Monday, June 6, 2011

A Bypass Road Around Reality

Two must-read editorials in the Times today.

The first is a piece by Paul Krugman detailing how the mainstream media and the commentariat is colluding with the GOP in an attempt to silence those who would state the plainly obvious truth that the Ryan "Medicare reform" plan replaces the current medicare insurance system with a system of vouchers to buy private insurance (though I prefer to call them gift certificates).

The next one is by Nobel Prize winning economist Peter Diamond, and details his dismay at being denied a seat on the Federal Reserve by Republican politicians who did so under the laughable pretense that he was unqualified for the position.

A common thread joins these two columns: American politics has become a completely subjetive, relativistic, perspectivistic exercise. When it becomes unacceptable to call a voucher program a voucher program, when a Nobel prize winning economist can be deemed unfit to serve as a government economist, we have entered a twilight-zone in which there is no such thing as objective "truth" or "falsity." There are only things that are true for you, and things that are true for me. It's ironic, really: my vivid recollection of the 1980s academic culture wars were of conservative "textualists" battling liberal "deconstructionsts" over the question of whether there was such a thing as "truth." Conservative textualists took a roughly "Kantian" position, arguing for objective, eternal, reality grounding truths that no amount of disingenuous sophistry could undermine. Liberal de-constructionists followed the Nietzschean tradition, arguing that "truth" was a concept that was intimately intertwined with and irrevocably bound to relations of power. From the current state of politics and our intellectual tradition, I think we can come to two conclusions: (a) the textualists won the argument, and (b) the deconstructionists were right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our sites sell cheap Nike shoes, Jordan shoes, Puma shoes ,Running Shoes ,mens Jordan Shoes ,... ... copy or

look in the address bar, but also hesitant about, and act quickly.