Our Scientists Should Stop Colluding With Communist Regimes

October 28, 2021 Updated: October 28, 2021

Commentary

Over centuries, scholars of antiquity and modern civilization have been intrigued by the search for natural truth and well-ordered rules for life.

Plato, they say, saw knowledge as virtue. Bacon, a father of the scientific revolution, saw it as power.

Ancient Greek philosophers achieved freedom by dedicating themselves to quiet contemplation. If they had been pushed into laboratories and obliged to publish their thoughts and findings they might have considered themselves enslaved.

Today, most scientists are Baconian. The search for truth has become more empirical. Scientists follow defined lines of research, publish their findings, and share conclusions with colleagues—including those from outside their own country.

Nevertheless, there are good reasons to doubt that scientists can be trusted with the fate of the free world.

Knowledge and the State

Knowledge may be power, but so is the state. Scientists who live in communist or other managerial regimes have less freedom to pursue truth. While communists agree that there’s power in knowledge, they also believe themselves to be in possession of both. In a communist society the duty of a scientist is simply to make the possession of knowledge more secure.

Some say that learned men in Ancient Greece prized theory over practice because they feared the way a government might exploit practical know-how. Modern scientists might do well to be a little more suspicious of the state, even a presumably noble or democratic one.

Today, in one way or another, much of the funding for scientific research is supplied by the government. Even outside of totalitarian regimes, authorities who are paying the piper may expect to call the tune.

The practice of science and the pursuit of truth can be corrupted by an established ideology or the passions of a particular regime. The emergence of eugenics, dialectical materialism, warming climatology, and critical race theory are all modern examples of such corruption.

Scientists Have Served Dangerous Masters

Although generally careful to assert the importance of conscience and morality, scientists have been known to serve dangerous masters.

Wise scientists call for critical detachment from politics. Others have turned eagerly to activism and even espionage. The latter consider themselves part of a brave new global order in which scientists and like-minded intellectuals become lawmakers, mayors, governors, presidents, and world leaders.

For example, after switching sides to join the allied Western nations in World War II, the communist Soviet Union succeeded in collecting intelligence on the secret Anglo-American atomic bomb program that became the Manhattan Project.

Soviet agents recruited American and British spies who were committed communists, including several scientists at the Los Alamos laboratory.

Among the scientists and fellow travelers infatuated by Marxist ideology was Klaus Fuchs, a German-born physicist, who fled to England in 1933 and became a British citizen in 1942. Fuchs joined a group of British scientists who travelled to Los Alamos to work for the Manhattan Project, and he later passed important information about atomic weapons design to the Soviet Union.

After decrypted cables revealed Fuchs’ espionage, he confessed in early 1950 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. His sentence was later reduced, and he was released in 1959.

There’s little indication that Fuchs regretted betraying the West. He chose to spend his remaining years living with his father in communist East Germany.

Present Day Collaboration With Communist Regimes

Despite the bloody totalitarian legacy of 20th century Marxism, there are many contemporary scientists who still value collusion with communist regimes. The consequences of their choices have been nothing short of catastrophic.

For example, the New York Post and several other news organizations recently reported that America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) has admitted to funding research on bat coronaviruses at a lab in Wuhan, China, which, like everything else in that country, is overseen by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The admission came in a letter from the principal deputy director of the NIH, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who was responding to Congressman James Comer’s questions about a multi-million-dollar grant provided by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to EcoHealth Alliance, an NGO that supports various global health programs, and ironically enough, “pandemic prevention.”

The president of EcoHealth Alliance is Peter Daszak, a British scientist with a Ph.D. in parasitic infectious diseases from the University of East London. Daszak is now a member of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The director of the NIAID is Dr. Anthony Fauci, a celebrated American medical scientist who serves as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. Fauci is highly regarded by the regime media for his less-than-subtle criticism of President Donald Trump’s performance during the course of the pandemic.

The coronavirus-focused NIAID grant ultimately led to U.S. tax dollars funding EcoHealth Alliance’s longtime collaboration with a CCP-run lab, now believed by many experts to be the source of COVID-19.

The CCP virus has killed millions around the world and crippled Western economies.

The Intellectual Attraction of Socialism 

In leading democratic nations such as the United States and the UK, science has played a major role in shaping public opinion and government policy.

Modern scientists have tended to place themselves above common people, whose tax dollars fund their research experiments and celebrity careers. Many have been attracted to socialism and utopian world visions.

In a landmark 1949 essay published in the University of Chicago Law Review (pdf), the late F. A. Hayek argued that modern intellectuals are naturally attracted to the idea of socialism. Socialism, said Hayek, is “a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar.”

Hayek also suggested that the intellectual class doesn’t only consist of professors, teachers, journalists, broadcasters, political activists, and entertainers. That class also includes professionals and technicians, such as scientists and doctors, who “through their habitual intercourse with the printed word become carriers of new ideas outside their own fields and who, because of their expert knowledge of their own subjects, are listened with respect on most others.”

Today, we learn about events and ideas through the medium of the “scientific community.”

It’s scientists and intellectuals who decide what information and opinions will reach us and how they’ll be presented. Ordinary men and women are constantly admonished to “follow the science.”

Scores of laymen have been turned into climate change warriors with little real understanding of so-called “climate science.” The sitting U.S. president has expressed contempt for the idea of American “freedom” and set powerful corporate vigilantes against citizens who resist “scientific” state vaccination policies.

Time for Western Scientists to Join the Side They’re On

It’s difficult to solve problems in a world that remains half captive and half free.

From induced famines to slave labor camps, nuclear accidents, military occupations, economic incompetence, organ harvesting, and engineered disease, the Marxist ability to downplay cruelty and failure is one of totalitarianism’s most insidious weapons.

Filtered through left-wing propagandists, the weeping of dissidents from communist regimes is portrayed as uncalled-for and boring. The victims are regarded as already terminated.

We’re due for a wake-up call to Western scientists, tech professionals, and fellow-travelers. In the 20th century, we survived foreign domination by containing communism and allowing the Soviet Union to collapse under the weight of its own inherent contradictions.

The time has come to cut off the scientific, technical, and commercial oxygen we have been supplying to Beijing since the 1990s, and ask our scientists to join the side they’re on.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

William Brooks is a Canadian writer who contributes to The Epoch Times from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He currently serves as editor of “The Civil Conversation” for Canada’s Civitas Society.