Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Progressive Doctrine Is Reductionist
Reductionism is the practice of defining complex systems in simpler terms in order to better understand the complex. Reductionism can be a useful tool in order to better understand how complex systems work. However, there is a danger in using reductionist arguments. Fallacies occur when the reduced model is perceived of as reality.
Here's an example. When we learn about the structure of the atom, we often use the model of a solar system to help us visualize what's happening within the atom. We picture the nucleus as the sun, with electrons as planets zooming around the nucleus. That model is all well and good, but does not really accurately explain, nor describe, what's really happening within the atom.
The fallacy would come from our accepting the solar system model as an accurate description of the atom.
We all use reductionist arguments in order to illustrate complex points. Some systems, however, such as progressivism, view the world only in reduced terms, and hence argue from the fallacy that the model represents the complexities of reality.
In other words, progressive doctrine is reductionist.
You and I see the world in shades of gray. When we come to complex problems, we attempt to make sense of the problems by reducing them into manageable pieces. We understand that the pieces don't represent the whole, and that the problem really is more complex. We understand that there may never be satisfactory solutions to some complex problems.
Progressives, on the other hand, tend to reduce problems to a model that can "easily" be understood and "easily" fixed.
For example, race-baiting Al Sharpton and Eric Holder, with no regard for the safety and health of the community in Ferguson, Missouri, basically condemned Darrin Wilson for shooting Michael Brown because Wilson was white and a police officer. This view reduces a complex discussion about race or the role of the police to some sound bites and directionless anger.
It should be easy to see that the situation in Ferguson cannot be reduced to a generalized and supposed white hatred of blacks. For me, people are complex. I don't judge people based on their race because I see people as individuals, not in terms of some political identity. Yet, because I don't follow the central (reductionist) views of bleeding-heart progressives, I am consistently condemned as a racist.
The reduction of race into a liberal meme makes it impossible to discuss the complex issues of race in a reasonable manner. Just bringing up the subject of race in any form other than to condemn racism will cause progressives to fall into fits of apoplectic shock.
Similarly, we can no longer discuss, at least among progressive circles, the challenges of the complex economy, common sense means of reducing the national debt, revisions to social welfare programs, or even serious changes to Social Security.
No, all progressive ideas are inviolate, because progressivism has reduced the complex world into a box where the easy solution is to regulate it or fund it with tax money.
Are workers not getting paid what they think they're worth? Don't explore the possibilities of requiring them to be more productive or useful. Instead require more money thrown at them and damn the consequences of government-sponsored wage increases.
Do schools seems to offer children less education? Regulate the schools and the curriculum while throwing money at them. Who cares if the regulating bureaucracy is larger and better paid than the teachers? What does it matter that the new "solutions" rely on old and simplistic progressive models?
Does terrorism continue to plague the earth with death and destruction? Blame the victims for being insensitive to Muslims.
The reductionist arguments of progressives defy logic, yet persist, because they require no thought. They demand no thinking. They ignore the complexity of life and promise a Utopia free of pain and suffering.
We cannot long survive as a country and as a people if we are unwilling, or worse, unable, to come to grips with complex problems. Progressives have done the world no favors by reducing real problems into sound bites and unfocussed feelings. The reduced arguments are the grand fallacy of progressive doctrine.