THE e JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE

THE QUARTERLY LETTER, REVIEW, AND JOURNAL

VOLUME I, NUMBER 2 FALL 1997 The Top

LETTER

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

REVIEW

THE FALLACY OF HEAT DEATH

(Political Theory)

COMMENTS ON NAGEL

(Policy Analysis)

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JOURNAL

CONSEQUENCES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

(Political Economy)

Go Here THE ORIGINS OF THE STRUCTURAL DEFICIT

(Political Economy)

Go Here THE NEW JIM CROW

(Policy Analysis)

Go Here A REASONABLE DOUBT*

(Political Processes)

Go Here FACTORS IN THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN*

(Political Economy)

Go Here AN ELECTORAL CLOCK OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

(Political Processes)

Go Here ADVANCING ELECTRONIC EDUCATION -- THE free e TEXTBOOK*

(Political Methodology)

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NOTEBOOK

Go Here POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH RESOURCE LINKS SUBMISSIONS/CALL FOR PAPERS

LETTER

FOUNDATIONAL STATEMENT

It has become increasingly clear that there are serious
problems within the profession of particularly political
science and history that are corrupting scholarly dialogue
and distorting discourse.

It is not merely that too much of the disciplines are
under the control of an ideological orientation which results
not only in a skewed conversation, but that there is a
systematic inclination toward preclusion of any alternative
philosophical viewpoint in the literature, research, and
teaching of either discipline. This has become so much the
case that analysis which receives broad circulation in any
academic format seems not only intent on propagation of the
dominant bias, but appears unfettered by and even
uninterested in any data which does not support is flawed
premises or agenda, to the extent of the conscious
suppression of it.

There is a tremendous danger to such a closing of
conversation.To the extent that it is successful, it
undermines the effectiveness of analysis out of the
community, and to the degree that it is not,it serves only
to isolate the community more and more into a closed society
drawing a tighter and tighter circle around itself, even as
whatever it offers grows less and less relevant. That members
of the disciplines often represent their efforts as
'scientific' is probably more hypocritical than it is any
kind of paradox.

The question reaches far beyond the limits of what are
usually the competing paradigms or research programs. It is
almost true whether the analysis comes from an empirical,
theoretical, or any of the other predominant methodologies of
currency. And the problem does not really involve the
comparative merits of any of these programs. Indeed, it is
important to understand that most of them have value for
analysis, if only the parameters of 'accepted' debate were
not so constrained.

There are, of course, parallels of the problem which
have infected discourse in our society well outside the
circle of professionals involved. This is especially obvious
in the predominant media. It has been, for example, nearly
impossible to find competent analysis of our contemporary
political dialogue in either political science, history,
or the mainstream media. The result has been that information
costs are heightened for both the citizenry and public
officials, with deletorious consequences for the informed
reflection requisite for a republic.

It is not just that there are 'myths' which achieve and
maintain a degree of hegemony; in polite terms, we might
better call them 'misconceptions'rather than identifying
them as the misrepresentations and fabrications which they,
in fact, actually are. Rather than posing a litany of such
mythologies, a brief catalogue of some of the representative
instances should suffice to set the stage. It would be a
hopeless, and largely meaningless exercise to proceed beyond
that in such a reflection as this. The actual cases are
legion. It is the hope of this undertaking that an instrument
might begin to be constructed that can begin to counterpose
more responsible analysis to that universe of myth, as we set
upon a course which will attempt to open discourse to more
actual scientific scrutiny.

Just during the 1996 Democrat National Convention in
Chicago, there was a concerted effort at posing such a
register of such mischaracterizations. Little on the 'list'
was new or surprising, but repetition does not necessarily
construct certitude or truthfulness, except perhaps to those
among us who wish to practice the brand of science of the
Inquisition.

