Monday, June 08, 2009

Keeping a Handle on the Truth

Paul over at SaveHilliardSchools posted this comment:
As I've written before, I'm not against unions in principle. There's no question that unions played a big part in getting worker safety addressed.

But the post WWII boom is over, and we need to recalibrate to a global market. Teachers and cops and firefighters may not think they're competing globally for jobs, but those of us our here in the private sector - the folks who pay the salaries of those unionized public employee - certainly feel that competition.

Things have to change.
This is an issue of epistemology that has troubled humanity for ages. Are truths immutable? Or can truths change.

The followers of Karl Marx and the adherents of the teaching of the
German Historical School do not believe in immutable truths. For the Marxian, truth is subject to material dialectics. For the historicist, truth depends on time and place.

In the Austrian school of economics thought, truths are immutable -- unchanging and ever-present. The Austrians are unique in their belief that truths are logically deducted from axioms that are themselves true and unchanging.

Paul's comment shows an acceptance of historicism -- he believe that truths about unions changes with time and circumstance. Paul appears to admit that unions have no place in modern society while, at the same time, he claims that unions served an essential purpose in our no-too-district past.

I will assume that Paul has confined himself to pro-union history texts. Otherwise, he would recognize that unions exist for one reason: To better the position of union members over all others, including members of all other unions.

More importantly, Paul should recognize that a truth is a truth, today as much as yesterday.

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