Monday :: Aug 30, 2004

PoMo Politics

by dj moonbat

It's amazing sometimes, when I sit and think about how radically unknowable facts have become over the last few years. When I left grad school in the late 90s, I was sure my academic exposure to postmodern theory--a radically subjective mode of understanding the world--would prove completely useless. Now, I realize that if I had just stuck with that claptrap for another couple of years, I could have reaped enormous fortunes, creating epistemological loopholes through which GOP operatives could steer Mack Trucks™ full of lies.

  • The Swift Vote Betterings have made it their mission recently to destroy the credibility of decades-old government records; at the same time, though, a complete lack of all the usual documentation related to G-Dub's 'service' is apparently a real head-scratcher:
    <shrug>Who can tell what happened? It must have happened just like the one person with a vested interest in the outcome says it did</shrug>
  • Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall tell us of still more GOP reliance on the radical unknowability of facts: Denny Hastert tells us what we can reasonably infer about a critic's motivations:
    Wallace: "You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?" Hastert: "I'm saying I don't know where groups - could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know."
  • Donald Rumsfeld outlined the military epistemology w/r/t weapons of mass destruction, assuring us that the centrally-monitored, 'objective' UN observer process was not up to the task--that the isolated Cartesian purity of Pentagon judgment was far superior (although it took them three-quarters of the compass to state a location with complete certainty):
    "the area. . .that coalition forces control. . .happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
    The very same Don Rumsfeld, of course, gave us one of the great epistemological meditations of the Modern Age:
    "There are [k]no[wn]1 knowns," Mr Rumsfeld. "There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns - that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know but there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know,"
  • But let's not think that this relativism is solely the province of the White House. Let's not forget the fights in the school boards, for instance: Intelligent Design, our Revenge of the Scopes Monkey. Hey, evolution is a theory, MAN!! Don't try to force your logocentrism on MY kids!!

What does it tell us about our nation that the supposedly conservative party, having seized the entire country, has come so rapidly to embrace such subversively subjective notions? Is it a clear attempt to make radical social regression seem like just any other meaningless notion, floating in a sea of ideas? Is it, mmmmm, EVIL?!

<shrug>It depends on what your definition of "is" is, I guess.</shrug>


1Originally, I cut-and-pasted from a source that said "no knowns." But when I looked at it for a second, I realized that must have been wrong--Rumsfeld isn't a nihilist, ya know? When I looked at some others, "known knowns" made much more sense, both logically and in light of my general recollections of the koan as first spoken.

dj moonbat :: 9:24 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!