October 4, 2006
Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog wrote a snarky post exploiting a couple of the problems with the arguments of the people who think oil companies are keeping gas prices down to help Republicans. As an added thought, he said something brilliant:
In fact, the more I think about it, the more economics and evolution are very similar. Both are sciences that are trying to describe the operation of very complex, bottom-up, self-organizing systems. And, in both cases, there exist many people who refuse to believe such complex and beautiful systems can really operate without top-down control.
For example, certain people refuse to accept that homo sapiens could have been created through unguided evolutionary systems, and insist that some controlling authority must guide the process; we call these folks advocates of Intelligent Design. Similarly, there are folks who refuse to believe that unguided bottom-up processes can create something so complex as our industrial economy or even a clearing price for gasoline, and insist that a top-down authority is needed to run the process; we call these folks socialists.
It is interesting, then, given their similarity, that socialists and intelligent design advocates tend to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Their rejection of bottom-up order in favor of top-down control is nearly identical.
Oddly, they both have ascribe the same qualities to their god. For the right-wing Christian god, it is an all-knowing supreme being, that will use its power in a good and just way. For the left-wing socialists, it is an all-wise Government, that will use its power in a good and just way.
I’m not one to think either delusion is plausible, but at least the right-wingers are smart enough to believe in something that can never truly be disproven. The left wingers, despite being shown over and over that government is inherently a flawed system, continue to believe that it can work.
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