CS Lewis’ work, The Abolition of Man, depicts a dystopian future in which mankind’s continuous goal to conquer Nature has finally come to fruition. However, this final stage is a paradox because Nature reveals its trap card and it is Man who is actually conquered by Nature (in the end). Despite this gloomy projection of humanity, Lewis offers a ray of hope through his denouncement of man’s attempt to conquer by reducing everything to nature. Instead, he introduces the Tao, a counterpart to Man's attempt to rationalize and gain control over everything. The Tao is a universal and natural law that guides humanity and can prevent the extinction of Man.
The prophetic nature of the abolition of Man - warning of an outcome that has yet to happen - incorporates a new element to the State Apparatus: time. Instead of a static environment where time is frozen, Lewis explains how earlier generations of humanity have power and control over the subsequent generations. The inherent nature of the future is that it is dependent on the present - a connection that will always remain true unless time travel is invented. Therefore even though the world is progressing on a scientific and rational level (things that constitute as Nature according to Lewis), it is the previous generation with the power because they make the plans on how the aforementioned advancements will be used and they define the conditions in which the future will live by. This contradicts the common perception that human power is continuously increasing. But there are breaking points in which the controlled will resist and the system gets overthrown a la revolution although Lewis simply calls it “resistance to all previous ages.” Unfortunately this strength to resist is a double-edged sword because as the base becomes the superstructure, the new base now retains greater control due to the increased power. An important thing to note is that despite the cyclical pattern of the inversion of base and superstructure, there’s also a linear progression in the growth of power.
This progression reaches a final stage in which humanity has conquered the last thing there is left: themselves. Lewis postulates that this will happen through scientific and intellectual advancements such as eugenics, education and propaganda and pre-natal conditioning. It is in the final stage that humans can now entirely map out the future of humanity. As masters of humanity, they are no longer guided by a universal law known as the Tao; instead, they now define the Tao. They are the ultimate planners, the Conditioners. And the subsequent generations, the conditioned will never be able to resist because the Conditioners see through everything hence the "final stage."
This new framework of humanity presented an interesting dilemma for Lewis. If the Tao is no longer a motivational force, what will motivate the Conditioners? Lewis believed that it would be impulse because “those who stand outside all judgments of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse.” In an attempt to conquer everything, they reduce things to Nature. They strip away judgements of value and reduce everything to its natural form. For example, a mesmerizing poem is now reduced to words on paper. There is no value attached to it. And since the very essence of humanity has been naturalized and stripped of values, there is nothing left but irrational impulses. In the end, the Conditioners are subject to Nature. When Man finally conquers Nature, Nature conquers Man.