I shall argue that the most tragic episodes of state-initiated social engineering originate in a pernicious combination of four elements. All four are necessary for a full-fledged disaster. The first element is the administrative ordering of nature and society-the transformative state simplifications described above.
The second element is what I call a high-modernist ideology. It is best conceived as a strong, one might even say muscle-bound, version of the self-confidence about scientific and technical progress, the expansion of production, the growing satisfaction of human needs, the mastery of nature (including human nature), and, above all, the rational design of social order commensurate with the scientific understanding of natural laws.
The third element is an authoritarian state that is willing and able to use the full weight of its coercive power to bring these high-modernist designs into being.
A fourth element is closely linked to the third: a prostrate civil society that lacks the capacity to resist these plans.