June 1, 2019

Dialectic: the swampies’ methodology of choice

Comment on Matt Franko on ‘Dialectic Method’

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Matt Franko observes: “Probably 99.99% of the Economics discipline is operating under the Dialectic Method and accordingly the material result is the manifest shit-show we are watching every day … a moron-fest goat rodeo … Its NOT the discipline of Economics that is the problem, we often can see the discipline taking a lot of heat … imo its unfair criticism of a discipline … its rather the dominant dialectic methodology commonly used within that discipline that is fucking everything all up.”

Matt Franko is not the first to realize that economics has a methodology problem. What he does not realize, though, is that this is not a bug but a feature. Economics has firmly established itself in the dialectical impasse of political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The goal of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the goal of theoretical economics is to successfully explain how the actual economy works. (ii) In political economics anything goes; in theoretical economics, the scientific standards of material and formal consistency are observed. The fact is that theoretical economics (= science) had been hijacked from the very beginning by political economists (= agenda pushers). Political economics has produced NOTHING of scientific value in the last 200+ years. The major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism, MMT ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, and materially/formally inconsistent.

The dialectical impasse consists of the manifest contradiction between the claim that economics is a science and the fact that it is political agenda pushing.

Science is digital=binary=true/false and NOTHING in between. There is NO such thing in science as roughly right or roughly wrong, it is only materially/formally true/false. The swamp between true/false where “nothing is clear and everything is possible” (Keynes) is the natural habitat of morons, agenda pushers, confused confusers, blatherers, fraudsters, trolls, and incompetent scientists.#1, #2, #3, #4

Swampies euphemize their inability/unwillingness to resolve inconsistencies as dialectic method: “According to Kant … the ancient Greeks used the word ‘dialectic’ to signify the logic of false appearance or semblance. To the Ancients, ‘it was nothing but the logic of illusion. It was a sophistic art of giving to one’s ignorance, indeed even to one’s intentional tricks, the outward appearance of truth, by imitating the thorough, accurate method which logic always requires, and by using its topic as a cloak for every empty assertion’.”#5

The philosophical father of modern dialectic is Hegel. Schopenhauer had not much good to say about him: “If I were to say that the so-called philosophy of this fellow Hegel is a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage, I should be quite right.”#6

In marked contrast to swampies, scientists drive the question under discussion to the point of a clear-cut decision between true and false: “Research is, in fact, a continuous discussion of the consistency of theories: formal consistency insofar as the discussion relates to the logical cohesion of what is asserted in joint theories; material consistency insofar as the agreement of observations with theories is concerned.” (Klant)

Formal consistency is secured by applying the axiomatic-deductive method and empirical consistency is secured by applying state-of-art testing.

The profession of useful political idiots has no genuine interest in a clear-cut true/false outcome of research and debate but seeks to keep everything and everybody in the status-quo swamp. Swampies subscribe to dialectical inconclusiveness, i.e. anything goes, truth is subjective and relative, reality is a social construct, nobody has the truth with a big T, everybody has some truth with a small t, and to the pluralism and peaceful coexistence of provably false theories.

As Popper summarized it: “Hegel’s intention is to operate freely with all contradictions. ‘All things are contradictory in themselves’, he insists, in order to defend a position which means the end not only of all science, but of all rational argument. And the reason why he wishes to admit contradictions is that he wants to stop rational argument, and with it scientific and intellectual progress.”#7

Political economists prevent scientific progress to this day. Economics is still at the proto-scientific stage which is characterized by material/formal inconsistency.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke


#1 It is better to be precisely right than roughly wrong
#2 Marshall and the Cambridge School of plain economic gibberish
#3 Confused Confusers: How to Stop Thinking Like an Economist and Start Thinking Like a Scientist
#4 Finally, the embarrassment of economics is over
#5 Wikipedia
#6 Goodreads
#7 A Free Left Blog

Related 'Profit: after 200+ years, economists are still in the woods' and 'A new curriculum for swampies?' and 'Getting out of the economics swamp' and 'Economics: The greatest scientific fraud in modern times' and 'Opinion, conversation, interpretation, blather: the economist’s major immunizing stratagems' and 'Economics, too, is pre-truth' and 'Links on capital-T Truth, stupidity, corruption' and 'Economics is locked in idiocy: How could this happen?' and 'Economists: scientists or political clowns?' and 'Economics as storytelling and entertainment for the masses' and 'And the answer is NCND ― economics after 200+ years of Glomarization'.

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