In Defense of Reasonable Ideology

 

 

by Mario Rizzo

 

There have been many statements recently to the effect that we should not let “ideology” or “philosophy” stand in the way of solving our economic problems.  Indeed, the Obama Administration (and the previous Bush Administration) are keen to persuade us to drop all of this prejudice and to go after each problem – banking, stimulus, and so forth – on its own terms. We should examine each solution on its own merits.

 

President Obama’s inaugural address includes an apparent attack on ideology:

 

“What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works …”

 

 

What appears to be a sensible idea to turn our problems into purely technical ones is, on the contrary, profoundly unscientific and, more generally, anti-intellectual.

 

This is a big subject and deserves comprehensive treatment. Let it suffice here to make a few crucial observations. Continue reading