Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Leftist intellectual sloth, exhibit A

This article was praised on (loathsome leftist law-prof.) Leiter's 'philosophy' blog as "a brilliant and illuminating essay," with "real insight and a synoptic vision of the "big picture."" I consider it a prime example of the pathologies of leftist/anticapitalist thought.  I would call it "leftist lying" but it may just be the product of severe and debilitating cognitive bias.

Now, there are certain key claims made constantly by leftists as to a certain inbuilt dynamic in capitalism toward: (1) greater inequality and (2) negligible-at-best improvements for the non-rich. 

Streeck marshals forth evidence about inequality levels within OECD countries in recent decades. At the same time, he repeatedly mentions the global-scale workings of capitalist finance. Global-scale workings would in fact give us a true *big picture* view beyond just the OECD countries. But - and this has been very consistent among leftist "analyses" of capitalism of recent years - he doesn't present us global-scale data in the wake of increasingly globalized capitalism. Data, for instance, that indicate a level or falling global gini index. Streeck discusses the declining growth rates of the OECD nations in recent years, but what about the global growth rate? No coverage there. What about the global poverty rate, which has been declining big-time?  No mention of that. But, again, such omissions are very typical of leftists, indicating a serious bias if not flat-out dishonesty.  (How does Streeck omit mention of Mises and Hayek alongside "[main] bourgeois theorists such as Weber, Schumpeter, Sombart and Keynes"? How shoddy and/or ignorant can one get?)

Another *typical* instance of leftist intellectual malpractice appears in Naomi Klein's recent book, 'This Changes Everything, which I cover here.

Another instance: the history of early industrial England includes a doubling of England's population from 1800-1850, supposedly the worst period ever for the proletariat, and another doubling of population from 1850-1900, but I've never seen a leftist mention this fact.

It seems to me that perhaps Leiter should stick to jurisprudence and Nietzsche studies and leave the analyses of the global capitalist order to real experts (which doesn't appear to include any leftists).