Or, why nothing is anyone’s fault, part II.
Yesterday‘s post was a brief overview of some of the consequences of Marx’s view that all human culture is nothing but the product of clashing social classes. Our SJWs don’t know that’s where their “ideas” come from, of course — they’re as ignorant of intellectual history as they are of everything else — but for those of us who like Western Civilization, it’s worth noting that everything SJWs like is just exegesis of the Gospel of Karl Marx.
Science — which, as we know, SJWs not only love, but fucking love — is just a tool of the capitalist class. Lysenkoism wasn’t a bizarre one-off of Stalin’s personality cult; Mao’s similarly loony ideas contributed to his extra-fun version of the Holodomor. Pre-Revolutionary biologists came from the wrong class background; Lysenko’s parents were peasants; therefore, Lysenko’s ideas are true. Everything is a product of class conflict, remember? Wrong class, wrong ideas — by definition.
See also Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which introduced the famous “paradigm shift.” Kuhn doesn’t explicitly argue that scientists are “class enemies,” but his theory is pure Marx for all that — “paradigms,” he says, are incommensurable; you can’t even understand the new paradigm in terms of the old. Here again, Truth has nothing to do with anything, because there is no Truth, only perspectives. It’s not clear whether Kuhn considers the hidebound “scientists” of the old paradigm actively evil, or merely deluded (if they can’t understand the new paradigm, how can they be responsible for not accepting it?), but either way it’s clear that once again we see a fundamental mode of human thought being attributed to class conflict, rather than a search for Truth.
Warming Cooling Climate Change Weather. Under the old paradigm — the one concerned with finding things that are True — anyone claiming to know the exact future state of a complex global system would be laughed out of the lab. Under the new paradigm, of course, it makes no difference whether or not the claims are “true” — consensus makes them true, in the same way Ptolemaic astronomy and the humoral theory of medicine were “true” in Renaissance England, and so on. We wouldn’t say Henry VIII was wrong in getting bled to treat his ulcer, would we? Henry was keenly interested in medicine; he was acting on the best information available. That it didn’t work (indeed, couldn’t work) is irrelevant; Henry was behaving scientifically — no quotation marks — within his paradigm, just as surgically excising it while dosing him with antibiotics would be scientific now, within our paradigm.
How one actually moves from one paradigm to another is above my pay grade, just as, when you get right down to it, it was above Kuhn’s — see David Stove for a thorough, vicious examination. The point, again, is that it doesn’t matter, since Truth has nothing to do with it. It’s all just politics:
- The old guard, the elite, the bourgeoisie, whatever you choose to call them, were invested in the old paradigm.
- Therefore the old paradigm was a tool by which they maintained their class dominance.
- Therefore the old paradigm is ipso facto wrong, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest what replaces it, as the more dogmatic Kuhnians like Paul Feyerabend, to their…credit, I guess?… admit.*
So who cares what the thermometers actually say? “Settled science” isn’t just a cant phrase for SJWs; they really think this is the way science is done, and if you disagree, you’re by definition in Big Oil’s pocket.
*no, really: “Voodoo…is case in point. Nobody knows it, everybody uses it as a paradigm of backwardness and confusion. And yet Voodoo has a firm though still not sufficiently understood material basis, and a study of its manifestations can be used to enrich, and perhaps even revise, our knowledge of physiology.”