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Reflecting on the March for Science after the death of reason

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When Reason Goes on Holiday: Philosophers in Politics by [Sesardic, Neven]  From Denyse O’Leary (O’Leary for News) at MercatorNet:

Croatian philosopher of science and politics Neven Sesardic (b. 1949) retired from Lingnan University, Hong Kong, in 2015. He wrote a book shortly thereafter, When Reason Goes on Holiday: Philosophers in Politics (Encounter Books, 2016). He was wise to wait till he had his pension…

He chronicles the way in which 20th Century luminaries in science, philosophy, and their mutual colleagues excused and aided totalitarian rule. As a survivor of totalitarian rule himself, Sesardic does not focus on acknowledged racists or Nazi Party members in science, the ones that we are all taught to reject by popular science journalism. He spotlights brilliant thinkers we are encouraged to look up to as enlightened and humane, such as Einstein, Godel, and Lakatos.

First, Einstein. His cautious sympathy for Stalin comes as a surprise. Einstein seemed over-anxious to discount the obvious, as when, for example, 48 scientists were shot within a couple of days without even a show trial. He ended his friendship with Don Levine over the latter’s insistence that the mass starvation of the Ukraine (the Holodomor) was real. Einstein regretted his silence later but, Sesardiç notes, he never publicized his regret. He clashed with anti-totalitarian secularist Sidney Hook over similar issues. Arthur Miller called that pattern of behaviour, which he shared, “a special kind of obtuseness.” Saul Bellow called it a “deep and perverse stupidity.”

It was no different in biology. The journal Philosophy of Science largely supported the cranky, state-enforced theories of Stalin’s favourite, Lysenko, and downplayed the murders of dissenting biologists. But then editor Malisoff was a KGB agent. More.

Like we said, march for science if you want. Your problems are back at the desk, not out in the streets.

See also: The war on intellectual freedom: How political correctness morphed into a monster.

Marchin’, marchin’ for Science

and

These vids certainly show a different side to Bill Nye… Someone asks, does Nye has a future as the ”Pee Wee Herman of popular science”? Maybe that’s what’s left now.

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3 Replies to “Reflecting on the March for Science after the death of reason

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    I don’t see how Einstein’s blind spot regarding Stalin or that the editor of a philosophy journal turned out to be a KGB agent justifies a hyperbolic claim about the “death of reason”.

  2. 2
    Belfast says:

    @seversky.
    How interesting. Do go on.

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    Einstein was a Socialist, and would have been keenly aware, moreover, that monied people of European stock across the globe had been fanatical admirers of Hitler and Mussolini. Why would he have wanted to encourage his critics in this matter, in their self-righteousness by adding his voice to the hypocritical and then only dormant, chorus of the former fascist sympathisers? In its simplest terms, the shameless capitalist West.

    Unlike his critics, Einstein must have thought it of no little significance that those who were the most keen to expose Stalin as the monster he was, would virtually all have contributed to enable the fascist monsters, Hitler, Mussolini and the endless list f fascist tyrants, right up to the present day and counting, which had actually given Communism its spurious political justification.

    Not forgetting Stalin’s personal role in guiding his country, at immense cost in Russian lives, both military and civilian, to combat and defeat the fascist monster, which didn’t even have a spurious front and legitimacy to hide behind. Unless, you count the First Commandment without the Second.

    It is not that the poor wanted the sun, the moon and the stars. Far from it. It’s no secret today that Marx’s analysis of capitalism was very profound. It prompted him to remark that the tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their desires.

    Of course, a Christian ought to be ambivalent on that point, though not just theoretically, but rather taking the Beatitudes as something more than beautiful poetry : that God made the good things of this world for all his children, not just those with the sharpest elbows, the worldling go-getters.

    Thatcher, aka the Baronness, Lady Cardboard, had shared Marx’s view about the tragedy of the poor being the poverty of their desires, but only because the harder they could be persuaded or better still, forced, to work, the more money they would make for her and her tribe.

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