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Greenspan’s Faith: Ideology trumps Science

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Greenspan’s Faith: Ideology trumps Science

American novelist Walker Percy observed, “As long as I am getting rich, I feel well. It is my Presbyterian blood.”

“When a man seeks to accommodate science to a viewpoint which is derived not from science itself (however erroneous it might be) but from the outside, from alien, external interests, then I call him base.” Marx

I claim that Greenspan shares a significant responsibility for our economic collapse because he was a trusted guru who twisted the social economic theories of capitalism into an ideological form that is often referred to as laissez-fair capitalism.

A base writer is one who lacks professional integrity. A base writer is primarily, perhaps only, interested in reaching a partisan conclusion regardless of the scientific theory.

There are two types of base writers: there is the ‘hired-gun’ who has no intellectual convictions but uses her talents in the service of the highest bidder; then there is the writer with strong intellectual convictions and strong biases who uses her talents to distort facts to fit her faith.

“For Marx, then, the ‘base’ writers have no intellectual integrity…It is evident in the way they ignore counterevidence, select some and suppress other facts, twist their arguments to reach the desired conclusions, and so on.”

Marx also elaborates on another kind of apologist. The vulgar writer is a superficial philistine confining himself to the surface of society, unwilling to dig any deeper. “If there were no difference between essence and appearance, there would be no need for science…Marx argues that the task of the scientist is to analyze the phenomenal forms of an entity, elucidate its essential nature and tendencies, and use the knowledge so acquired to explain its phenomenal behavior.”

I think that Greenspan is a “base” official who is “vulgar” in his management. That is to say that Greenspan is plagued with what might be called “apologetic dread”; that truth might well turn out go be unpalatable to him. This is the dread “found not only among the economists but also among the philosophers, the historians, the political theorists and others, and further, that they may be not only conservative but also radical in their political biases.”

I think that the American culture is ideologically constituted in such an extent that whoever lacks sophisticated critical thinking skills is condemned to becoming an apologist. I also think that even those with sophisticated critical thinking skills, such as I assume Greenspan to have, are greatly influenced by a desire to be loved and respected by all apologists and uncritical society in general.

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Article from Washington Post

Greenspan Says He Was Wrong On Regulation

Lawmakers Blast Former Fed Chairman


Alan Greenspan, once viewed as the infallible architect of U.S. prosperity, was called on the carpet yesterday, pilloried by a congressional committee for decisions that contributed to the financial crisis devastating world markets.

The former chairman of the Federal Reserve said the crisis had shaken his very understanding of how markets work, and agreed that certain financial derivatives should be regulated -- an idea he had long resisted.

When he stepped down as Fed chairman less than three years ago, Congress treated Greenspan as an oracle, one of the great economic statesmen of all time. Yesterday, many members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee treated him as a hostile witness.

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