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Ideological Work

By Matthew Yglesias on January 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm

"Ideological Work"

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I largely agree with Steve Randy Waldman about the value of and need for “ideological work.”

For my part, I’m continually baffled by the degree to which thought-leaders and politicians on the center-left think it’s credible and/or political useful to present our agenda as wholly un-ideological and “pragmatic,” somehow emerging magically through empirical study. Quine’s Word & Object isn’t about politics at all but it’s full of valuable insights. All efforts to understand the world meld empirical and theoretical efforts, and all efforts to understand the world in a way that’s politically relevant are thus necessarily ideological.

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