Working on a commentary about “silly science” and government, one of the staff here at The Price of Liberty made a crack about “political science” as being an example of silly science and an oxymoron.
So let us talk for a bit about political science. There are thousands of courses labelled “Political Science” in American and worldwide universities and high schools.
Wikipedia states: “Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of political activities, political thought, political behavior, and associated constitutions and laws.”
(FYI: the position of all of us here at TPOL is that “political science” is bogus – it is not in any way either a hard science OR a soft science. One might be willing to plain label it as a giant scam. Not that the study of politics is not important nor useful. Rather, that the “discipline” can not be quantified or qualified in any significant manner, and that “results” cannot be replicated, or analysis used to routinely predict outcomes.)
Note that “political scientist” has several definitions. One is exemplified by Trofim Denisovich Lysenko of the Soviet Union. He was a biologist and agronomist who used political power and ideology to force his “science” on various people, and caused two massive famines in the Soviet Union and then Red China, which killed millions and millions of people. The other is people who “practice” the scientific study of politics. In our opinion, both of these types are both charlatans and mass murderers (directly or indirectly). And should be treated like astrologers and fortune-tellers.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania explains that “Although the study of politics and power is ancient, the discipline of political science is relatively new. Like other social sciences, political science uses a “scientific” approach, meaning that political scientists approach their study in an objective, rational, and systematic manner.”
(I think something similar is claimed about modern “scientific” astrology. By the way, “relatively new” is an odd term: some claim that either Plato or Aristotle was the “first” political scientist. And speaking of propaganda, IUP clearly has that down pat.)
If political science were a real science, it would use the scientific method and would produce consistent AND reproducible results. It does not. It cannot, as to do so would required knowledge that cannot be obtained and explained. Ideas of people like Isaac Asimov with his psychohistory or Robert Heinlein with his first truly scientific society make for great science fiction stories and reading. But they are far less likely to be predictions of the future than faster-than-light space drives are.
Politics is an art. Like other arts, it is something that is subjective and not objective. I may be disgusted by rap yet enjoy reggae. I may be totally turned off by the great masters, yet prize an impressionist’s painting. Can art be “looked at in a rational manner?” Oh, it can be systematically studied (but you likely won’t be able to make a living doing that – it can be a fun hobby). But can ANYONE really do so in an objective manner? Even if it is a political science study of some ancient empire or city state? Doubful.
I submit that political scientists have two primary forms of employment. One is in academia – fobbing off their theories (not a one capable of really being tested) and their “wisdom” on students and other faculty. The other is as consultants – primarily to OTHER parasites: politicians and bureaucrats.
But beware of listening and following the advice of anyone who calls themselves a “political scientist.” They fall into the same category as priests, astrologers, and the politicians themselves: parasites. Which is why they take away liberty and freedom.