Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Culture of FeedbackEcological Thinking in Seventies America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Daniel Belgrad

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226652368

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226652672.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 June 2021

Neo-Orthodoxies

Neo-Orthodoxies

Chapter:
(p.174) Seven Neo-Orthodoxies
Source:
The Culture of Feedback
Author(s):

Daniel Belgrad

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226652672.003.0008

Toward the end of the seventies, the culture of feedback came under attack by conservative critics who challenged the mainstays of ecological thinking. Molecular biologists reasserted a reductionist genetic determinism in descriptions of natural selection, dismissing the theory of coevolution as unscientific. These neo-Darwinists relied on game theory to argue that even altruistic behaviors could be fully explained as the result of competition among “selfish genes.” Similarly, conservative economists applied game theory to the problem of “stagflation” and arrived at a neoliberal solution. Their supply-side economics recommended an end to government regulations in order to “free” the market. These economists positioned the competitive marketplace, rather than the ecosystem, as the final arbiter of human destiny. Supported by supply-side economic theory, the cultural politics of Reaganism mobilized a popular blend of individualism and optimism to flout ecology’s accepted truth that there were natural limits to economic growth. Consonant with a regressive notion of individualism, Reaganism emphasized closing borders and strengthening barriers in order to protect a traditional American identity. This ran counter to ecological thinking’s core belief that identity was emergent from the complex dynamics of interdependency characteristic of nested open systems.

Keywords:   Reaganism, genetic determinism, neoliberalism, free market, game theory

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.