Universal Intelligent Design (UID): Discussion
The popular idea that there is one over-arching plot to explain how society moves, the disasters that befall society, the rise and fall of regimes, etc. is inaccurate and counter-productive. Many conspiracy theories parallel the Christian outlook of so-called “intelligent design.” Christians often will see the patterns in nature, and then they conclude that such a natural order must be the work of a creator.
In 1802, the theologian William Paley argued that because a watch contains order that is a result of a designer so too nature’s order must be the result of God. Christians, extrapolating on Aristotle, argued that animals and plants were perfectly fit to their environments and each other. Thus, they argued, there must be intelligence behind it all.
As early as David Hume, writing in the mid-1700s, intelligent design was challenged. Hume argued that order in nature can be a result of simple processes. This can be seen in snowflake formation or crystal generation. This idea would be confirmed later in biology with the publication On the Origin of Species in 1859. Charles Darwin showed how order could arise in species from simple, natural processes over great periods of time, creating the illusion of intelligent design. The order found in animal and plant kingdoms is a result of natural selection over millions of years.
Just as Christians see patterns in nature, conspiracy theorists see patterns in society and events. Both look for a non-existent single creator, a God or Illuminati, to explain the world or society. Such a view is inaccurate and unscientific. It is no accident that Karl Marx, the founder of revolutionary science, dedicated his major work, Capital, to Charles Darwin. Just as Darwin showed how evolutions in nature results from wholly natural laws, so did Marx show how the order and evolution of society can be explained similarly, by material laws.
Instead of looking for a master conspiracy or master plotter, revolutionary scientists examine the social forces and systems that produce such events. Even if Illuminati, a master plotter, did exist, its members’ actions would still be largely determined over the long-term by their position in the power structure, by class, gender, national, etc. interests. In other words, even if there were Illuminati, explanations that referred to individual plotters would be largely superfluous to scientific explanation of society.
In addition, such conspiracy-theory approaches are disempowering. They encourage the masses to look at revolution and social change through a police paradigm instead of a power paradigm. Even if one knew who the make-believe Illuminati were, it is not as though one could go arrest and put them on trial. Instead, such theories mystify power and make the masses powerless victims of an all-powerful plot.
By contrast, the power paradigm teaches the masses to apply revolutionary science to unite the social forces necessary for revolution. The power paradigm compels us to build New Power, to smash the old powers, to create a new mode of production and distribution, and to redesign all of society in order to reach the end all systematic oppression.