Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
This is probably worth a diary.

Firstly, Derrida etc aren't wrong. Political truth is an effect of power. Empirically, you can make populations believe almost any old nonsense as long as you have a physical power base and - optionally - a minimum of intellectual air cover.

The issue is how to challenge that. Derrida etc believed that you did it by deconstruction. Sokal believes you do it by speaking 'truth.'

Empirically, neither works. The world is not lacking effective, pithy and accurate critiques of neoliberalism. Obviously being right and scientifically accurate isn't enough.

It's also worth pointing out that historically, 'science' has associated itself more with neoliberalism than with minority support. Professional sceptics like Schermer have a record of boosting free market ideology. And while the scientific community has never had a problem mustering a gas giant-sized cloud of seriousness to attack trivia like spoon bending or astrology, there was nary a squeak heard about the collective insanity of free marketism and its manic depressive cycling, or any serious criticism of the new aristocracy that it supports.

If you go looking for formal scientific support for minority interests, it's not all that easy to find.

Empirical political research would be something else again. The Right has good rules of thumb for how to do PR and propaganda, and there's some psychological basis for all of them. But would a complete model of mind for political action and opinion management really be a good thing in a culture that's effectively being run as an aristocracy?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 04:47:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is definitely worth a diary. Pretty please?

The peak-to-trough part of the business cycle is an outlier. Carnot would have died laughing.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 05:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I echo Migeru, this too is a diary-worth rant (like so many others of your longer comments).

But, I beg to differ on some points. 'Science' is too general to be associated with anything. Some think 'science' associated itself too much with... Soviet-style communism. US scientists certainly viewed creationists, and their political allies, as a threat worth to attack alongside spoon benders and astrologers. In the humanities (whose subject it is), there was certainly a lot of criticism of neoliberalism; the question is, who listens to them? Just as the neoclassical/Austrian school/whatever guys drowned out all other economists in the media, critical sociologists appeared at most as "biased leftist university elite".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Aug 6th, 2009 at 06:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's also worth pointing out that historically, 'science' has associated itself more with neoliberalism than with minority support. Professional sceptics like  have a record of boosting free market ideology. And while the scientific community has never had a problem mustering a gas giant-sized cloud of seriousness to attack trivia like spoon bending or astrology, there was nary a squeak heard about the collective insanity of free marketism and its manic depressive cycling, or any serious criticism of the new aristocracy that it supports.

Agree on Schermer.  But at least Scientific American is starting to carry a more diverse set of articles by economists, such as Nadeau.  Perhaps the editors are beginning to see that they have been had by the Neo-Classical School.  They are certainly familiar with Thomas Kuhn's work and its implications.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 8th, 2009 at 12:10:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series