Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My value free science can beat up your ideology

"I’m a Weberian"
Brad DeLong has a post where he looks to be trying to resurrect the Left-neoliberalism wars, issuing minatory warnings about the dangers of a perspective in which:
There is a Movement, the Movement is good because the Movement is supported by the class whose interest is the general interest and by Correct Ideological Thought, and all progressives must support the movement.
He furthermore quotes an old post of mine so as to revive his previous suggestion that I’m a card carrying member of this purportedly disastrous tendency. I’m a genuine admirer of much of Brad’s work – but not of when he gets on his full Redbaiting (which usually seems to happen when he is personally exercised, or when someone says something that could be construed as being rude to Larry Summers). Some clarifications, in response to Brad’s post:

1) Contrary to Brad’s suggestion, I’ve never argued or even hinted that I believe there is a universal class whose interest is the general interest. Indeed, I vehemently disagree with the proposition. For better or worse, I’m a Weberian rather than a Marxist, and a social democratic squish to boot....
The technocratic view is that there will be a bunch of competing ideological views and material interests pulling and hauling, and that by always wading in and joining the tug-of-war side that has the better policy idea at the moment in the issue under dispute one will get better governance and higher societal well-being.
"The technocratic view" "the irrationalism of others"
And Shalizi

This is getting longer.

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