Current Affairs Economics Health

The David McWilliams’ Podcast #53

Another episode of the David McWilliams’ Podcast on YouTube featuring discussions about the economy, both now and in the near future, and the outlook for the coronavirus lockdown.

2 comments on “The David McWilliams’ Podcast #53

  1. terence patrick hewett

    The corruption of language in the academic humanities is now having a dire effect on political and economic discourse.

    The hard sciences are fortunate in having absolutes against which to measure and compare everything they do – hogwash is a lot harder to publish and is way harder to get away with. The humanities are not so fortunate: many disciplines have abandoned moral absolutes and intellectual rigour – and in many cases basic honesty. Worst of all is the appetite to always have something novel for the media and budget committees.

    It was George Orwell in his 1946 essay – Politics and the English Language who put it thus:

    “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”

    The largely self-anointed intellectual classes of the 19th century were deeply shaken by contemporary social developments. The French Revolution of 1789 greatly disturbed those in Europe holding positions of influence, power, and wealth. What the French Revolution demonstrated was that you weren’t necessarily safe even if you were a King: you could still end up in prison or worse with your head chopped off.

    The ruling orders began to be aware that those whose lives they directed were rapidly growing in power and influence. What was worse they were being taught to read: and this was deeply alarming – who could say what ideas they might pick up? A revolution in France was bad enough – but what if it spread? A widespread and deep-seated fear of the common man began to percolate through the intelligentsia: a fear which has hybridised and spread through to the 20th century and into the 21st century.

    The ever-expanding mass media of today has enabled powerful forces to evolve an anti-popular and anti-democratic cultural mode that can reprocess all existing culture and take it out of the reach of the majority. This mode is variously called ‘post-structuralism’, or ‘deconstruction’ and it began in the 1960s with the work of people such as Jacques Derrida. It has evolved a language that is impenetrable – and much of it is gibberish. The whole wretched business was exposed by the US physicist Alan Sokal.

    Sokal submitted a convincing but completely nonsensical academic paper entitled:

    “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.”

    After it was published Sokal revealed that the article was a hoax: arguing that the political left and the social sciences would be better served by analysis based on reason.

    The social sciences are rotten with this stuff and for examples you are spoilt for choice – the first of the following publications is gibberish and the second was discovered to be based on non-existent data and had to be retracted.

    Not for all the tea in China: Political Ideology and the Avoidance of Dissonance-Arousing Situations (Nam et al, 2013)

    When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality (Science 2014)
    The peer-reviewers who are supposed to vet these things are willing to give a free pass to any thesis which accords with the liberal narrative. Over the course a decade Prof. Diederik Stapel published at least 55 papers on topics such as – how easily whites/men can be prompted to discriminate against blacks/women. When exposed as a fraud for fabricating and manipulating data for his research, Stapel explained that he was merely giving social scientists what they were ‘waiting for.
    Words are sprayed out like slurry from a muck-spreader: “Aspirational” “Irish Values/American Values/British Values” “Cultural” “Community” “Ethnic” “Equality” “Fairness” “Nativist” “Populist.”

    All have exact and specific meanings but have been so abused as to become meaningless platitudes – they can mean anything you want them to mean.

    All this has given the impression of motherhood and apple pie but the principal aim is to acquire control over people that language gives.

    In the 19th century ordinary people were described as “the masses,” a de-humanising term, and were feared because it was thought that they would behave like crowds: in that they would be “extremely suggestible, impulsive, irrational, exaggeratedly emotional, inconstant and capable only of thinking in images.”

    It does not seem to cross their minds that democracy relies on the simple fact that the Colonel’s Lady and Rosie O’Grady both have a very good idea where their self-interest lies. And in terms of self-interest the Colonel’s Lady has always thought it unwise to upset Rosie O’Grady and Rosie O’Grady has always been well aware of the dangers of alienating the Colonel’s Lady.

    They really do believe that democracy is some sort of confidence trick and that the “masses” are just that: some sort of inert lump to be manipulated by sight of hand and rhetoric, whilst serious people like themselves get on with the serious business of organising the world to their advantage. Seriously.

    They really do believe that the broad-spectrum of humanity are at best children in need of guidance and at worst murderous savages.

    You see how the thinking goes? I am not one of the masses. I am someone special. I am an intellectual – one of the elite. Therefore my analytical and emotional responses are quite obviously far more sensitive and subtle than those of my cleaning lady.