It has been asserted that raising the minimum wage will
help bring up income levels and combat poverty. The deficit
problem is largely the fault of Reagan and the Republican
efforts to expand military spending. The military build-up
undertaken under Reagan had little impact on the outcome of
the Cold War. From Reagan to the 104th (and now the 105th)
Congress, there has been a conscious attemptto 'slash'
government spending and programs which has resulted in an
aggravation of the economic crises we face. Tax cuts reduce
revenue and contribute to the deficit. Gun control laws
reduce crime. It is the 'self-interest' premise (a term used
to imply selfishness and greed)of laissez faire ideology
which has tended to effectuate the grossly uncivil
personality characteristics which seem to increasingly beset
our people. The Clinton Administration has reduced the
deficit four years in a row (now even more than that).
It is only the federal government, by more spending and more
programs, which can address the problems which we face. Quite
curiously, the myths seem to possess an almost partisan bias,
and that only makes a troubling situation all the more
eqregious.

It is not that there is no useful or valuable analysis
or research which obtains publication or non-liberal
candidates which win faculty appointments. The problem is
that they are the exception and little more. The mission of
this undertaking is to construct a forum which can contribute
to some alleviation of the poverty of philosophy which has
come to mark discourse in these academic circles.

It will be the design of the quarterly letter, review,
and journal to solicit commentary that will counterpose
genuine, responsible, scientific analysis to the recitation
of dogma that has too much been the thrust of so-called
scholarly efforts in political science and history in recent
decades. This will require a protracted conflict. It cannot
limit itself to any particular research program methodology.
It must, however, be conscious of the realities of the
distorted nature of 'scholarly' writing and presentation
as it seeks to pose alternatives to it.

Reviews of publications of such problematic nature
would be a major emphasis of such solicitation. So, too,
would be commentaries toward that end in the form of letters
or original research in the field, although quite clearly,
such an endeavor does require that the highest standards of
scholarship and commentary are maintained.

The second issue continues in this spirit from the
initial one, addressing articles to political economy,
political processes, political institutions, policy analysis,
methodology, and political theory. The third is currently
under construction.

Deadlines for submissions for the next issue -- Spring
1998 --will be the end of the calendar year 1997. eJPS looks
forward to hearing from you. Please forward papers to:

eDITOR, eJPS Ron Ziegler 15744 Crescentwood East Pointe, MI 48021
and register your comments by e mail to:

rzieg97818@aol.com
or
ziegler@mail.wcresa.k12.mi.us

THE FALLACY OF HEAT DEATH

Ronald Gordon Ziegler

It has been suggested that while philosophers and
theologians and others of their ilk look for proofs of the
existence of God,they have overlooked one possible such piece
of evidence in what is often their eagerness to prove the
negative. If the continued existence of the people Israel
establishes anything, it might well be that it does much to
support the idea of the existence of God.

Quite a different direction, however, is the central
thesis of this essay, for one might well contend that a valid
argument might be posed as to the validity of Malthusian
analysis -- that is, the continued existence (or perpetual
reappearance) of the perspective might well be adequate as a
negation of the doctrine. Modern day Malthusians might well
retort that he was simply ahead of himself and that the fact
that his dire forecasts have not been borne out is hardly
evidence of their falsehood.

Not a little effort has been directed against
Malthusian pessimism through the centuries. Pens as
consequential as those of Ben Franklin, Karl Marx, and Henry
Carey have devoted considerable comment in refutation.
Franklin considered that with each new person came not only
a mouth but two hands. He would probably have little problem
with expanding the analysis to suggest that a mind also
accompanies the package, and that is a key lapse in Malthus,
for he seems to have overlooked the role that human
creativity would play in disproving his argument. The earth
is no 'more' than it was in his day, and yet there are many
times more people on it living at a considerably enhanced
level. The reason that this is possible is technology.
Of course, modern day Malthusians will probably decry that as
the real dilemna, technology somehow being construed as the
problem that will bear Malthus out in the end! Little effort
will be placed here now on dealing with that conundrum.
Julian Simon has done much in that regard already. One will
have little difficulty locating the refutation of Malthus in
Carey, if his books can be located.

