To make of human affairs a coherent, precise, predictable whole, one must ignore or suppress man as he really is and treat human nature as a mere aspect of nature. The theoreticians do it by limiting the shaping forces of man's destiny to nonhuman factors: providence, the cosmic spirit, geography, climate, economic or physiochemical factors. The practical men of power try to eliminate the human variable by inculcating iron discipline or blind faith, by dissolving the unpredictable individual in a compact group, by subjecting the individual's judgment and will to a ceaseless barrage of propaganda, and by sheer coercion. It is by eliminating man from their equation that the makers of history can predict the future and the writers of history can give a pattern to the past.This reminds me of what I wrote about assessment several months ago:
OK, so we're up against a trifling force like human nature, but when has that ever stopped a technocrat?
I'm glad I picked up this book.