On this site I am trying to work out a different view of humans in larger groupings. This is conventionally the area of political science, and I have a series of problems with the way this ‘science’ is currently conducted. I am trying to find a more realistic and less dogmatic descriptive model of humans and their active beliefs, a model that does not share existing self-supporting ideological obsessions, with homo economicus on the right, and homo rationalis on the left.
My model views individual political actors as concerned with three interrelated factors; interests, opinions and identities. The first is very ancient; the other two are modern constructions. All three can be rational, and opinions obviously feel the most rational. But all can be very self-serving, and stubbornly non-rational. Looking for strictly rational explanations of belief systems and mass politics in action is to impose too much artificial ordering on what we as humans actually do.
Despite our inconstant commitment to rationality, we flighty humans are not stupid either. Rather we are variable, which is what makes the ‘science’ part of political science so problematic. The main problem is that our beliefs spring from both cognitive and emotional processes.
All this will take some time to work out in detail, but I am not daunted. Short musings in progress will appear here on the front page; longer, more analytical sorties will appear on the sidebar.