Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Fossilised Paradigm of the International Elite

Thomas Kuhn in his classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions showed that changes in the dominant framework of scientific thinking did not occur gradually in step with the experimental evidence. It was not a purely rational process in which theoretical models are abandoned in favour of more comprehensive theories with greater explanatory power. Evidence that runs counter to the dominant theory or paradigm is often discounted or treated with scepticism. The paradigm proves very resistant to change in many cases. Only when the contrary evidence becomes overwhelming is the paradigm eventually discarded or modified to fit the new data or take of account of new insights.

One of the best known cases is the Aristotelian model of the universe which dominated astronomical thinking for 1500 years. Its dominance was based in large measure on the philosophical authority of Plato and Aristotle; it was heretical to challenge it for many centuries and Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for arguing that the universe was infinite and thus had no celestial body at its centre, an idea that ran counter to the fixed universe of the Aristotelians and the Church which placed the Earth at the centre of everything. It is the few that pioneer the change in thinking. The mass of people resist to the end. See Refusing Galileo's Telescope.

This dominance was finally broken when observable discrepancies to the model became too great to ignore and there was a theory in place that could explain the motion of the planets far better, that of Johannes Kepler. Once the revolution in thinking began, the momentum was unstoppable and a new paradigm took its place, the Newtonian model.

A similar situation prevails today in the fossilised thinking of the international elite with regard to Islam. Anyone with the necessary courage and clarity of mind can study the system of ideas at the heart of Islam and recognise that the subjugation of non-believers is central to the religion; that a religion based on the character and deeds of Muhammad must inevitably be a predatory one.

But analysts who are highly paid to study and understand the causes of international conflict are stuck in an outmoded paradigm which does not account for the predatory dynamism of Islam and the lethal effects that this has. Apparently incapable of the leap of imagination necessary to move from the old paradigm to one that offers a better understanding of the facts, they reiterate the same stale explanations and offer the same failed "solutions".

Ignoring evidence that contradicts the model and more than happy to rely on received assumptions instead of research, they defend their position with intellectually lazy attacks on those pointing out the failings. They often substitute what they want to see for the reality that is actually there. For example, when Tony Blair said of the Koran, "What's so remarkable about the Koran is how progressive it is.", he was injecting his own world view into a book that is totally regressive, not progressive.

In the article below, Robert Spencer dissects the moribund thinking of the Brookings Institute. It appears that even the theologically based savagery of IS has been unable to break up the fossilised paradigm of the august body.

Brookings Institute presents the failed analysis of the past yet again.

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