The Cry Wolf Project is a politically motivated and financed scheme to recruit university students and faculty to “give substance and scholarly integrity” to a predetermined partisan narrative – namely that in the “battle with conservative ideas,” “conservative politicians and right-wing pundits” use “falsity and exaggeration” to “thwart progressive reform.”
Simply put, Cry Wolf wants scholarly proof that conservatives are liars and is willing to pay to get the results it wants.
In addition to the potential legal — and certain ethical — violations, there are two fundamental problems with the Cry Wolf Project’s approach:
The first is that the purpose of science, even social and political science, is not to prove, but rather to disprove hypotheses. Legitimate academic process suggests that an idea be first proposed and then tested. If the available evidence all supports the idea, and the idea holds up in the face of all of the testing it can be subjected to, the hypothesis is still not proven since a future test or as-yet-undetermined piece of evidence could still one day disprove it.
The best science can do is to elevate certain hypotheses above others. Thus, anytime someone employs the term, “science has proven,” you can be certain it is not science that is being discussed. Science has not proven anything, from modern evolutionary theory, to man-caused global warming, or even the simplest ideas, like what gravity is (Exaggeration? Google: Large Hadron Collider).
The role of science is to question, probe, and test. Good science is habitually skeptical of the claims of scientists and subjects every idea to relentless opposition. It is precisely this method of continuous critique that makes the scientific method the best process available to us to test ideas, just as the constant competition of a truly free market is the best process available to test innovation, goods, and services. Free markets are decidedly scientific.
So, when the well-lettered doctors in this and that field from one college or another who are behind the Cry Wolf Project make their stated goal not the testing of their hypotheses, but to “undermine the credibility and arguments” of those critics that would test them, they forfeit any claim of “scholarly integrity.” They have become evangelicals for their own ideology, not academics, and the letters by their names give them no more qualification in the field of politics than a ministerial credential qualifies a priest to pilot the space shuttle.
Which, of course, is the second fundamental problem with the Cry Wolf Project, and so much of academia and progressivism in general, and that is the utter hypocrisy with which it conducts itself.
Cry Wolf claims the mantle of scholarship while employing none.
They wish to castrate all opposing views before they are even made, such that the “first reaction of millions of people, as well as opinion leaders” will be to ignore any challenge to their views. Not through any empirical testing in the marketplace of ideas, but through devotion to a cause, they have determined that they are inarguably right and that the right is inarguably wrong. Thus conservative opposition to their policies must be unfounded and must be silenced — by any means necessary, including outright propaganda.
For conservatives, there is no need to silence differing views, since we believe our ideas will win out on their actual merits over time. You can only rely on the kindness of strangers for so long. You can only spend more than you earn for so long. You can only appease your mortal enemies for so long.
In true scientific fashion, conservatives believe that the truth will out, or at least that falsehood will be revealed. We fight, of course, but our fight is not to eliminate competition, just to out-compete in the search for the truth. That we are continually accused of being the opposite of what we are by those who are what they claim to hate is nothing new to us.
Those who pervert academia accuse us of having no regard for education, those who believe people should be treated differently because of their race or gender call us racists and bigots, and those who call us purveyors of injustice seek to take from one man his just rewards and allocate them to another who did not justly earn them.
Believers are daily mocked for what unbelievers see as a blind faith in God, while those same people place a blind faith on the conclusions of a system never meant to conclude in the first place.
We are called greedy by those who can never take enough, and fascists by those who would force their views on all who draw breath, so it is no surprise that those who would accuse us of “crying wolf” are the same people who themselves “cry wolf” most often.
Whether through irony or design, the Cry Wolf Project does just that. It preemptively alerts the public to a danger it is not in. It employs the very tactics it derides, and it cheapens the very credentials from which it claims its authority.
Conservatives don’t cry wolf, but we do call bulls*@!.
More on Academia-Gate and the “Cry Wolf” Project tomorrow.