Free Markets, Free People

Authoritarian “science”

Yesterday, I pointed to an Orwellian piece that was simply a treatise on totalitarianism dressed up for the Freedom Ball.

Here’s another example in our world today as explained by an eminent scientist as he addresses the junk science that masquerades as “climate change”:

Dr. Christopher Essex, professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, told Breitbart Executive Chairman, Stephen K. Bannon, that political activists, who undermine scientists for not embracing climate change theology, have crossed a line by making direct political attacks on regular scientists, like Willie Soon.

Appearing on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM, Patriot radio, channel 125, Essex explained that on Sunday he and a group of scientists published a paper which methodically critiqued the Royal Society’s position on climate change, emphasizing areas that were “weak, limited, and flimsy.”

Essex said that there seems to be a cultural shift and that scientific arguments have deteriorated. Individuals in society have moved away from “civilized dialogues in which people have a collegial attitude and work together to try to find the truth.”  Essex characterized  the pro-climate change philosophy as a form of sophistry, catering to popular opinion rather than being concerned with the truth.

The climate change proponents, according to Dr. Essex, are using an old form of Eristic argument–Eris was ancient goddess of chaos. “They are using this very old, but high profile tactic, in the modern world, under the heading or rediscovered by Saul Alinsky’s work,” he contends.

What drew Essex to science was that “it is the ultimate expression of democracy. It gives you the freedom to think as an individual person,” he explained. The Royal Society “has now taken kind of an authoritarian approach, rather than a authoritative approach… and are now taking an official position on climate change,” the mathematician states. Essex doesn’t believe that  they are considering the science.

“In previous generations the scientific organizations knew that they should not do that. The rough and tumble of scientific debate and dialogue should not be suppressed or overcome by some official position on the part of these organizations,” he insisted.

“When they started to write letters from congress to employers telling them that they should expose the people that they don’ like, I think that they crossed a line. Now it’s necessary for us to respond in a way that we as scientists know how to respond, that is scientifically. And that is what we did,” Essex said.

Note his observation of what science used to be and what it is now.  And like the totalitarian/authoritarian left, it will brook no dissent.  Instead of welcoming dissent and different theories, it tries to shut down the other side, making personal attacks and calling for punitive action if their opinion or theory doesn’t conform to the approved “consensus”.

What that does of course, is strip any authority from science as it becomes obvious it is nothing but another political tool.  Science in the service of authoritarian ideology.

Orwell would be amazed today … or maybe not.  I love the line “Orwell wrote “1984” as a warning, not a guide book”.  All too much anymore, it seems more and more of a guide book for a certain segment of the political spectrum.


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24 Responses to Authoritarian “science”

  • Sorry, I automatically distrust something if it comes from Breitbart anymore.

    • Why?

    • Yes, why? I’d guess you certainly don’t trust HuffPo either

    • I don’t know of any source I consider infallible. But “distrust”? I certainly think looking under the hood of any claim or story is just prudent, but that only rises to “skeptical”.

      • The truth of any proposition does not depend on who proposes it.

      • For the simple reason that I know – for a fact – that they do no actual fact-checking. Ever. Of Anything. And they haven’t fact-checked stuff for years.

        “Friends of Hamas”, anyone? That story that made Hagel a sympathetic figure, a target of right-wing smear attacks? The story that was responsible for Senators breaking ranks and getting him conformed?

        Or Rubio Phones?

        Or the Bankruptcy of Paul Krugman?

        I have seen under the hood of, and it’s engine is run on drunken idiocy and unearned ego.

        • I would say your examples pass for top reporting on the left when the subjects are threats to big government or the Left. How much fact checking was done for the Bush Memos, William’s self aggrandizing, or accusations of racism of the Tea Party. I know it doesn’t make it ok. But the conflict between Right and Left is being fought asymmetrically. The right may have some sense of integrity and civility and the Left is cudgeling the Right with it. When the senators broke ranks because of over-statements as you say, maybe they shouldn’t taken part but it wasn’t their problem and should have ignored it as far as they were concerned.. When the left makes false claims, who on the left rushed to the Right’s side to defend them. They ALL sit back and make the Right work to clear themselves no matter how ridiculous the claim.

          I would be more inclined to believe the Senators were looking to break ranks to suck up to the Left and Leftist media and they will always find an excuse because in a group of more than 8 people there will always be a jackass.

          But you do have a point no one should willing propagate something unsupported. Regardless you don’t break ranks because you have a jackass in the ranks. There will always be jackasses and dealing with them is the other side’s problem 99 times out of 100. Lord knows dealing with the Left’s jackasses is definitely not the left’s problem.

          • You don’t break ranks because you have a jackass in the ranks? Are you serious? Just follow the rest blindly, don’t question if someone on your side is an idiot.

            The fact that the left doesn’t call out bad reporting is no reason for the right to do the same. Bad reporting is bad reporting, and it’s intellectually dishonest to not call it out when its from someone on your side.

          • I did not say that at all. I said ignore and carry on and let the other side deal with it.

            In fact, I thought I over did repeating the point so Blow Me!

          • I said nothing that should have led to such nastiness. Now I know I can file you under the “To Be Ignored” category. Thanks for that!

        • No fact-checking?!?! Oh, the horror. I guess we should rely on the multiple-layers of fact-checking done by the “Fake, but Accurate” media.

  • But, really, for people like Erp, isn’t a “scientist” merely a member of the Collectivist priesthood? And isn’t “science”, as accepted by the Collective, simply dogma? And the reaction to any rational dissent from the dogma heresy?

