Reading du Jour: An Interview with Musa al-Gharbi

Paleo Retiree writes:

Excellent stuff from Columbia U. sociologist Musa al-Gharbi. Why were social scientists so baffled by Trump’s victory? Did people who voted for Trump have any rational reasons for doing so? What might be done about the left/lib bubble American social scientists inhabit?

Excerpt:

We were talking about Kanye West. Or just black conservatives in general. So there’s this idea that if you don’t tow the line, the progressive line for a lot of race issues, then you’ve “internalized racism.” This is an idea that actually goes back to Marx — he called it “false consciousness.”

But the problem with false consciousness, especially as a social-scientific concept, is that it isn’t falsifiable: You go up to someone and say “You have false consciousness because you believe this or endorse this,” and they go “I don’t have false consciousness: Here are the reasons I come down here, here are the reasons I believe this,” then you say “Aha! That’s just what someone with false consciousness would say.” So it’s not falsifiable. By Popper’s definition of science, this kind of thing is just not science.

And they do this with a lot of blacks, especially black conservatives. Someone might argue persuasively, “Here’s why I believe what I believe.” And how are they responded to? “You’ve just internalized racism. You’ve sold out to the man. You’ve lost your way.” I mean, I got kind of annoyed because Colbert did this thing on Kanye. And he was basically making the same kind of argument: Kanye’s black, he’s a rapper, he shouldn’t support Trump. To have a white person tell a black person how he should feel about something, on the basis of his race no less, is crazy. For a progressive, or someone who identifies as a liberal, to presume to be able to do that to a black person is even worse. But it’s not as uncommon as one might think.

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff, and very glad to have left those worlds behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog 2Blowhards.com. Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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2 Responses to Reading du Jour: An Interview with Musa al-Gharbi

  1. Kevin O'Keeffe says:

    <>

    I came to the same conclusion when I was 17 or 18, at the tail end of the Reagan administration. Nice to see academia is starting to notice it too.

    Like

  2. Kevin O'Keeffe says:

    I had been attempting to quote this, in my otherwise somewhat cryptic reply:

    But the problem with false consciousness, especially as a social-scientific concept, is that it isn’t falsifiable: You go up to someone and say “You have false consciousness because you believe this or endorse this,” and they go “I don’t have false consciousness: Here are the reasons I come down here, here are the reasons I believe this,” then you say “Aha! That’s just what someone with false consciousness would say.” So it’s not falsifiable. By Popper’s definition of science, this kind of thing is just not science.

    Like

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