Its Prescription (ordained) Not Description (described)

Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2006 07:30 am
Its Prescription (ordained) not Description (described)!

I think that one of the most egregious informal fallacies we Americans are bombarded with is prescriptions camouflaged as descriptions. The value of education lay in its monetary value, GDP is an accurate measure of a nation's accomplishment, the environment is not an issue in the Corporate bottom line, well-being is the Corporate bottom line, the Corporation is responsible only to their share holders, health care in America is the best, CEO pay is meritocracy in action, etc. These are all understood as descriptions of reality rather than being the prescriptions of those who profit by such things.

I am claiming that we are led to accept as truism that it is "natural" for education to be valued in dollars, a GDP growth of 4% is a measure of the nation's well-being, Corporations are not responsible for the environment, CEOs get the big bucks because they are what make the institution successful, etc. In such a milieu we easily accept the hurricane as a description of why the poor have lost everything in New Orleans. An examination will, I think, disclose that the poor were doomed to such a happening by the ordination of the powerful over past decades.

Describing the status quo as natural and universal is an effective means for maintaining the status quo. I am claiming that the status quo is described as natural and universal, when in fact the status quo is ordained by the "Wizard". "Follow the money" is a useful tactic for discovering those who are the elements of the "Wizard".
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