Monday, December 08, 2008

Green paradoxes

(back in Melbourne, working on my article, just have to throw out a provocative question)

Start reading any book in green political theory (not necessarily at page 56) and you will find criticism of science as being monolithic, dominating and colonizing. Instead of “big science”, authors such as Frank Fischer have argued for the participatory production of local knowledge, claiming that instead of traditional science we should embrace a plurality of truth claims, and that we especially should cherish indigenous pre-modern knowledge.

Now, think of how Greens everywhere ridiculed the arguments deployed by the Bush administration on climate change. Not only were they mocked for being based on “junk science”, the very act of deviating from the scientific consensus was seen as “an assault on reason” as Al Gore so fittingly called his book.

Maybe it is too much to ask for respect for the ontological underpinnings of Kansas creationism, but I guess I am not the only one seeing a paradox here? Perhaps it is as with participatory democracy, that Greens only like it when people (or in this case competing truth claims) agree with their own views?



Blogger Gabriel said...

Well, maybe because "Greens" are not er... a monolith. Greens might be having all sorts of opinions on that.

Speaking of contradictions: Free will is fundamental to important parts of the liberal and libertarian tradition. The greatness of the human spirit is celebrated, and a very important role model is the daring individual who conquers mountains, starts businesses and what not. The presence of such able individuals is a living proof that no strong state is necessary.

Still, when it comes down to politics, it is extremely important for even center-right lawmakers to "give the right signals". If you give one the opportunity to take a voluntary subsidy, that person will automaticly, like a Pavlovian dog, accept that... No free will there. Why won't the individual, being so noble, turn down a subsidy s/he doesn't need? Don't they believe in the greatness of Man anymore?

This was just something I've been thinking about. I think all human traditions of thought have contradictions, it is simply... human behaviour.

4:07 pm  

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