    Damn sure looks like it.

    • There is science and then there is Science

      The problem is that what has happened with AGW is anti-science pushed by people who are generally phobic about widespread scientific & industrial advancement.

      I wouldn’t say its Junk Science. Junk Science too often gets attributed with Fringe Science. Fringe Science is science where someone has a radical theory that has little or no research or scrutiny on it. AGW may have been Junk Science initially, but too much money and too much scrutiny (although ignored and supressed) to be Fringe.

      AGW is Mock Science. Its mock science because of the idea it should be Decreed and not subject to scrutiny or criticism and calling for the de facto punishment of criticism. This is anti-science at its core. Because the ‘scientific method’ fundamentally calls for open scrutiny on any theory at any time for eternity. So not only is this something pretending to be science it if fundamentally mocking real science. Two different uses of the work ‘mock’ so Mock Science is probably the most appropriate term.

      Whatever you call it, punishing critics of a theory ain’t real science of any kind.

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change.

    This may put several Republican governors who maintain the earth isn’t warming due to human activities, or prefer to do nothing about it, into a political bind. Their position may block their states’ access to hundreds of millions of dollars in FEMA funds. Over the past five years, the agency has awarded an average $1 billion a year in grants to states and territories for taking steps to mitigate the effects of disasters.

    “If a state has a climate denier governor that doesn’t want to accept a plan, that would risk mitigation work not getting done because of politics,” said Becky Hammer, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program. “The governor would be increasing the risk to citizens in that state” because of his climate beliefs.
    This is, of course, shear madness wearing an iron glove.

    • I whole-heartedly agree that the governors should ask FEMA for funds to protect their states from “extinction-level” meteors, invasions from extra-terrestials and Higgs boson “planet-eating” singularities as well.

  • This has been going on for a long time, on the global warming question. It did not just start. And the method has been used across the board on political questions, which is what global warming has been since the beginning. The idea that the UN is the arbiter of “climate consensus” is high comedy.

  • Political scientists will always try and subvert proper science. Climate change will go the way of Lysenkoism or eugenics sooner or later, once the political system it depends on itself changes or collapses. To see why this has to be so, just go read the Mad Professor’s latest ramblings on “the nature of reality”, it goes from faulty premises through half-assed speculation to dropping a few mushrooms at a deadhead concert… all in order to allow the mushy conclusion he wanted based on proper science. Political scientists ftw!

    • Bwaahahahaha – I took your advice – a kiddie roller coaster ride by a middle aged man who’s suddenly realized that he ain’t gonna get whatever it was he kinda hoped he was gonna get. Booo frickin hoo, what does it all mean? Suck it up there professor, this is the hand you were dealt and no one gets out of this game alive.

      If he’s wondering if he’s living in reality, he should try, oh, I don’t know, NOT taking care of his kids, for example. I suspect that the forces for authority in government he so adores would descend upon him and demonstrate this reality is quite real.

      I love the free range deep thinking though.
      I regret to tell the Mad bugger that he needs to keep his feet on the earthbound track with folks like me because clearly he doesn’t have the neurons needed to trying to climb into the cockpit next to Einstein and Hawking for exploration to the deeper meanings of the universe.
      And there’s nothing wrong with that, man has to know his limits, some of which he can overcome, some of which he cannot.
      I’m guessing that the prof is discovering his limits and the limits that life has dropped on him and he’s feeling kinda puny and all thoughty and pondering like.

      He’d be better served, and the society of man would be better served, if he stopped babbling about how this is all just our perception because it leads him to some crappy conclusions about who ‘owns’ him, and the meaning, nay, the existence, of his inalienable rights.

      • The amusing thing is his “paradox” on which rest his flights of desperate fantasy is not a paradox. Anyone with any understanding of quantum mechanics knows that his statements about the observer are wrong, therefore his conclusions (as amusing as they are) are wrong. So he has an agenda in need of rationalization and will merrily mangle the science to get what he needs. Just like the whole “climate change” thing. Fortunately there is no money (yet!) to be made by the government in making bad interpretations of quantum mechanics so it is left reasonably unmolested by second-rate hacks populating various bureaucracies and agencies.

        • Heh
          In our case the ‘observer’ is bound by precisely the same rules as the experiment he is observing, the observer is part of the experiment. Hardly impartial and external.

          Let me go all dreamy for a sec –
          how does the observer inside the universe he himself is part of and ‘observing’ ever prove that that universe is not real.
          If particles only exist when ‘we’ observe them, then why do ‘we’ exist.
          Who is observing the particles that ‘compose’ us and are we therefore under constant observation?
          Bahhhh, I will not even for a moment pretend I grasp quantum anything, I’m still wrestling with relativity.

          I’m afraid I’m more suited to –
          Rene Descarte was a drunken fart, “I drink therefore I am”
          “it’s turtles, all the way down”

          I can see why it’s easier to keep falling back to a deity to explain all this – though who created ‘it’….bah…..

          Time to get back to the more mundane figuring out how to bring down enough bison to feed and clothe the tribe.

          • “Bahhhh, I will not even for a moment pretend I grasp quantum anything, I’m still wrestling with relativity.”

            I am still a Newtonian, through and through. The rest of that stuff gets the Gordian Knot treatment, “I think, therefore I am” and “Who gives a flying figleaf, pour me another beer”.


    What did Steve Goddard do to get suspended by Twitter? Or was it pressure from the Warm-mongers…???

  • The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

    It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society. — Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960

    • Let’s call this what it is … it’s a continuation of the Military-Industrial Complex