Friday, 24 November 2017

2008 - My dawning awareness of the systematic dishonesty of economics, and then the rest...

As the so-called economic crisis of 2008 unfolded, there were several significant things happening in my life: one of which was that I gradually became aware that economics was a thoroughly dishonest and self-blindedly-incompetent field and subject.

What was particularly overwhelming was that this affected the whole field - that everybody who had any kind of public authority, even any kind of public presence - was equally affected by the partiality and distortion - such that was no way they could ever acknowledge their systemic errors (let alone correct them).

It was really quite something! In the end, the whole thing was discredited for me - I mean the whole lot - the entirety of what might be called 'established' economics!

I should be clear that this was not accompanied by an alternative view that I regard as correct - not at all. My recognition was that nobody knew anything.

It is similar to my (much earlier) recognition of the Anthropogenic Global Warming fraud: the recognition was quite simply that nobody understood global climate. Not even nearly, not even slightly. Therefore (obviously!) nobody could predict - let alone modify or control - the temperature of the planet.

Economics was the same - economics is like the global warming fraud: nobody knew; the discourse was nothing more than an echo chamber...

But of course there is nothing special about economics - economics is utterly typically - what applies to economics applies to all of the mainstream, global, establishment institutions: politics, mass media, government, science (self-styled), churches, police and military... They are wrong all the time about everything!

Not, of course, because every-single-thing they say is wrong - but because the wrongness is so highly-prevalent, and so pervasive, and so locked-in - that all knowledge is rendered invalid. When error, lies, incompetence are woven-into the institutional fabric, the fabric of discourse - then everything is invalidated.


Now, of course, there are pockets of effectiveness, individuals who know some something about something, individuals who can do valid and useful things - but the institutions, the committees, the official views... well none can be relied upon about anything.

Of course, it is hard to live by this truth - but truth it is. The official world is wrong. The whole thing. The whole world of mainstream knowledge is a fake - and the real bits they contain are embedded deep into that fakery, hence invalidated. Completely.

That is what I realised starting 2008, that is what is true. And we must do our best to live on that basis, rather than any other basis.

So 2008 was a big year, a new beginning. It was, also, the year I became a Christian.



Dexter said...

"that I gradually became aware that economics was a thoroughly dishonest and self-blindedly-incompetent field and subject."

I have yet to find a humanities / social science field that isn't. And the most galling aspect of it is how aggressively the incompetent "experts" in these fields defend their faulty conclusions and deny job and publication opportunities to those who challenge conventional (non)wisdom.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Dexter - True, but it would be a mistake to regard the social sciences and humanities as any different from anything else; except for being a generation ahread of the curve which All major social institutions have by now followed.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I think that's a key point, that the deterioration in the authoritative claims of institutions is a curve, it represents a change over time rather than a perennial aspect of civilization.

There are many who believe that the current situation, in which all major claims of institutional competence and authority are utterly false, is just the way things always are and always will be, some respond to that by becoming doctrinaire anarchists of some stripe, others by shrugging and leaving it as "the way things are". But I feel that both are unconsciously making the same essential choice as those who refuse to acknowledge the problem at all.

They are avoiding the harsh and inevitable logical conclusion...that our civilization is going to collapse, is already in irreversible catastrophic decline. They don't pretend they can't see the writing on the wall, but they refuse to interpret it correctly or even find it remarkable.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - "our civilization is going to collapse, is already in irreversible catastrophic decline" - What makes it irreversible is that the collapse is strategically planned from the top (this is the overall, net motivation of the Establishment). And that this is demonic in essence.

But even the fact of deliberate contrivance of collapse is denied - despite that it has been implemented over many decades, and without any learning or backswing of the pendulum. This is, of course, due to our metaphysical assumptions being poisoned, such that people cannot coceive of the reality.

I would add that the collapse is intended to be slow, as drawn-out as possible - in order that the maximum of human fear and resentment and such sins may be encouraged. If mere destruction was the goal, collapse would have happened long since, since nobody with power/ no institution is doing anything substantive to stop or reverse it.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Well, but as you mention, the cause of collapse is (as always) the ascent to power of those who hate the happiness and freedom of others. It is characteristic of every civilizational collapse for it to be deliberately agonizing as possible to the people because the ascent of those motivated by hatred is why there is a collapse at all.

Mere incompetence, untainted with malevolence, can do great damage to the progress of civilization but it is ultimately amenable to correction by wisdom. Incompetent malevolence will be kept out of power by a healthy society, including a civilized one, but can kill a declining civilization.

I see a mix of diabolical and incompetent malevolence in the current situation. The incompetence is more easily visible, and predominates in quantity...particularly as it includes many who are lacking in any real malevolence of their own, but are led by diabolical agendas.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - Yes, incompetence and plain short-termist-selfishness are surely commoner personality types than purposive evil - but such persons are put into key positions - in large numbers, and then protected, by purposive evil.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Well, and who would follow evil leaders other than fools?

Bruce Charlton said...

There are some evil followers as well as fools (and the terrorised)...