tolerance buffer.

Besides, the humanities have an impact on a person’s psyche (psyche alone, at least and definitely, not an entire way of life) in ways and with an alacrity that remain unmatched by the sciences. What is going to be a more obvious influence a man’s behaviour in the immediate term? A Yo Yo Honey Singh song or the improved efficiency of a 4-stroke engine?

There are certain ideas that are palatable to society at a particular point in them, and there are certain ideas that aren’t. And to make certain ideas palatable, it is necessary to re-engineer society’s psyche. To do so, the role of certain elements is paramount. Let me illustrate – you want to promote smoking? Make movies, cast superstars, and make sure they look *cool* while smoking. You want to stop smoking? Make those very same superstars die in agony.

 Which is why one should never under-estimate the power of the Chetan Bhagat’s and the Honey Singh’s and the Arnab Goswami’s of the world. And – at the greater level of abstraction – the temples where they are born (or the factories where they are manufactured – whichever way you want to look at it) are much more critical.

Those guys got it, these guys are getting it, and those guys will again get it in the future. The fight going on right now is not about one man or the other, it is about much larger picture.


Note – I know I being a little obscure here. I ask your forgiveness, and I hope the right audience will understand (completely) what I wish to say.

Views expressed are purely personal.

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