This is probably frivolous—but then, isn’t everything I write?—but I wanted to make ’nother quick post on Mankiw & my grotesque fascination with his rhetorical philosophy, which I think shows the general counterintuitive philosophy o’ centrists: that one becomes smarter when one thinks as li’l as possible.
In an admittedly-rather-ol’ post, Mankiw uses the same patronizing moderate frown he used in the last article I mocked when discussing some hippie @ Ad Busters making fun o’ Mankiw for be a mindless Squealer for economists. Mankiw’s response is… “Yes, that’s exactly what I am.”
When I teach introductory economics, either in the classroom or in my textbook, I view myself as an ambassador for the economics profession. I try to represent the economic mainstream, not my personal political views. Some students may view the economic mainstream as right of center. That assessment is probably correct, at least as judged by the universe of college professors. But the job of an introductory course is to present, as honestly as possible, the consensus of the profession.
Thus, Mankiw’s defense is literally, “If the majority o’ economists say so, it must be right.”
I also love how before that he makes the same simplified story that centrist economists always make ’bout how the right is mean to them, too—O, who is mo’ assailed than mainstream economists? Why aren’t they given reparations already?—& then says, “I suppose the symmetry in the attacks suggests I am getting things about right.”
Reading this quote—as well as the rest o’ the article—notice what Mankiw neglects to do—what he neglects to do in most o’ his work? He neglects to make an actual logical point. Nowhere in his work do I ever see rational arguments. His defenses gainst cries o’ political bias are nothing mo’ than saying that, well, his political bias is the correct 1, which is the center—the US’s dominant ideology. How ironic that centrists like Mankiw can only ever criticize such “extreme” “ideologues” through ideological language, such as criticizing work purely for being “leftist” or “right-wing” or focusing purely on where ideas stand on some imaginary “left-right” spectrum. This is unsurprising coming from a study that takes pride in focusing purely on abstract—i.e. made up in people’s minds—matters, rather than concrete matters.
That the center could be just as ignorant & biased as the left or right eludes Mankiw completely. Never mind the fact that the center has, in the past, included such reasonable arguments that black people & women were inferior, as it includes such reasonable arguments that poor people are inferior today. Those centrists were ’course wrong; but we’re not, ’cause society has clearly learned all that we need. That American centrism is significantly different from the centrism in many other countries is also irrelevant. Those centrists are ’course silly extremists; but we’re not, ’cause… the answer always eludes.
What this tells me is not, as centrists like Mankiw clearly want me to think, that they are just ’bove such vulgarities as political opinions, but that they are just intellectual cowards who are ’fraid to confront their political biases—probably ’cause they’re not confident in their intellectual abilities to ensure that these are biases are logically defensible, ’cause they probably know deep down that what they want & get contradict what a logical ethical system should give them.
Otherwise, a Harvard economist like Mankiw may question, as the Anti-Mankiw article he linked, why his tenure is so great & why he derives so much influence for then-Presidents like George W. Bush when he can’t even ’splain his beliefs without freshmen-level logical fallacies such as “appeal to popularity” or the “golden mean.”
That, or Mankiw may just be a shameless lawyer who spews out rhetoric in the hopes o’ distracting people from the rational fact that he takes in phat loot for spewing propaganda beneficial to powerful classes—which is not just corporations! As any centrist economist will tell you, they also stands for such left-wing, Keynesian ideals as supporting underdogs like the government, too! After all, without government, who will jail the dirty hobos when they perturb white middle-class sensibilities when asking for dimes?
In the spirit o’ smugfaced centrism, can I take a second to laugh @ the fact that a leftist organization would call themselves “post-autism economics.” As you can see, the prissy left still hasn’t left their PC fascism. If this were a true-blue conservative organization, you know they would get right to the heart o’ language & call themselves “economics for people who aren’t fucking social retards who might also be Jews I’m not sure yet though if you figure out the secrets o’ the Corporatist Marxist Jew Cabal please tell me ’K thank you.”
Mankiw, as any good-sporting centrist, is “intrigued” by this movement, which is good to hear. As any sensible person will tell you, you must always look @ both sides in every conflict:—there are never mo’ than 2 sides, that’s just too crazy to even consider!—both the bigoted & the nonbigoted.
Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised, since we’re talking ’bout economics, & anyone faintly interested in economics is probably halfway toward becoming a desensitized sociopath. This even includes those who treat economics purely as bile fuel,—an environmentally-friendly energy source, you hippies should appreciate—as anyone reading anything else I’ve written here should have gleaned.