… This post has been lingering in my mind for weeks (along w that one I reblogged yesterday about the decline of Google Scholar), and I simply can no longer contain myself.
My theoretical framework is what is called historical institutionalism. Its a way of analyzing institutions with the knowledge that not only does history matter, but history shapes, forms, constructs, and contextualises future policy and related outcomes.
I CANNOT help but see MANY MANY (leftist) posts idolising historical (socialist/communist) leaders such as Mao, Lenin, Pinochet, AND NOW MILTON
fucking FRIEDMAN! … The thing is… if I have to give you a history lesson on WHY these men should not be idolised, reblogged, and quote/misquoted then I’m going to need to start getting paid.
History matters; the whole history matters, not just the little quotes taken out of context and applied through abstraction. If you cannot see that these men also committed crimes against humanity (and REALLY, REALLY MILTON FRIEDMAN, the man who INVENTED neoliberal economics, foreign inverventionists coups, and the idea of structural adjustment!), then you are just as lost following them as you are propogating your ill-conceived notion of ‘great men’. You cannot select which parts of history you chose to engage. If you do, you are, for lack of a better phrase, a terrible, terrible human being.
The problem with idolising ‘great men’, as Ernst Haas aptly pointed out in 1990, is that by using their history selectively you, ‘call attention to their successes and avoid systematic investigation of their records while explaining away their failures’ (pg. 57).