Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Math-Phobia and Wishful Thinking

Here's a thought: why is it that people who espouse ideologies like anarcho-capitalism, protectionist isolationism and socialism are so allergic to mathematically rigorous modelling of their theses? Could it be because their beliefs are more akin to a substitute religion than anything else, and they dread the prospect of having their ideas controverted by air-tight reasoning?

I think this is the ultimate explanation for the unpopularity of so-called "autistic" (i.e, neoclassical) economics amongst those who hew to the otherwise radically different ideological systems I've mentioned above - it prevents them from freely indulging in the sorts of meaningless high-flown rhetoric that is typical of the output of people like Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Murray Rothbard, Pat Buchanan, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri and far too many other blowhards who enjoy a level of deference out of all proportion to their just deserts.