With the emphasis on “political science” in our culture, and especially among the highly literate, I will be deemed a fringe figure by most because of this post, a heretic against the status quo. Is politics and government really a science, or just a bunch of competing theories?
The meaning of the English word “science” basically means knowledge. It comes from the Latin root word scienta, which means “to know”. Webster’s 1828 indicates a difference between arts and sciences. Mathematics and chemistry is a science, a discipline based on universally acknowledged and unchanging facts. Oratory/rhetoric is an art, as is the interpretation of historical events.
a mad scientist, just not a political one
Considering this, is it really proper to even speak of “political science”? Differing factions have massively different takes on the proper principles of government. History records many types and experiments in government, with the majority of man living under some form of monarch or tribal chieftain until 1900 or so.
As I noted a few posts ago, theologians have been arguing about government for centuries. They cannot all even agree about what the Bible teaches about government!
Is politics in a democracy really a science, or more akin to an art form, like a con man, or a stand-up comedian playing to his audience? Judicious application of the science of gibsmedat does seem to gain one votes.
I have devoted much of my adult life, especially the past ten years, to studying liberty and politics, and to following current events that impact American politics.
I remember reading somewhere, perhaps fifteen years ago, a saying that greatly impressed me. It was something to the effect that “Inferior minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, superior minds talk about ideas”. I used to believe that observation to be true, and it inspired me to focus my mind on concepts and ideology. I now seriously question whether that observation is even true.