OK, I’m going to start by saying that, politically, economically, I stand by my statement: “Theory means fuck all when it comes to policy.” As in you can have the best theory on Earth & if it doesn’t work when you turn it into policy, than it doesn’t work. The same thing goes when a theory is never turned into policy. In that case it never has a chance to work. But the fact is, all a theory is is a theory. In the political an economic worlds, the only ways to test it are either the implementation or history.
That’s the problem I have always had with economics and political science. In college, coming from a background of history, I could never get beyond the whole: “that didn’t work last time we tried it.” You know, the whole “the theory & charts show that minimum wage loses jobs,” but the history shows that, without it, things are far worse.
That being said, today I got troused. I got raped. I got destroyed by a political science graduate student at my nephews birthday party.
I want to blame it on the heat & the fact that I was operating off of three hours sleep. I really do, but honestly, I was out classed. Even if I think I were at the top of my game, I was out classed.
That is really all there is to it. I was out classed. Period. My thesis was that it means fuck all. Stackpole can call an election a revolution all she wants, but if it is an election and there is not a massive shift in who governs, the elite or the people, than it is not a revolution. Her view, I’ve always though, defends the power structure too much. A Revolution isn’t policy change, it’s redistribution of power from the top to the bottom. Wars have genocides, revolutions have purges.
I can say that. But she had the data to back up everything she was telling me. It is hard to argue revolutionary theory & insurgency when there are a lot of factors that theory makes you ignore.
Everything prior to 1945 was off the table. It didn’t fit with the theory of mechanization. China has a long history of violence towards its own people, thousands of years, but when that is off the table the argument that the Chinese are more willing to accept a violent institution because of thousands of years of culture, well, it doesn’t fit.
Russia is off the table too. I can’t say that the insurgency that brought down the Tsar was brewing for a long time, because in political science, that brewing & the violence that came with it are only in a certain time frame to label the situation either a revolution or an insurgency.
When I’m left to prove my point with nothing but the numbers in a specific time frame, I am simply out classed. I can’t argue that way & win. I’m coming from a background in history where one thing leads to another. A lot of historians will tell you that the seeds for the American Revolution were planted during the French & Indian War (the war that the French & Indians both lost). They will tell you that the Russian Revolution started with the murder of one Tsar & ended with the murder of another. Or that World War I started World War II & that WWI was really started when Germany took Europe while France, Spain, and England were colonizing everywhere else.
But that doesn’t fit in the time frame. It was the storming of the Bastille that started the French Revolution & not the policies of a nearly impotent king.
I am intellectually unable to look at the French Revolution as a series of isolated events & not a gradual process a century in the making. I can’t take each event & examine it on its own merits. I have to find the cause of the event & track it to make an argument.
I still stand by my point-of-view on this. I can’t look at the Chicago School & not look at the failure in Chile & the failure in America a century before. I can’t look at it & say that it is new & going to work this time.
But some people can. And this girl, she out classed me. Hands down she out classed me. It was hot. She had me on the ropes. She had me back peddling. She grasping at straws. I felt like an idiot. She beat my ass all around the boxing ring.
I really like that. I don’t mind losing if it’s a good fight. And this was a really good fight. I was utterly hopeless. It was the sort of fight where you instantly know you’re going to get beaten.
In all honesty, I shouldn’t have even picked that fight. My former gangbanger students would be ashamed of me. I used to teach them about Thermopylae, the battle of the 300. I made sure to teach them to pick their battles. Chose the right ground. Engage the enemy on nobodies terms but your own. Because, you know, those are seriously important lessons if you are already in a gang & have a limited life expectancy.
But seriously, I couldn’t resist. It might be the Irish in me or, more honestly, it’s probably the Chicago in me. Either way, if its a good fight, I really don’t mind losing. Especially, you know, when she’s cute, totally don’t mind losing then.
Now she’s sort of like my Irene Adler. THE WOMAN. You know? Out classed me, out smarted me. Kicked the living shit out of me. Sexy as all hell. “You’re wrong & here is why…I’m going to call you on this.” Sexy as all hell.
With my friends its “I don’t know that so we can’t submit it as evidence,” & for that I can say; “well its not my fault you don’t know it, you could always look it up.” But with here it was “That doesn’t fit in the framework, & here is why. That is economic policy & we are talking economic theory, the theory runs contrary to the policy. Things have changed since then & here is why.” That is harder to argue.
All I could say was, “well, the policy is what actually happens.” It was apples & oranges. It so happens that I know a lot about apples & I know shit about oranges. The oranges never really mattered to me. I like Mill, not Nietzsche.
I have read what Marx wrote about the economy but I never gave a shit about it. Knowing that doesn’t even help Russia. What matters is the economic policy that Lenin, Stalin & everyone else after implemented. The Russians didn’t live under Marx’s theories, they lived under Stalin’s policies. And then, frankly, they didn’t live under Stalin’s theories, they lived under his policies.
When I was in college I worked for both the International Socialist Organization & the Anti-War Coalition. I was an officer in one and just a voting member in the other. My first year, I voted on everything. The second year, when I became an officer, I didn’t vote on shit. It wasn’t important, what was important was the cigarette after the meeting when we decided how to implement the groups decision.
That’s not exactly true, I always voted against the majority on the second year. Because, fuck it, it didn’t matter what the group decided they wanted to do. What mattered was the smoke break after the meeting when we discussed HOW we were going to do it. It was really the execution that mattered.
I still hold true to that & use it whenever I vote today. Obamacare means fuck all to me, it’s just an idea, it is the execution of Obamacare that matters. But then, that is the material world & when you argue theory the material world doesn’t matter. That’s why I didn’t vote for Obama. He didn’t look like he had the follow through to execute an idea, might as well vote third party, it won’t make a difference in the election & third parties need all the help they can get.
But with her, it all comes down to oranges, not apples. Theory matters not policy, they are two separate things. And honestly, they are, I won’t deny that. She leveled me on the theory, well, no, that’s not fair, she sort of beat down my supports and stomped me into the ground. That would be the more accurate statement.
I loved it. That’s sort of all I want in a woman.