Fuelled by the neo-liberal division of labour, complexification acquired a life of its own. This gave a novel dimension to the growing gap between emergent knowledge and human systems, knowing and being, between the human content of work and its outcomes, value and citizenship. It is argued that here is one of the key reasons why most decisions are made in the chaotic space of ephemeral price relations manufactured by the data-rich, runaway ‘surveillance commoditism’. However, advances in quantitative, empirical methodologies also open an action space for a fresh research agenda. It is to recast our past and present into transparent, directional genealogical accounts of order generation and actualisation recording the ascent and limits of development as well as its pathways between the ‘lab & cloister’ and the social systems. It grounds a new, ‘meta-modern’ Foucauldian episteme in which the notion of order freed of power-hungry impositions assumes the role of an onto-epistemic variable and offers a rational base for defeating the prospect of ‘digitally enhanced serfdom’. The necessary condition for this agenda to begin to assert itself is a radical methodological transformation of educational and management programmes aimed at bottom up ownership of, and responsibility for the making, choosing, and symbolising, with a view to restoring value as a measure of actualisation of human independence and ability. Only then can knowledge live up to its foundational mission of liberation by reason.