Can “social science” justify initiated force? Part 1

No complete cost-benefit analysis is ever conducted before any statist scheme is implemented. Statists attempt to sidestep this flaw using a shortcut called “social science.” They conduct “studies,” using statistical analysis, that only sample a portion of the evidence. This effort suffers from two fatal flaws… .

Key Concept #1: Proper science requires controlled experiments that provide reproducible results.

Key Concept #2: You can’t conduct controlled experiments on whole societies.

There are simply too many variables in human action. It’s impossible to identify and control for all of them. Nor can others repeat the experiment to reproduce the results. Imagine if some politician said to the country…

“For the next year I want you all to do everything exactly as you have in the past, except that we’re going to change just one thing, to see what difference it makes. Then we’ll go back to normal while the French repeat the experiment in their country.”

You would think such a politician was insane, and you would be right. No one wants or does everything the same way from one day to the next, let alone from year to year. This means that no controlled or reproducible experiments are even remotely possible. Thus, no social science is equal to the task of justifying initiated force.
marx_engels_lenin_stalin_Hitler
The idea that you can apply the methods of science to whole societies is called scientism. It’s a deeply dangerous intellectual error. In the form of “scientific socialism”
it led to the deaths of nearly one hundred million people in the 20th Century.
Related Lever: Can “social science” justify initiated force? Part 2

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

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  1. Interactionists argue that Sociology is not a science but a humanist interpretation of social interaction within societies bounded by particular times and cultures that draws upon scientific methods. Positivists argue otherwise. The argument above by Perry Willis & Jim Babka echoes that made by interactionists and other non-positivist ethnographers and sociologists.

  2. Part of the problem is that both left and right statists want to limit the inalienable rights of those they disagree with: The right and left are supporting different measures that infringe on our rights. We have the right suggesting we close the borders, and infringing on the Bill of Rights through the Patriot Act, and the left threatening freedom of conscience through the ACA. http://dailysignal.com/2016/03/23/big-brother-bullies-little-sisters-at-the-supreme-court/
    Frankly, I have found *no* party standard bearer among the three major parties (who are on the ballot in all 50 states) who stands for the ZAP. Hillary Clinton supported Obamacare and is not very open about the consequences of our interventionist policy in Iraq, Donald Trump is suggesting we close the borders federally, rather than letting the states deal with it, and has abused the eminent domain clause of the Constitution. Gary Johnson both suggested that a private business should be required by government mandate to serve everyone, regardless of the business person’s convictions and that psychatric evaluations should determine who gets a license to own a gun.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQPWiCgAjDo
    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/04/gary-johns.
    https://ricochet.com/gary-johnson-defends-wedding-cake-fascism/
    https://attackthesystem.com/2016/04/04/gary-johnson-j

  3. I CALL THESE PEOPLE SOCIAL ENGINEERING POWER MONGER CONTROL FREAKS. REGRESSIVE
    PROGRESSIVE. LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER.

    THESE PEOPLE NEED TO LEARN TO LEAVE OTHER PEOPLE THE HELL ALONE.

    IN OTHER WORDS BACK OFF JACK.!!!!!!

  4. Very educational article, thanx. However, I stumbled over this sentence; is a key word or two missing? “But Laffer’s Curve is only useful in the same a given theology may be of value.”

    1. Jim Babka Post
      Author

      The missing word is “way” and it was on the Facebook post where we referenced this Lever. Thanks.

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