Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, April 21, 2013

You can Believe in Free Market Economics OR Science. Not Both.

I never would have thought Libertarian “The Marketplace!” types had anything in common with religious Fundamentalists.  But a new study shows that these groups have one thing in common:  Both of these groups reject science — or anything else that contradicts their pre-conceived beliefs.

Come to think of it, when somebody starts getting all dreamy-eyed over The Invisible Hand of the Marketplace, this person could just as easily be talking about Adam and Eve or the Rapture.

Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia, who directed this study, said:

“The conspiracist ideation that all of the world’s scientific academies have conspired together to create a hoax known as global warming has found traction in American mainstream politics.”

He also said:

“The pivotal role of personal ideology in the rejection of climate science has been repeatedly demonstrated.  We highlighted the magnitude of this effect among climate-science blog denizens, who have a strong interest in the issue, and we additionally showed that endorsement of the free market also predicted the rejection of two other well-established scientific facts.”

Those other two well-established scientific facts denied by the Free Marketeers:  the fact that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer and the fact that the HIV virus causes AIDS.

Climate change deniers also have a strong tendency to believe the 1969 moon landing was a hoax; just a Hollywood production.


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Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

I guess I'm really screwed up, I don't have any more faith in science than I do in faith.

April 21, 2013 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Life As I Know It Now said...

I do think economics is a religion rather than a science! :)

April 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There was a generation lied by Vietnam and COINTELPRO who are ready to believe any conspiracy theories that are out there, including Landing on the Moon, JFK, Pearl Harbor, and Now 9/11. Did we first invade Iraq to get Neil Bush out of a major scandal? Did we go back for terrorism or to enrich Haliburton? I'm glad in my time the bombing of Hiroshima got put to rest. We knew the Japanese were going to surrender, we did it to scare the Soviet Union.

Bad Science? How about the Bad Eugenics Science Movement which started in this country to justify White Supremacy, gave rise to the Nazi Final Solution is still being sampled in Right Wing publications, broadcast and churches today.

I believe in Global Warming even though I tend to think its more the exception then the rule on deception! At least it's tangible and can be seen.

Free Market Economics? Intangible and manipulated, just a convenient excuse to keep the Rich-Rich and the Poor-Poor!


April 23, 2013 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mr. C: I think science is the lesser of 2 evils.

Life: If economics was a science, there wouldn't be so much disagreement among economists.

Erik: The main advantage of science is that supposedly unbiased; based on an objective analysis of findings. It's the opposite of dogma or ideology. When new findings and discoveries come in, the facts change.

But it's not foolproof, as in the examples you gave. And it can be misused, as it frequently has been.

April 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

That some folks can't handle the truth is hardly new news, and this deficit isn't limited to climate and economics, unfortunately. The ability to handle the truth requires education and the self-discipline to be intellectually honest.

I think schools, early on, should make clear to kids that even in our free society, there's a difference between facts and beliefs. And no, children, even in our free society, one person's beliefs are not as good as another person's established, verifiable facts. In short, we all have a right to our own opinions but not our own facts.

Of course, this will never happen because it would spell doom for hard-right conservatism and the free-market religion.

April 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: You're right about both things. We need an education system that teaches critical thinking, so people can distinguish between facts and opinions. And unfortunately you're right about the reason this will never happen.

April 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM  

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