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Kevin D. Williamson provides a useful look back at the largely-forgotten John Kenneth Galbraith and the not nearly obscure enough Lord Keynes in Judge, Jury, and Economist. If nothing else, it's a good reminder that a lot of what socialists proclaim to be "science" is in fact based on nothing of the kind.


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May. 24th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
In The Last Americans: The Indian in American Culture, William Brandon points out that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels based their theories and, eventually, such writings as The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital on data coming back from the Americas gathered by European anthropologists on Native Americans and their cultures. As Brandon says, however, that data was woefully incomplete; it wouldn't be until the mid-20th century that enough would have been gathered by anthropologists to have any solid understanding about how those cultures had taken the forms they had, or why many American Indians lived in such apparent freedom. And even then, it took decades more to understand the the basic causes of the evolution, rise, and eventual fall of the cultures of Native Americans as well as native Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians, and other native cultures around the world. Clearly Marx and Engels had no real understanding of the Native American cultures and peoples on which they based their theories -- they couldn't have, because at the time, the anthropologists whose data and theories they used to craft those theories had no such understanding, either. All they had was raw data, and far less of it than was needed to even begin to gain insight into the cultures of Native Americans and other native peoples. Which is why the theories of Marx and Engels and later socialists are dead wrong about so many things -- those who came up with those theories had only about a millionth of the data they needed to craft real scientific theories about economics, and no understanding that those theories would have to be tested and modified over time in order to prove them out. Coming up with a fancy theory was about the limit of what those dabbling in social science back then could do, and it was all that was expected of them (which is one major reason that the theories of 19th-century psychologists such as Sigmund Freud were accepted without question).
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