T.J. Coles – Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex

Link to an article by T.J. Coles:

“Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex”


Note that this identified deGrasse Tyson as an old-fashioned shill rather than part of the “idiot pool”.  Anyway, this article doesn’t explicitly reach deGrasse Tyson’s secular humanist “scientism” ideology which is really what drives his sociopolitical status quo boosterism:

“The relevance of these practices is that they account for Tyson’s scientism as a tactic in a culture war. I’ll lay out some principles of Tyson’s apparent culture to show how the conflict arises. Tyson’s all-business impatience with philosophy and his allusion to progress indicate that he stands not just for the supremacy of science, but for the modern institutions (capitalism, private industry, democracy) that have exploited scientific knowledge. The liberal values (freedom of thought, environmentalism, admiration for underdog scientists) and inchoate pantheism that surface in his series, Cosmos, show that he stands also for secular humanism. Put these together and you have a culture that reduces to neoliberalism, an ideology that’s analyzed thoroughly by Philip Mirowski’s Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste. Neoliberalism is the rebirth of the social policies that led to the Great Depression, which rebirth was made possible by some propagandists’ mastery of the double standard. Neoliberalism is what powerful Republicans and Democrats have in common, the understanding that capitalism runs counter to democracy, but that a semblance of the latter is needed as the noble lie to sustain the magic of the former. Thus, neoliberals are both populists and technocrats, depending on their audience. In any case, in so far as Tyson despises philosophy for being useless in contrast to science, he must approve of the modern applications of science—not just the medical breakthroughs and technological advances, but the egoistic, materialistic mass culture of consumerism that bankrolls the loftier work of scientific inquiry.”

Benjamin Cain, “Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Scientism and the Scapegoating of Philosophy”

Bonus links: “Book Review: Marxism and the Philosophy of Science” (“Capitalism portrays science as a purely objective phenomenon and considers any attempt at understanding the political implications of science to be an intrusion of ideology into the sphere of objective, scientific neutrality.” *** “‘Positivism’ refers to the rejection of philosophy in favor of adopting an (often oversimplified) understanding of natural science as the basis for all theoretical and practical activity.”) and “Where Is the Rift? Marx, Lacan, Capitalism, and Ecology” (“modern science is ‘untrue’ insofar as it is blind to the way it is integrated into the circulation of capital, to its link to technology and its capitalist use, i.e., to what in old Marxist terms was called the “social mediation” of its activity.”) and Making Peace With the Planet (“Since a standard represents a point on a scale, its practical meaning depends entirely on the nature of the scale.  Although the position of the pointer is simply a number and therefore objective, the choice of the scale and therefore the meaning of the number is entirely arbitrary.  This creates an opportunity to disguise self-interest as science, for the scale is readily manipulated to govern the apparent meaning of the standard.”)