Mexican Positivism
I. Mexican Positivism
  1.  Guiding philosophy of Porfirian era
  2.  A reaction against turmoil of 1810-1867 period
  3.  Created an alliance between government, economic elites, and technocrats
  4. Develops late in the Juarez/Lerdo era
  5. Provides a unifying philosophy for Mexican elites
II. Origins
  1. Based on thinking of Auguste Comte
    1. Auguste Comte - French philosopher
    2.  Born 1789, witnessed turmoil of France after Revolution
    3.  Sought to bring order to society
    4.  Trained as engineer
    5.  Believed in evolutionary Stages of History
    6.  Last stage - Utopia
      1. Technocratic, non-political elite would regulate society
      2.  Guided by the benevolent rule of a director 
  2.  Appeal to elite Mexicans
    1.  Fused order and progress
    2.  Demanded direct control by elite and a state geared towards progress
    3. Demonstrable, empirical science to determine truth and develop laws (an antidote to personalism)
    4. A cure for disorder
    5. An emphasis on education, particularly elite education
    6. This appealed to both Liberals and Conservatives
III. Early Development
  1. Mexican Positivism develops during Juarez/Lerdo years
  2.  Leading popularizer was Gabino Barreada
    1.  Barreada studies in France, knew Comte
    2.  Saw post-1867 Mexico as beginning a new, final stage.
    3.  Saw the violence of 1810-1867 violence as necessary for eliminating evil, retrograde influences on Mexico.
    4. Disillusioned with classical liberalism, as egalitarianism and democracy seemed unabtianable
    5.  Saw Juarez and Union victories as triumphs of modern, republican liberties against old, outdated regimes
IV. Spread of Positivism
  1. Barreada appointed by Juarez to reorganize schools
    1.  Positivism's emphasis on education had broad appeal
    2. Juarez/Lerdo begin an expansion of education that continues to be a factor for decades
  2. Proposed a more "scientific" hierarchy of schools
  3.  At top, created the National Preparatory School - 1867.
  4.  NPS would produce a whole generation of positivists.
  5.  Still, most Mexican "positivists" learned from magazines, popular books, not from heavy philosophical tomes or school.
V. Mexican Positivism
  1. Defeat of monarchists, Church, Conservatives
    1.  Seen as final stage in human development.
    2.  Victory of progressive and rationally civilized forces.
    3.  Now order and Comtean principles would assure brilliant future.
  2.  Distinctions from Comte
    1.  Comte had proposed a new religion of humanity.
    2.  Barreada sought one based on rational logic.
    3.  Comte's slogan of Love, Order, and Progress
    4.  Barreada's slogan was Liberty, Order, Progress.
    5.  This emphasized fusion of Liberal individuality and orderly scientific progress.
  3. Other influences
    1.  Social Darwinism became important in Mexican Positivism.
      1. dislike for Amerindians united Liberals and Conservatives
      2. Both preferred European immigration and favored foreign investment
    2.  Law could be used to rationally control society.
  4. Becomes particularly influential under Diaz, notably with the emergence of the cientificos, a political faction which promoted Positivism and technocratic rule
VI. Positivism and Class
  1. Developmental thrust of positivism appealed to middle and professional classes.
  2.  Positivism called for wide respect for trained professionals.
  3.  Government came to favor education, which expanded this class.
  4.  But focus was on elite schools, not a broad-based education for all.