Illusion of Orderliness: Macro Theories, Conspiracy Theories and Tables-technocrats

Authors

  • Zitong Zeng
  • Zhen Tian
  • Sikun Zhao

Keywords:

Macro Theories; Conspiracy Theories; Tables-technocrats; Illusion of Orderliness.

Abstract

People never cease to seek order. Previous research has shown that there are two ways to achieve control over the functioning of society. The first approach, known as the Newtonian paradigm, is a top-down response to the complexity of state governance through a hierarchical form of organization, integrated functional roles, and command-and-control mechanisms. The second approach addresses the ineffectiveness of all-powerful governments by building self-organizing, self-synergizing, and dynamically changing governance networks. With the development of information technology, the efficiency of both approaches has increased, and managers have tended to use both to simplify the complexities of national governance. However, this paper suggests that we should be wary of falling into a Hegelian order that exists only conceptually, a harmonious order that eliminates contradictions, details, and complexity. This desire for orderliness and fear of uncertainty has led to our worship of grand theories and preference for conspiracy theories. Finally, this illusion of orderliness produces tables-technocrats who focus on theoretical problem solving. They believe that technological solutions to all social problems can be found if new technologies are constantly developed and more complete information is constantly available. But most people believe that tables are the means to organize information in an efficient and standardized way, which leads to the incomprehensible parts not being recorded and computed through tables.

References

Black D. Crime as social control[J]. American sociological review, 1983: 34-45.

Janowitz M. Sociological theory and social control[J]. American Journal of sociology, 1975, 81(1): 82-108.

Elder-Vass D. Luhmann and emergentism: competing paradigms for social systems theory? [J]. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 2007, 37(4): 408-432.

Horwitz A V. The logic of social control[M]. Springer Science & Business Media, 1990.

Schwanitz D. Systems theory according to Niklas Luhmann: Its environment and conceptual strategies[J]. Cultural Critique, 1995 (30): 137-170.

Blau P M. Bureaucracy in modern society[J]. 1956.

Olsen J P. Maybe it is time to rediscover bureaucracy[J]. Journal of public administration research and theory, 2006, 16(1): 1-24.

Albrow M. Bureaucracy[M]. Bloomsbury Publishing, 1970.

Alvesson M, Thompson P, Ackroyd S, et al. Post-bureaucracy? [M]//The Oxford handbook of work and organization. Oxford University Press, 2004: 485-507.

Al-Chalabi A, Hardiman O. The epidemiology of ALS: a conspiracy of genes, environment and time[J]. Nature Reviews Neurology, 2013, 9(11): 617-628.

Douglas K M, Uscinski J E, Sutton R M, et al. Understanding conspiracy theories[J]. Political Psychology, 2019, 40: 3-35.

Sutton R M, Douglas K M. Conspiracy theories and the conspiracy mindset: Implications for political ideology[J]. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2020, 34: 118-122.

Melley T. Empire of conspiracy[M]//Empire of Conspiracy. Cornell University Press, 2016.

Luhmann N, Baecker D, Gilgen P. Introduction to systems theory[M]. Cambridge: Polity, 2013.

Chriss J J. Social control: An introduction[M]. John Wiley & Sons, 2022.

Ross E A. Social control: A survey of the foundations of order[M]. Routledge, 2017.

Downloads

Published

2022-11-21

How to Cite

Zeng, Z., Tian, Z., & Zhao, S. (2022). Illusion of Orderliness: Macro Theories, Conspiracy Theories and Tables-technocrats. Frontiers in Humanities and Social Sciences, 2(11), 237–242. Retrieved from http://bcpublication.org/index.php/FHSS/article/view/2812

Issue

Section

Articles