Karl Marx, of course, despite his tremendous lapses
which virtually trap him in a Malthusiam labyrinth, devoted
some substantive effort in argument counterposed to Malthus.
Not least among his efforts would be one that the Sierra Club
and its cohorts might well consider from what would often
seem to be of environmentalists' saints. One of his earliest
papers was an attack on the practice of condemation of the
gathering of free dead wood in Europe. After all, trees are
essentially a crop.

A basic premise of Malthus' theory of population was
built on the utilization of land in North America. It was his
suggestion that at the time he was writing, which was well
before the movement to the Mississippi, let alone beyond it,
the best land in what became the U.S. had already been
consumed or developed. The argument is familiar enough to
need no elaboration. But what seems to be overlooked is that
the development of the nation provides a substantive case
against not only his contention there, but against
over-population theory more generally, as well.

Of course, the bread basket of the world, the Great
Plains, which in the first half of the 19th century was
considered the Great American Desert, did not undergo its
transition without a conscious effort. Lincoln had a great
deal to do with it (see, for example, the article "Lincoln's
Progress" in Volume I, Number 1 of the e Journal of Political
Science, Summer 1997). The market economy of the United
States turned the wheel on this desert. What would Malthus
answer to the subsequent development of land in North
America? It begs response, for the issue was at the base of
his argumentation.

The controversy permeates a great deal of literature
in the social and natural sciences. Too commonly, for
instance, Darwin is taken to be indicative of an entropic
universe. There is more than a kernel of truth to that
impression, but then, Darwin does not exhaust evolutionary
theory, and the real essence of 'evolution' is toward higher
manifolds of organization. Darwin can be turned in this
direction, but it is difficult. More precisely, the
evolutionary theorems of Darwin were used to build the case
for British imperialism over peoples of the earth who did
not happen to be pink (look to Defoe's Robinson Crusoe for
further elaboration of the superiority of pinkness). And it
may well be that the Club of Rome and its comrades are of
little different hue.

Now we have posited (not for the first time,
of course) the hypothesis of heat death. In a fundamentally
entropic interpretation of the universe, it is asserted that
there is an ever-increasing movement toward a common
temperature in the universe. The universe in this view had
to have begun with some version of the Big Bang, and things
have been devolving since then to lower levels of disorder
and that common temperature, at which, since differences in
heat are at the root of all activity, the dynamism of the
universe will grind to a static halt. But, as Eric Lerner
among others has so eloquently explained, the big bang did
not happen. Rather, the development of the universe has been
up toward greater levels of order -- what has been identified
in science as negative entropy, or simply, negentropy.

In actuality, the big bang theory is akin to the
somewhat older geocentric theories of prescience. It has all
been downhill, essentially, since the great 'pop'
that started it all. The vision extends to an utter rejection
of humankind as any kind of 'crown of creation.' We are,
after all, merely animals, and, to some minds, not one of the
more developed of those even. That is not a contradiction at
all. Or rather, it is a contradiction which negates the
hypothesis. It is of common species with geocentrism in its
devolution away from a higher order of the past (alas, the
inherent contradictions of collectivism!).
It is also, at a rudimentary level, anti-volitional,
and that poses another contradiction. We do make choices, or
more exactly, we have the choices to make. Mankind may be the
crown of creation, but in our volitional nature, we do not
have to remain as such. The universe is negentropic. Whether
we, in our willingness to choose or not to participate in
that negentropic development, elect to participate in that
negentropic process will determine our fate as a species. The
negentropic expansion to higher degrees of order will
continue with or without us. Our choices in this regard will
determine whether or not we are fit to survive, to borrow
Darwinian lexicon.

This is, in fact, one of the strongest arguements
against collectivism. As I have argued elsewhere, the arc of
collectivism is toward Malthus. The path of that arc of
collectivism is toward totalitarian fascism (see "Hayek and
the Left, Right, Left" in Volume I, Number I of the e Journal
of Political Science for Summer 1997) which leads to Malthus.

