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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Moving Past Intelligent Design... In Sociology

When Bernie Bros or other Marxists ask "Cui Bono?" the implication is that when you find out who benefits, you'll find the power that organized society to lead to that result. "The donor class" benefits from poory regulated stock markets, and so that's how you know that the "donor class" caused poorly regulated stock markets.


The human eye is too complicated to happen through random evolution. Somebody like "the donor class" must have designed it that way. 

Intelligent design assumes that complicated things are only caused by design. It's wrong in the area of complex biological miracles like the human eye; it's equally wrong in complex systems of human interaction like the stock market. Another complex human system might be called "American Higher Education." That system effectively transmits a racial hierarchy of whites over blacks down through history and forward into the future. Where do we look for the racist who designed that system to have those racist results?

From a New York Times mini-review of Lower Ed, by Tressie McMillian Cottom: 

At the very end of the book, in the final paragraph of its epilogue, McMillan Cottom takes a sudden bold turn and confronts a particularly stubborn American belief: that we should not be held responsible for anything we do not consciously intend. How can something be racist if nobody meant to be racist? How can someone be sexist if he considers himself a lover of women?

McMillan Cottom is not having it. “We live in an age of colorblind delusions,” she writes, “so it is possible to think that intent makes something sexist or racist. I’m a sociologist. For me, perpetuating the inequalities resulting from intergenerational cumulative disadvantage doesn’t require intent. In fact, racism and sexism work best of all when intent is not a prerequisite.”

We are a nation obsessed, from our founding documents on, with radical individualism. Our revolutionary forefathers, we are taught, heroically untethered us from the weight of collective history, and so we imagine ourselves as exceptions — totally unlike, say, Italians or Brazilians or Indians, who are pushed and pulled by historical tides from which we are magically exempt.

This mythology blinds us, however, to the actual forces of history that work to limit our choices — legacies of genocide, oppression, prejudice, profiteering. Our blindness makes us more susceptible to them; more prone to replicate them, not less. We are like swimmers who believe that we’re all enjoying individual pools, when in fact we are all swimming together in the ocean. And the tides we have been promised do not exist may push and pull us exactly where they were always going in the first place. No intent required.

I made a shower.

I made a shower.

The Ecosystem Of Power

Hey Tom Steyer: Give Me Money And I'll Fix The Press!