The following are excerpted from the overview of the thought of Auguste Comte (who coined the term, “sociology”) in Irving Zeitlin, Ideology and the Development of Sociological Theory, 77-85: 

“Comte saw a “deplorable state of anarchy” in his time. […] He hoped to call [his] “science” [of sociology] to the attention of statesmen who “profess to devote themselves to the task of resolving the alarming revolutionary constitution of modern societies”.

“Order and progress, which the ancients thought irreconcilable, must be united once and for all. Comte regarded it as the greatest misfortune of his time that that the two principles were regarded as contradictory. What he called the retrograde party was for order, whereas the anarchical party was for progress.”

“Comte is especially indignant at the metaphysical view that “represents all government as being the enemy of society, and the duty of society to keep up a perpetual suspicion and vigilance….”. Liberty of conscience is a dogma which had value as a weapon against theological dogmatism but is no longer useful because it can never be a positive organic principle- that is, the basis for the reorganization of society”.

‘Equality is another dogma: It has limited historical value as a weapon, but must not be turned into an absolute. It is an anarchic principle and hostile to order, as is the dogma of the “sovereignty of the people”, which condemns the superior to dependence on the masses and opposes reorganization on different principles”.

“Comte despised intellectual anarchy and regarded it as the main cause of social disunity…True moral order, Comte believed, “is incompatible with the existing vagabond liberty of individual minds if such license were to last; for the great social rules which should become customary cannot be abandoned to the blind and arbitrary decision of an incompetent public without losing all their efficacy”. Comte feared and disliked social criticism and its disorganizing results. Criticism of the traditional patriarchal family, for example, had led to the legalization of divorce, and hence to personal and domestic disorder. Questioning and criticizing time-honored institutions is destructive and threatens to undermine all social life.”

“As Comte proceeds in his exposition of social statics, he considers the individual, the family, and society, “the last comprehending in a scientific sense, the whole of the human species, and chiefly, the whole of the white race”. Not the individual but the family is the true social unit, because the family is the school of social life. Man is a social being whose social nature is formed in the family context…The subordination of women is natural and will continue in the new society…”Sociology will prove that the equality of the sexes, of which so much is said, is incompatible with all social existence”.”

I originally taught myself politics many years ago by reading a lot of cuckservative thinkers. From them I learned to think of Comte as some kind of diabolical supervillain and pioneering architect of Leftism. It is likely that this characterization came to them as a hand-me-down from somebody who really was a Leftist supervillain, but one dear to the hearts of the cuckservatives- namely John Stuart Mill, who described Comte’s thought as “the most complete system of spiritual and temporal despotism that ever issued from the brain of any human being” (quoted in Zeitlin. p.85). And now I know just why. Live and learn, as they say.


11 thoughts on “Wtf I Love Auguste Comte Now: Another Red-Pill Moment for Me

  1. (A) Comte was diabolical. Have you seen the “calendar of saints of progress”? It’s a grotesque travesty.

    (B) Mill was an enthusiastic Comtean; you should read his essay outlining Comte’s system, it’s actually very good (and very informative). His letters back and forth with Comte are also interesting

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    1. Ok, I admit I over-stated it dramatically- I almost forgot about the insane parts. Comte is a complex case, but then again so is every Modern thinker really worth reading. Many of his ideas although flawed (sometimes to the point of the depraved) nonetheless need to be revisited and taken very seriously.

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      1. Comte was in many ways the Yudkowsky of his day. I suppose we may well wish our generation’s Yud was one-tenth as interesting or on-hundredth as conservateur as the original, but Comte is still a leader of a deranged progressive cult.

        What is most interesting in Comte is his methodological ideas, both in terms of the systematic interrelationship of the sciences (a crisp statement of a fairly old idea) and in terms of his ideas on sociological method in particular (a very fresh approach, combining disparate elements from Bacon, Hegel, and the Encyclopédistes into a characteristically literal-minded doctrine).

        Part of the problem, though, is that the very parts of his “sociologie” that are most vividly crafted are the most pozzed. His causal holism is the immediate precursor of “It’s dey culcha”. His three-stages theory is the immediate precursor of /r/atheism.

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      2. I’m not sure what you mean by “it’s dey culcha”- but culture stands at the apex of the hierarchy of control of a social system, playing a role roughly analogous to the operating system of a computer. Do you mean to argue that cultural determinism is pozzed, and if so, why?

        Yes, the idea of the “positive” stage to follow the “metaphysical” stage has to be one of the stupidest ideas ever; here Comte might as well have invented the fedora. The concept of the “metaphysical” stage, though, does seem descriptively adequate to what we’ve been in since the Enlightenment, since that time unable to define just why all men are equal or the arc of history bends towards justice without relying on dubious metaphysical props that increasingly assume the form of unstated and unstatable assumptions.

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      3. By “it’s dey culcha” I’m referring to the extreme form of sensationalism (opposition to innate ideas) opened up by Locke, pursued in an extreme form by his acolytes (esp. Condillac and Tracy), taking up by Marx, and now retconned by progressive liberalism into the Zero-th Amendment: all peoples are created equal, all differences in adult outcomes result from upbringing/education, inequality of outcome automatically proves some prior inequality of opportunity.

        (This, of course, is the justification for Comte’s abandoning his “resolution and composition” approach to the sciences when he reaches la sociologie itself. There are no underlying laws for sociology to discover which are not rewritten in the upbringing of each subsequent generation.)

        >here Comte might as well have invented the fedora

        lol, I pray I live to see the day where someone uses this line in their survey-course lectures

        >The concept of the “metaphysical” stage, though, does seem descriptively adequate to what we’ve been in since the Enlightenment…

        An enormous topic in itself (whether considered wrt the descriptive adequacy of Comte’s formulation of the “stage” or in its own right). If you ever want to kick around ideas about this over e-mail, hit me up

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  2. Yes, J.S. Mill is the arch-villain of epic proportions. If there ever was a guy to blame for subverting classical liberalism and turning it into progressivism, it was him.

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  3. Ideologies that tamper with natural creations, such as the jury-rigged, organically grown entities we call cultures, should act with care and caution before they bring out the scalpel …

    … and they always seem to go for the butcher’s knife, don’t they? Or the huge machete even?

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