I want to point out that David Hume, the empiricist philosopher, was a great defender of the establishment, and as such, he was also a defender of the core common sense notions of the establishment, the views that he defended against Descartes and rationalists in general, the same views that are at the core of his friend Adam Smiths understanding of capitalism and the way the economic world works.
Yes, journalists defend the establishment, as we can read here,
By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring.
and discussed by Glenn Greenwald, here, where Greenwald comments,
…in the name of consumer protection, television news shows and the largest newspapers ought to place that above-excerpted paragraph by Thomas as a warning at the top of every product they produce.
It is my concern today that philosophers are also, on the whole, working to preserve and protect the establishment from its critics. So, I want to put one of Greenwald’s warnings on the work of David Hume so that we can look out for the arguments which, when adopted, make us think the establishment, and its defender in Hume, is on the side of the angels, so to speak.
What is the context for my argument about Hume? I feel I have to point out that the context for considering Hume is our current economic mess despite the fact that Hume was writing in the early and mid 1700’s. Hume’s writing was directed at what I take to be our ‘mission statement’ and its ‘enabling clauses,’ where what the philosophers argue comes in contact with our lives and how we understand them. Hume just revisited the philosophers’ work to bring it up to date, and now, we are suffering from the fact that we have subsequently committed ourselves to the principles and arguments that Hume promoted.