    Going back to Orwell I think it has gone further than insincerity – discourse in politics, journalism and academe has been so corrupted by corrupt language that they have lost the ability to think clearly. They believe they are opinion formers but nobody is listening – it is a dialogue of the deaf.

    You may not think that the abandonment of the Christian basis of western society – which is what it is – is of any importance. ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem’ snarled Tertullian: and the answer is a great deal. Christianity recognises implicitly that individualism is hard-wired into western societies by the Christian concept of the infinite value of the individual soul. Buttressed by Roman-Law it became the great reforming force of western civilisation and it is notable by its absence in the other great cultures: those of Islam, Hindu India, and China. It also has a very good idea of what is owed to Caesar and what is owed to God.

    In the grand abstract terms of the Enlightenment, the legitimacy of government derives from the consent of the governed, and therefore no government has the right to hand over its authority to some external body which is not democratically accountable to its own people. So when the framers of the EU arranged for the nations of Europe to do exactly that, they were repudiating two centuries of political struggle for the rights and liberties of ordinary citizens and of governance “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

    An attempt to re-boot the cultures of Ireland, the UK and the countries of Europe is being undertaken to prepare them psychologically for something else – Pope Leo V-2.0 has told us so. But this scam is underpinned by an intellectually incoherent welter of wholesale bullshit and like all other frauds it will end up banjaxed.

  2. terence patrick hewett

    Dáithíerix the Gael’s adventures in Britannia:

    After an unsuccessful rebellion in Britannia led by Queen Boudathatchica the Roman tyrant Bibulous Junker has invaded and conquered Britannia but only after surmounting great difficulties caused by the Britons’ habit of breaking off battle for 15 minutes every half-hour to drink an infusion of dried herbs.

    But two villages remain independent – one village in Hibernia called Tír na nÓg and the other village in Britannia called Camalot – or as it is affectionately called by the locals – Camelcach. One villager called Prematurclimax is dispatched to Hibernia to enlist the help of the druid Fintanobollix to supply magic poitín to the Brittonic rebels. It is decided to send the warrior Dáithíerix who isPrematurclimax’s first cousin once removed – and Obolix the Cloch Fhada maker and delivery-man to help transport a barrel of the poitín. But while beating up a Roman galley in the Muir Éireann, Obolix mentions the mission, which is reported to the Roman high command in Britain.

    Meanwhile, the druid Fintanobollix’s Brittonic cousin Faragentorix also a druid and part-time kipper salesman – warns Bibulous Junker to beware The Ides of March. He turns out to be right – on the XXIXth of March Monstrus Selmayronicus who is Bibulous Junker’s second-in-command and whose sanity is sadly Descendit in Latrina assassinates Bibulous Junker in the Senate. Monstrus Selmayronicus is IV Denarii short of a Solidus and has made his horse Coveneoborus a Consul and Senator Hoganheroicus Tribune of the Pagus.

    In Londinium – the barrel of smuggled poitín is confiscated by the Romans from a pub cellar owned by the gimp Dipsomaniax – along with all the barrels of warm beer and boxes of chateau-cardboard. The Roman army sets about tasting everything, trying to find which one has the poitín and soon the whole maniple is hopelessly banjaxed. Whereupon Dáithíerix and Obolix steal all the barrels labelled “Dipsomaniax” – but Obolix is himself molto umbriago and starts a scrap with some Roman legionaries.

    During the commotion a passing knacker steals the cart with the barrels. Prematurclimax and Dáithíerix leave Obolix at Dipsomaniax’s pub to sleep off his head but while Prematurclimax and Dáithíerix go in search of the Brittonic messer – the Romans capture the sleeping Obolix and Dipsomaniax and raze the pub.

    Obolix wakes up in the Tower of Londinium and frees Dipsomaniax and after a search to find the poitín they discover it has been used as a pick-me-up for a camógaíocht team. After this team wins their game, the protagonists seize the poitín and escape by boat down the river Thamesis where the Romans destroy the barrel and release the poitín into the water which causes a widespread and embarrassing erectoral problem in the male population for some months to come.

    Back at Camalot, Dáithíerix eases the Britons’ disappointment by feigning to make the poitín with herbs later revealed to be tea. With this psychological boost the village prevails against the Romans.

    Dáithíerix and Obolix return home to celebrate with poitín all round. Tea will never catch on here says the druid Fintanobollix but his other cousin the druid Bassettorix thinks it may just do that.

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