Friday, February 5, 2010

Progressive Science

One issue that we often miss when arguing with progressives is the issue of science.

What does science have to do with the progressive agenda? Progressives repeatedly support their proposals with scientific studies. They are always ready to present a dizzying array of facts, figures and charts to prove that we have huge problems government needs to fix. All you have to do is bring up a subject and instantly a flood of data spews forth; enough to make your head spin.

All leftist movements throughout history have used "science" to sell their plans. Even Hitler claimed that the "purity" of Aryan blood was a scientifically proven fact. The Soviet communists considered that they were justified in their murderous revolution because they were more "scientific" and logical than their opponents. To them, logic and science were on their side; they had a right to use force.

Where did Italian dictator Mussolini get his credibility? While he was in power, he was praised, even in America, as a genius of the Italian economy. According to many, his fascist system was the most advanced and efficient government ever devised up to that time. In fact, his technocrats were so efficient they made the trains run on time.

Today, we read about the "settled" science on climate change. We are asked to drastically curtail our use of fossil fuels, create entire new industries with “green” jobs, pour trillions of dollars down the throats of oligarchs, all for the sake of saving the planet. When we learn that the studies published in the leading climate report (IPCC) are based upon faulty data, anecdotal observations, the unsupported conjectures of graduate level students, and professional witch hunts against skeptics; we have to wonder how science has failed us.

Of course, none of the “science” used by these charlatans was true. Eventually, Mussolini found himself at the end of an Italian noose; Hitler committed suicide to avoid the wrath of the "inferior" Russians, Soviet communism collapsed in spite of stolen technology, and global warming scientists find themselves under investigation. The so-called science that supported these fiascos was nothing more than carefully managed public relations accepted and propagated by American left-leaning journalists and trusted media talking heads.

Yet we are taught that science has the power to inform and illuminate. We think that careful experimentation in the physical world can yield valuable knowledge and lead to great inventions that improve peoples’ lives. What happened to science? Why doesn’t it work?

The truth is that progressives do not use real science; they use pseudo-science to support their already pre-conceived notions. They've invented their "science" in order to support coercive “solutions” to problems they’ve caused. So when President Obama says all the best economists support his spending plans, he thinks it makes his argument irrefutable. And, yes, the media tries to convince us that the President's intellect is superior to that of his political opponents - just like their counterparts in the past tried to convince us that self-hating killers like Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin were men of great stature and intellect.

Am I comparing the President to these murderers? Only in the sense that they all used the fallacy of appealing to authority in order to sell their ideas; and just as this practice did not work for dictators, it will not work for our President.

True science starts with a question, a theory or a hypothesis. Its only agenda is to learn what actually happens in the real world; not what will support a Platonic ideal of the kind of world we’d like to create. Doing true science is a very precise activity, a rigid process of testing, analyzing, testing again and learning real facts. After true science is done, valid conclusions can be made about how to improve peoples' lives. Knowledge comes first, not conclusions.

A true scientist cares only about the truth. He has no other agenda but the truth. He uses the scientific method to ensure that he is on track in his studies. He has a passion for precise measurement and precise conclusions that can be reproduced by others and validated.

Pseudo-science is an effort to give the appearance of true science. It involves deception; the use of facts and figures in order to appear knowledgeable and intelligent. As was once said about the philosopher Kant: (they) muddy their waters in order to appear deep. Pseudo-science is the charlatan’s method for stealing peoples’ money. The results of pseudo-science include products that do not work and government programs that achieve the opposite of their intended goals.

If you carefully analyze the methodology used by progressives to steamroll opinion about the problems government should solve, you find that the problems are not real or they are not caused by capitalism. More than this, it does not follow that the solution for every problem is re-distribution.

In fact, the solution to human problems is so simple that it does not require an exhaustive scientific study or report. The Founding Fathers did the work for us long ago and their idea has been tested and proven in the real world many times.

The solution for human problems is freedom.

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