Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ideology and framing political debate

Although this post is primarily concerned with US Federal politics it is relevant to any area of public policy and environmentalism in particular. It makes the point that many activists embrace
...the strange belief that politics is all about noise' and narratives'; whoever makes the most noise or gets the most Google hits is going to win, regardless of objective reality.
In this view of public policy, the prevailing sentiment is
... a belief that political discourse ought to be judged solely by its real-world effects...the notion of pursuing truth for its own sake nonsensical. Their interest in ideas, and facts, is purely instrumental.
and the relevant metric is no longer true versus untrue:
To an activist, the relevant metric is politically helpful versus politically unhelpful....A war of ideas, though, is not an intellectual process; it is a political process. As...Leon Wieseltier has written if you are chiefly interested in the consequences, then you are not chiefly interested in the ideas.
Again, apply these constructs to any contemporary ecomyth: the truth is incidental. Science is incidental. The only reality is the idealized "green", and whatever it takes to move people to that reality is justified.

That this is then framed as social justice is perhaps the biggest deceit.

Environmentalism uses science selectively to advocate its political ideology. It is not about intellectual scientific discourse: it is about compelling people to comply with a set of ideological constructs and dogma that are intellectually deficient.