Edited by Pierluigi Barrotta and Giovanni Scarafile
[Controversies 13] 2018
► pp. 109–126
Chapter 6. Save the planet, win the election
A paradox of science and democracy, an Israeli perpetuum mobile and Donald Trump
Science and scientific institutions are not necessarily passive players in the power and manipulation games which constitute democratic elections. In this paper, I shall present a seeming paradox, in which a party well-aligned with science is vulnerable to attack which claims access to alternative and superior science. The argument is demonstrated by the Israeli elections of 1981, won by a party which presented the public with a Perpetuum Mobile, two days before the elections. My analysis, indebted to Hans Jonas’s model of interregnums of values and norms, seems to justify this maneuver and render it rational, in a sense restricted to election campaigns. The analysis was used to predict the victory of Donald Trump in the US elections of 2016.