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Teaching Peace Economics

People wonder why I criticize exactly the people I need on my side.  It’s because I’m not writing for them, my academic colleagues, I’m writing for history.  In the course of time, even though many of them rightly consider themselves great for their disciplines or great among their colleagues, most of them will be long forgotten one hundred years from now.  I’m different.  My work is so unique many fail to understand it.  I will be remembered one hundred years from now, probably better posthumously than now.  I have found scientific bedrock in two fields, economics and climate.  Because I’m an outsider to those fields, a talented mathematician, wargamer, and politician in that order, I consider my best chance for a Nobel Prize is in the political field of Peace.  I consider that I have a very good chance of becoming the first to win three Nobel Prizes, in Peace, Economics, and Physics.  People want to pigeon-hole me into one area or another without seeing the essential interconnectedness of it all.  My achievement would not have been possible without my thorough intuitive understanding of mathematics in a real world context.  A mathematician and wargamer with depth in politics is what it took to find the answers in fields long thought to be imprecise in the aggregate.  My frustrations and situation sound a lot like those of Galileo trying to awaken the world to the Copernican Revolution in astronomy to me.  Try telling today’s economists that military spending and temperature trends are the two biggest impediments to economic growth.  They’d be rolling in the aisles with laughter.

Living with Thomas Kuhn’s Insights

When Thomas Kuhn wrote “Structure of a Scientific Revolution” he gave me the guideposts to understanding the resistance of those in the world around me when I came out with my first strong findings in my short book “Peace Economics” in 1986.  Days ago I attended a memorial service of another somewhat reclusively shy academic, Warren Hagstrom, a Sociology Professor at UW Madison, either the first or second ranked such school program in the world (Berkeley is the rival).  On the cover of his memorial service brochure is this John Maynard Keynes quote “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”  Indeed.  Lately I’ve come to realize the mistake of starting with World War II in my 2010 forty minute video and 24 page accompanying pamphlet on Peace Economics.  Challenging Military Keynesianism by starting with that war is to challenge the most deeply held belief in America, the notion that the war brought us out of the Great Depression.  I have lost several potential allies over that issue (initials GF, FG, and MP).  I should have started slowly and built to such a conclusion ever so gradually.  It’s like when I discovered most people reading the 48 page paperback version of Peace Economics stopped one third of the way through.  Or like the discovery that conservatives instantly want to turn a Peace Economics discussion into a discussion of the merits of war versus peace, instantly stereotyping me as some naïve hippy fool peacenic.  My solution to that problem was to call my website and nineties book Real Economy.  That is when I realized the manufacturing economy was being sacrificed on the military altar.  That further lead to the political insight that the Great Lakes region industrial states were the ones most imperiled by militarism, collapsing with military buildups like the eighties and after 9-11-01 (the aughts?), and prospering with military builddowns like the sixties, seventies, and nineties.

Stunning New Insights of my Life (Math, Political Economy, Peace)

Born the day after my mother’s mother’s funeral, I was traumatized for many years over the mixed messages of grief and love I received from mom in that first year.  It took a couple decades of therapy to figure that out.  My mother was told by a doctor when I was four that I might be retarded.  My grandfather then wrote a poem about me “My Bobby boy, why to you have that somber eye?”  Not until I got an arithmetic test back in the third grade with 100 on it did I begin to realize I was a person of worth.  That was my first ever positive feedback from school.  Math saved my life as it slowly pulled up all my grades over the years, peaking in the high school college wargaming years of math genius turned top wargamer turned top engineer.  Math was the first great insight of my life.  Gary Gygax was my first role model.  Second great insight was to intern in the 1981 Oregon Legislative session.  Nothing but the best of testimony on any given subject, I learned the basics of economic development in the desperate times of the state of Oregon having the highest unemployment rate in the nation and living in the poorest precinct neighborhood in Eugene Oregon ranked last of 378 cities by Rand McNally in 1982.  I learned first hand how the realities of politics were far different than the perception.  Third great insight was the national peace movement list-serves from 2001 to 2005 as a leading member of the Madison Area Peace Coalition, a great lesson in learning about how the military industrial complex really operates and functions, again quite different than the common perceptions.  A fourth great insight lies in the unexpectedly hostile reaction in 2014 by some leading academics of peace and justice, hostile to me personally and to my work.  Although many are keenly interested in my writings and many have very positive reactions to it all, I live the Thomas Kuhn reality of difficulty overcoming pre-existing notions with new insights and awareness.  I live all the time with the John Maynard Keynes corrected quote “The difficulty lays not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”

Resistance to New Ideas

Just as I have been encouraged by Gary Gygax (gaming), Sister Ralph (calculus), Lyman G. Hill, XIII (54 year cycle), Herald Bock and Jerry Rust (politics), Gene Emge (teaching), Peter Bergel (writing), I have been discouraged by others.  Just as my ideas were nourished and flourished in the University of Oregon Eugene political environment up through 1993, I have been generally under-rated and under-appreciated by the Madison Wisconsin University of Wisconsin establishment since then.  There are plenty of exceptions to this broad generalization both ways.  Ageism may play a role, as well as general status difference of an up and coming politician in the eighties in the growing West Coast, versus just another older activist in the stagnant Mid West.

You would think that peace academics would mostly praise and follow up on my extensive work against the military industrial complex, and many do.  Cyber bullying is when a group collectively attacks one person.  Some think three postings a month is too much and use the following words against me:  arrogant, combative, your websites do not meet the threshold I make my students use to write research papers, bragging, claiming to have invented, understanding economics is found in law and ethics not in mathematics, clueless, self-aggrandizement, arrogant self promotion, have you considered running for President, do you ever study nonviolence?, abuse of this list, cherry picking, spamming.

Others say much kinder things:  terrific piece, I’m just saying we ought to all be talking about population and scarce resources a bit more than we do, thank you for your thoughtful and sobering thoughts on selling peace, thanks for getting me back into the loop, so keep up the good work and know that there are people out there who are grateful for your work, you have allies who would agree with you completely, I too think you offer useful insights and support on important issues like the economy and militarism, I appreciate being on your list and enjoy your questions and how you think things through.

I have been amazed at the insularity of many forums at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Your status at the University is much more important than your ideas for most of them.  This stands in sharp contrast to places like Oxford or Cambridge where independent scholars are most welcome and appreciated at their numerous forums.

Summary

No new idea is birthed without great difficulty and resistance, and paradigm shifts are often falsely seen as more of the same by some.  Even the new movie “The Distinguished Citizen” has come out showing the difficulties a Nobel Prize winner in Literature experiences in his own home town.  You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.  The idea that “if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door” doesn’t work without marketing.  Some will complain about self promotion while tolerating it from others on the same list-serve, but actually my several postings about the Nobel Prize quest are very popular on my websites and some complain there is not enough information about myself.  You can never satisfy everyone.

Yes, it pays to read and re-read Thomas Kuhn on Structure of Scientific Revolutions and 10 quotes from that work are included as the seventh and last page of this summary of my main ideas:  https://www.academia.edu/33884446/Main_Ideas_Summary_July_2017_7pages

Please cite this work as follows:

Reuschlein, Robert. (2017, September 4). “Teaching Peace Economics” Madison, WI: Real Economy Institute. Retrieved from: https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Teaching-Peace-Economics,2017119399.aspx

Professor Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace, Real Economy Institute, Nominated Vetted 2016, and one of 76 Given Odds (tied for 31st) for the Nobel Peace Prize 2017
Contact: bobreuschlein@gmail.com, Info: www.realeconomy.com

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