This may, however, also be an argument to be
counterposed against even 'promotionalism.' I would be fully
prepared to take on the mantle of benevolent dictator of the
world. I know what needs to be done. The dilemna which that
presents is that, given our democratic propensities (although
those may not be as certain or secure as they might sometimes
be taken to be), what I know needs to be done may not be the
policy choices of another who came to occupy that position.
If my promotions are unquestionable, then perhaps that other
would have the same possibilities for their 'promotions.' The
wisdom of the political science of Madison was rooted in just
such consideration. It would be far better to structure
institutions such that the interactive relationships of
people involved in the pursuit of their own self-interest
could not be interfered with by such institutionalizations.

On this, it can be argued that the Constitutional
order fundamentally is geared to a negentropic vision of man
and the universe. That is premised on the supposition of what
best succeeds in prospering the rising levels of energy
throughput in the biosphere. Probably no better examination
of this perspective exists than the little known and almost
universally ignored treatise of Edgar Allan Poe "Eureka!"

The point is not to disparage promotionalism of
markets by governance. It is, however, to enter the posed
caveat. And perhaps no better examination of the danger is
posed than that of Al Gore in his book "Earth in the
Balance." The vision is fundamentally anti-capitalist.
Markets and the self interest pursuit they represent --
indeed, the technological advance on human creativity which
that infers -- are seen as the culprit, which governance must
be prepared to counter. To the extent that liberalism has
come to view the world in this manner is precisely the threat
which collectivism poses to humanity -- and to this republic.

It is a curious irony that such philosophy, bent by
its own admission to acting to prevent the acts of humanity
from feeding heat death and the like, are precisely a path
toward it, at least in terms of our participation in the
negentropic order of the universe. This is also the reason
that capitalism possesses the categorical imperative of Kant
as its rudimentary ethic. It is double irony because
collectivism reposes in the sheepskin of benevolence.

We once refined crude oil for the lubricant and
dumped the highly combustible waste product of the process --
until the internal combusiton engine made that waste product
so valuable. In a not dissimilar way, 'heat death' is an
oxymoron. There is a terrible consequence of collectivism
out of this concern which is almost universally overlooked.
If human population must be contained on scarcity of
resources, etc., then policy choices must be forthcoming as
to just whom it will be that is best suited for survival.
And given the realities of power in the world, the record of
such determinations have been all too much like the Darwinian
rationalization of pinkness.

When I was a high school student, it was posed that
the run-away population growth of the earth would result in
a population of the world of some 12 billion by the year
2000. That was in the early sixties. Some years later, in
college, I encountered calculations that projected an
intolerable population level of some 10 billion by the new
millenium. In the midst of my teaching career, the numbers
were further revised to anticipate an unsustainable world
population of 8 billion by the end of the century. And now,
we are told that the unavoidable consequence of 6 billion
souls in a few years will be the fulfillment of Malthus'
dire forecasts. At the same time, the least developed and
populated continent, Africa, is touted as the most over-
populated, and, hence, we see the terrible results of
over-population there so manifest. People, after all, are
pollution.

If you scratch a liberal, you will find Malthus. But
they are unwilling to face the reality that the policies
which have decimated the Third World are the result of their
collectivist mentality. It is not altogether incorrect to lay
the loss of the 6 billion in the world's population since
1964 at their feet. But the world is not over-populated;
it is underdeveloped. There are not too many people for the
world's wealth; what is needed is wealth creation -- aka,
capitalism.

The perspective which finds the danger of heat death
is thus not only scientifically erroneous, it is morally
bankrupt. And the consequences of such mentality are
genocidal -- by design, on collectivism. The universe in its
negentropic nature will continue to evolve to higher levels
of organizational order. The question is whether we will be
part of it, or go down fighting -- vainly and vanely --
against it. That is the choice we face. Our volitional
decision will rest in great measure on our recognition that
entropy equals genocide. If pressed, it would be my
estimation that man is, indeed, morally fit to survive, but
that is by no means an absolute certitude. It may also
represent vanity. After all, I am writing merely in the
e Journal of Political Science. Al Gore and Bill Clinton are
doing something quite different. The world may little note
what is said here. But it dare not overlook what they, and
their compatriots, do.

7/9/97
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