Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Ideology vs. Science

"Ideology" is a term coined by Marx. For Marx, ideology was in opposition to science -- that is, ideology is justification, while science shows us reality.

Ironically, it has turned out to be the Marxists who are the ideologues. And, of course, not just the Marxists. Anyone whose justifications fall outside what the science of economics tell us is an ideologue. Equally ironically, much of what passes for "economics" is in fact anti-scientific ideology.

There are forms of governance, economic systems, etc. that are not at all ideological. At the same time, most are. Forms of governance that take into consideration our human nature, our evolved psychologies, including our apes/primate natures. In addition, we have to take into consideration the laws of complexity, emergence, information, and networks. These will all inform not just proper governance, but other social structures, from cultures to economies.

Let me give an example. The law of supply and demand -- an emergent law of economics -- says that when prices go up, quantity supply will increase and quantity demand will decrease, while when prices go down, quantity supply will decrease and quantity demand will increase. Given these facts, we know that if you increase the minimum wage, you will increase unemployment -- all other things being equal. This is a fact; it is science; it is reality.

What should be done -- raise it or not -- is ideological. And claiming that the minimum wage will not cause unemployment is ideological. And ignoring the fact that it is teens, minorities, and women who are most harmed by the minimum wage is also ideological.

And, of course, we are also blinded by ideology. We so desperately want the world to be how we think it is, how we think it ought to be, we will sacrifice the good, the true, and the beautiful to it.
Post a Comment