Monday, January 01, 2007

I've rewritten this a few times. Still not good. I'm true to my credo. politics is just something else to write about.

Read this in re: Andrew Marr (below).

I agree with Josh Marshall often enough, but he's still a "responsible" American journalist; he doesn't want to admit his kinship to the worst of the tribe, and I can't think of one liberal American political blogger who's much different. The notion that a "reality based" community has or does or will ever exist is absurd. It's a nice piece of rhetoric to throw back at the dittoheads, but the foreign policy desk at TPM Cafe is populated by 'internationalists' from the Council of Foreign Relations, and Marshall recently named his newborn son after the man who redrew the maps after the '67 war. Bias is unavoidable, but Marshall claims neutrality or objectivity no more or less than anyone else in the American press or political scene. It's the same lie that's been central to the political culture of this country for generations and it's what makes Americans, even supposedly liberal ones, so oblivious to the opinions of outsiders. It makes them rude. It makes them stick out like sore thumbs in foreign countries. It makes them stick out like sore thumbs in Queens. Marr refers to himself as a tradesman and his job as a craft. Crafts don't answer questions of truth. Lawyers are both professionals and tradesmen. I repeat myself a lot these days but there's nothing else to do.

Scientists can operate under ideas of consensus, but numbers are not words. The job of the press is not to be responsible but to cause trouble. I really don't want anyone deciding of what kind -most people don't- but I also don't waste my time complaining about other people being unreasonable and/or "working the refs". The allegory of the rule of science, and it is only an allegory when applied to language, leads to professionalization, the rule of consensus, and the rule of reasonable men. A strong democracy requires reasonable and unreasonable advocates, responsible and irresponsible journalists, and the rule of law.

This has a lot to do with my comments and with the discussion at Arab Links. How do you argue with someone who say's he's only being rational, that he has no bias? De gustibus non disputandum est, but consciousness and politics are made of it. The pretense of a political science is no more or less than religious fundamentalism: the death of politics.

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