We may or may not be able or wise to articulate the basis of this necessity and freedom in terms of some "terms of membership"; but our faith our covenant should imply some kind of disciplined freedom, a shared understanding of how human society works. If we criticize a certain kind of politics for being at odds with reality, by what discipline do we know human reality and perform our alternative politics accordingly, knowing that if we are successful we will add complexity to human reality and never be able to master it?
I am posting now, because i just made a comment at Flares which i realized was as much about the necessity and freedom the present world situation poses us (and this blog) - calling on us to perform a new kind of politics - as it was about the Telegraph article on Global Warming on which I was commenting. Here's what I wrote, implying that we are at a moment in which the Internet, among other forces, demands and allows that a new kind of politics emerge. Those who best understand and pursue the market opportunity will win the day:
Jake, the [Telegraph] GW piece may be puffery, but that helps it make its real point: that no one and no profession has a simple given authority over other human beings anymore; all human authority must be proven in the marketplace, where people choose, or not, to follow it. This is because whatever the objective proofs of science, they are made at such a degree of specialization that their relationship to the bigger picture about which one seeks authority cannot also be an object of the same scientific expertise.
In order to know what truth we must follow, we look at the scientists as self-interested human beings and read their specialized findings in light of whatever other scientific and anthropological expertise we have acquired; the latter can be a kind of science, but one that in increasing human self-knowledge only adds degrees of freedom to human behaviour and makes the object of this knowledge - human society - more complex and beyond any definite authority again.
Whatever the truth about global warming, it's clear that the last of the old-school elitists, needing some kind of authority to justify their positions, have clung on "science" and its progeny's scare game, allowing this writer the opportunity for some choice political rhetoric:
First, most government scientists are gagged from making public comment on contentious issues, their employing organisations instead making use of public relations experts to craft carefully tailored, frisbee-science press releases. Second, scientists are under intense pressure to conform with the prevailing paradigm of climate alarmism if they wish to receive funding for their research. Third, members of the Establishment have spoken declamatory words on the issue, and the kingdom's subjects are expected to listen.
On the alarmist campaign trail, the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King, is thus reported as saying that global warming is so bad that Antarctica is likely to be the world's only habitable continent by the end of this century. Warming devotee and former Chairman of Shell, Lord [Ron] Oxburgh, reportedly agrees with another rash statement of King's, that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism. And goodly Archbishop Rowan Williams, who self-evidently understands little about the science, has warned of "millions, billions" of deaths as a result of global warming and threatened Mr Blair with the wrath of the climate God unless he acts. By betraying the public's trust in their positions of influence, so do the great and good become the small and silly.