Over the last few years I’ve gained troll cred mostly by trolling liberal intellectual (“weenie”) blogs from an elusive, erudite, eclectic, generalist, humanist, populist, leftist perspective. I am familiar with all troll traditions and my deployment of the resources available to trolls has been recognized as masterful. (In academic terminology trolling is called “ethnomethodological intervention”.)
My main targets have been centrist machine Democrats, the economics biz, and the philosophy biz. (“Biz” is the demystified term for “profession”: a corrupt cartel of subsidized thinker-nonthinkers obedient to a specific, enforced thinking-nonthinking paradigm.) A biz, of course, is a sociological entity rather than a body of thought, as many philosophers and economists have pointed out to me, but that’s my point: in academic economics and academic philosophy, the biz has dominated and strangled the work, the way property relations sometimes lower productivity, or the way democratic institutions sometimes crush democracy.
Recently it has become much less necessary for me to troll economics, since without further help from me it seems almost certain to collapse into rubble, in synchrony with the world economy it has been misrepresenting. All of the various cute, ingenious kludges and shims and jimmies and adapters and epicycles and bricolages, and sophisticated-unrealistic models and formalizations, and auxiliary and/or counterfactual assumptions, and so on, that they’ve been using all these years in their attempts to jam historical reality into static models, are now starting to look tattered and ugly. You can’t argue with success, but these guys are now failures.
No actual economist will be hurt as economics withers, along with the economy itself, and Summers and Rubin and Geithner will not be prevented from doing as much as they can to maximize the destruction in the service of their orc masters; but economics itself will disappear. When the dust settles, enough people will understand what happened that the biz will be totally discredited, and the orc masters will have to find some other science to use to spread confusion and preclude popular understanding of what’s going on in their lives.
Philosophy is another question entirely:
I, too, dislike it. There are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Philosophy makes nothing happen: it survives in the valley of its making where executives would never want to tamper; a wheel that can be turned though nothing else moves with it.
So the question with philosophy is different than the question with economics. If the philosophy biz in its methodological Siberian forest collapsed into rubble, how would anyone know?
Next week I will explain more clearly why contemporary Anglo-American-Norse philosophy rankles my ass (and should rankle yours), whether or not you call it “analytic philosophy”. (“Opportunity cost” and “crowding out” are key terms.)
Harry and Chris: why, oh why, do you permit comments on threads pertaining to matters philosophical?
— First Secretary of the People’s Philosophy Union
This thread should have been terminated long ago – I’m closing it now.
— Attendant Lord