Criticism and Development

How does a society become anti-knowledge and anti-development?

We discussed earlier that development is nothing but increase in knowledge and technology. We also observe that societies sometimes just freeze in time leading to no increase in knowledge for a very long time. We have to say that sometimes societies become anti-knowledge. There cannot be any increase in knowledge as long as the society stays as such.

Sometimes societies become anti-knowledge. But how does a society become anti-knowledge? For this we need to understand how knowledge increases in the first place. Knowledge increases when new ideas emerge and there is an exchange of ideas and struggle between various steams of ideas. Only through this struggle does the knowledge level of a society increase. Where societies are unable to produce any new knowledge there is always a very authoritarian attitude and extreme reaction against any new ideas that criticise the existing ones. Criticism is the main method of struggle between ideas. But due to extreme authoritarianism the society persecutes those who criticise the existing status quo to such an extent that there doesn't exist any meaningful debate between ideas. This is the crucial part. There should be debate and dialectic process between various ideas. It is not enough that various people think various things. Why does one become against criticism? The main answer is hubris – either at the individual of societal level.

We personally observe such situations when a person is pointed out some mistakes in their approach or behaviour they simultaneously get very angry and sad and react violently to that criticism thus not only rejecting it but attacking the person who criticises.

This happens to all persons and societies. But generally when external threats and invasions, environmental changes or internal problem etc. occur there is a response to this and the society does change its outlook and behaviour thus becoming more open to survive the crisis. Some societies are respond more rapidly to such changes and produce more appropriate responses. Other societies are just so heavily crystallised that even upon the brink of destruction they cannot change themselves. They either perish or become enslaved.

Those societies which are more open and more democratic produce more rapid and appropriate response to changes. The influence of vivekatma is higher or increases in such societies. The collective survival instinct dominates the emotions of a few. The societies which are more authoritarian fail to do so. The collective survival instinct is subordinated to the emotions of a few as the influence of vighatatma is higher in such societies. 


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