Rationalism, Pragmatism, Skepticism: World Order Models
If we suppose that all knowledge is ultimately interconnected and reflective of the uniformity of nature, and if we suppose further that systems methods will help in elucidating the connections, many interesting political ramifications may become demonstrable. It may appear, for instance, that peace cannot be had without a different global system of education, and that education is useless until food and energy shortages are removed. If human pugnaciousness, in the form of competitive and mutually suspicious sovereign states, is due to the persistence of social and cultural habits which fly in the face of the "need" for cooperation, this need cannot be met until remedial measures are adopted in all the subsystems of the "war system."1 Rationalism is the cognitive mode which commits itself to the identification of all these components in its search for comprehensive solutions based on a knowledge of nature.
But the rational stance is not the only possible one. Less sweeping claims by scientists are also encountered. Not all insist that political solutions are capable of being directly linked to a better understanding of the laws of nature. More complex links between expert knowledge and political action are conceivable and are recognized by internationally active scientists. These suggest cognitive models of world order in which scientific knowledge plays a different role than in the rationalist position. The purpose of this chapter is to chart these possibilities and to link them to world order models which assign a more modest position to the possessors of specialized knowledge.
A preliminary step must be taken first. In Chapter 1 we indicated that a key assumption of this enterprise is a conception of the scientific expert as adviser to politicians, not as an autonomous political actor. The explication of world order models is not possible without a prior statement as to why we cast specialists and experts in a subordinate political role. Who can say that