"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
Political Science Is Junk Science
Column by Alex R. Knight III.
Exclusive to STR
One of the more amazing aspects of the increasingly untenable farce that passes for education in America today is the widespread availability, at the college or university level, of degrees in Political Science.
What is “political science” – if indeed we are to even accept the idea that two such concepts bear any relation to one another? For, to be sure, philosophy – in spite of the fact that it is rarely treated as such – most correctly belongs among the sciences (as a social science) every bit as much as do the natural sciences of chemistry, physics, or astronomy. It is the study of human interaction, and as such, requires the same standards of impartial rationalism afforded to any other such field of theory and experimentation. However, it is all too often given over to emotional subjectivity that has no rightful place in any legitimate scientific endeavor. Even a study of emotions themselves, for example, must be made subordinate to such rigors. Anything less, is to abandon the objectivity necessary to arrive at any meaningful conclusions. So what of a definition?
Here is one offered by APSA (American Political Science Association), which we might otherwise reasonably expect to be something of an authority on the subject. Give all of that a good read first, if you will, before proceeding.
I think that we can essentially boil all of the lingual gymnastics and innocuous-sounding phraseology down to this far more basic and truthful assessment: Political Science = The study of how much and what kind of aggression shall be initiated against what parties at what times in order to attempt to affect a given set of social and economic outcomes.
Does anyone wish to seriously dispute that definition? Fine. I challenge you to come up with a more accurate or fully-encompassing one. And please don’t mind me as I sit here continuing to take in deep satisfying breaths all the while.
But look at all the perfectly useful government and government-dependent jobs that are to be had by the proud graduate of just such a program! “…a wide range of exciting careers in federal, state and local governments; law; business; international organizations; nonprofit associations and organizations; campaign management and polling; journalism; precollegiate education; electoral politics; research and university and college teaching.” Why, if you can’t succeed at becoming an elected political parasite yourself, you can always assist one! Raise funds for one! Or, should all else fail, you can go and teach another round of naïve individuals the “civic virtue” of “public service”! Isn’t the fine art of pointing guns at other people to get them to do what you want simply wonderful?
There are constant debates within various research communities about any number of topics: Global warming versus global cooling. The origin of the Big Bang, whether it was in fact the creation of the universe . . . or whether it ever occurred at all. Dark matter. Photons. Quarks. Things arguably even more esoteric.
But I think anyone who wants to be in any way intellectually honest must concede without reservation that “Political Science,” as a term, isn’t much more than chicanery.
Political Science is unreservedly junk science.