Thursday, May 13, 2010

"When dealing with complex issues the best response is not first to assume all people are children but to ask: "How should an adult respond?"

I wrote that elsewhere, but it gets to the heart of the problem of 'scientific' passivity in intellectual and political life. The increasing wealth of a smaller and smaller minority is seen as the result of a "natural" process. Obama's preserving or even expanding the authority of the Executive is similarly natural. [Jack Balkin] But natural processes are determinist. This goes back to my comments on the transformation of economics from a realist understanding of human partiality and frailty into an idealist theory of human capacity, based either on a theory of a mythical natural balance or on the hopes for an equally mythical coterie of experts either immune to partiality or struggling mightily (and "scientifically") to develop the perfect artificial mechanism. Whichever way you look it's the defense of the moral passivity of ants.

I'd call the whole thing the result of determinist process, but that would include all the theories of the wise men who think determinism only applies to others.

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