“If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists puppets. Technocracy is the form which a planned society must tend. I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for mankind, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price. Let the doctor tell me I shall die unless I do so-and-so; but whether life is worth having on those terms is no more a question for him than for any other man…

CS Lewis, “Willing Slaves of the Welfare State,” The Observer, July 20, 1958.

1 Comment on Lewis on the welfare state

  1. In my late teens and early twenties, I read the complete works of C.S. Lewis. In my late twenties and early thirties, I’ve been reading the complete works of Wendell Berry. I’ve been struck time and again by the similarities, in substance if not in style. This quote is one great example.