Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce (1910–1989) argued prophetically more than half a century ago, that modern technology was being used to implement a “quiet totalitarianism,” one that by avoiding the overt violence of the Nazi and Soviet regimes, could quietly exercise the same absolute control within society.
Totalitarian systems, he explained, monopolize power by identifying their own ideological narrative with rational discourse itself and thereby exclude beforehand any kind of criticism. Critics (such as those objecting to the ongoing “sexual revolution”) can therefore be branded as “irrational,” — dismissed and demonized as pathological or immoral, as exhibiting “repressed psychology,” “bigotry,” “hatred,” “prejudice,” and so forth.
This stealthy totalitarianism operates by discrediting and undermining any source of resistance that transcends technological control (such as philosophical rationality, the great traditions of Western culture and local identity, the family as a source of values, and especially religious transcendence), making the individual completely dependent on society. It is precisely in the re-affirmation of transcendent realities, and above all religious transcendence, that Del Noce finds the only ground for resistance to technological domination and ideological manipulation.
Read the article on the Cummunio website.
About the Author
- Prof. Carlo Lancellotti is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Mathematics at the College of Staten Island. He received his Doctorate in Applied Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1998. His main field of scholarship is the kinetic theory of plasmas and gravitating systems. He has also translated and edited two volumes of works of 20th-century Italian political philosopher Augusto Del Noce.