Freud’s Mythological Inferno of Evil

” Though Freud himself was always striving to express his findings in terms of objective realities, the actual entities he constructed were far more like the spirits, virtues, and faculties of a medieval morality play than the material entities of the physicist and chemist.

The unconscious, with its trinity of ego, super ego, and id, the complexes, the censor, the libido, and the death-wish, were all invented by Freud to explain the strange imaginings, dreams, and compulsive behaviour of his patients… [These constructs] tended to take on, especially with his followers, an absolute character, and created a fixed and almost mythological inferno of evil influences…..”

Bernal, Science in History (1957)

Advertising a “Vast Parasitic Industry”

The view from 1957:

” The 20th century has witnessed the growth of a vast apparatus of advertising and publicity which, by its very volume, blinds and deafens the majority of the people to any real appreciation of the world in which they live.
Advertisement has indeed become a vast parasitic industry, whose function is effectively to exact a very concealed purchase tax from the consumers for the benefits of a few newspapers and advertisement magnates” [and today of course media magnates such as Rupert].

Bernal, Science in History (1957)

Newton’s Compromise Between the Worlds of Religion and Science

After the destructive phase of the Renaissance and Reformation was over a new compromise was needed between religion and science:

“Newton’s system of the universe did represent a considerable concession on the part of religious orthodoxy, for by it the hand of God could no longer be clearly seen in every celestial or terrestrial event but only in the general creation and organization of the whole.

God had, in fact, like his anointed ones on earth, become a constitutional monarch. On their side the scientists undertook not to trespass into the proper field of religion – the world of man’s life with its aspirations and responsibilities”

Desmond Bernal, Science in History (1957)

A Radical Scientist Predicts the Rule of Nuclear Power in 1957 – We Can All Be Wrong

“Already the cost of nuclear power is comparable with that from thermal sources, and we may reasonably expect that with the use of breeder piles… it will become cheaper as time goes by. There need be no fear for a 1000 years or so of any shortage of nuclear fuel…

If wat can be avoided, the era of nuclear power is rapidly approaching and by the end of the [20th] century it will be the main source of electricity”

J. D. Bernal, Science in History (1957)

I wonder what he would think today?

Is Science A Force for Progress or Destruction?

Desmond Bernal was debating this issue way back in 1954. The scientific advances of the Industrial Revolution underlay the Victorian Doctrine of Progress. After two horrific world wars that doctrine was no longer in vogue:

” It is certainly not so now, in these grim and anxious days, when the power that science can give is seen to be more immediately capable of wiping out civilization and even life itself from the planet than of assuring an uninterrupted progress in the arts of peace”.

J. D. Bernal, Science in History (1954)