Monday, 6 February 2017

The Missing Second Comment.

I was puzzled (was, no longer am) why one of my comments recently submitted and re submitted to Blogger for inclusion in the comments thread of a blog post invariably failed to appear: Error 200 or something was Blogger's constant and not too helpful reply. It was supposed to follow this and precede this.

I checked html tags, length in characters, links, the works. Nothing: Error 200, whatever that means.

Oh well. Shit happens, I suppose.

So, just for the record and for posterity, here is the second and missing part of my comment:


Not that that writer was the first to make similar claims. This is Joan Robinson ("Economic Philosophy", p. 8):

What then are the criteria of an ideological proposition, as opposed to a scientific one? First, that if an ideological proposition is treated in a logical manner, it either dissolves into a completely meaningless noise or turns out to be a circular argument. Take the proposition: All men are equal. In a logical view what does it mean? The word 'equal' applies to quantities. What -are all men the same weight? Or do they all get the same marks in intelligence tests? Or - to stretch the meaning of quantity a little - do I find them all equally agreeable? 'Equal' without saying in what respect is just a noise. In this case, the equality is just in respect of equality. Every man is equally equal.

You see, not only I can read, I can also research things interesting to me. I chose that quote not only because it reflects her views on ideology (a little later she mentions another of her bugbears: metaphysics). I chose it because it echoes with another quote we've discussed here quite recently, as a matter of fact:

7. The Alt Right is anti-equalitarian. It rejects the idea of equality for the same reason it rejects the ideas of unicorns and leprechauns, noting that human equality does not exist in any observable scientific, legal, material, intellectual, sexual, or spiritual form.

Yes, point 7 of the "Alt-Right 16 points".

You see, "Economic Philosophy" started out as a lecture (the Josiah Mason lecture, to be precise) Robinson delivered in 1959 for the Rationalist Press Association.

So what, you may ask.

Well, this is what:

As awkward as it may be to acknowledge, there is a connection between rationalism and neo-scientific ideas about how to limit population and minimise procreation by those who are in some way or other deemed undesirable. This is something the Pope might have had in mind when, in his much publicised and denounced speech, he suggested a link between “a Nazi tyranny” that believed that some people were “unfit to live” and “atheist extremism” that leads to a “truncated vision of man”. This glib equation between Nazis and atheists was denounced as a “libel” by the British Humanist Association. But the Pope, whatever he is, is no fool. His language could be read as a subtle but unmistakeable reference to an inconvenient historical fact – British rationalism and German National Socialism shared an enthusiasm for the “applied science” of population control called eugenics.

This enthusiasm is very close to home. The Rationalist Press Association (or RPA, founded 1899), the predecessor of the Rationalist Association, which publishes this magazine, does have a long history of publishing material sympathetic to various forms of eugenics.

Rationalism's dirty secret
By John Appleby
Thursday, 23rd December 2010

I am sure that as a non-Marxist you find little to worry about when those links keep popping up between your non-ideological ideology and other ideologies. To me, this gives me the creeps.

[*] Guess who wrote that?


07/02/2017. I was informed (see comment below) that Blogger mistook my second comment for spam. Shit, it seems, does happen. Not very flattering to that comment and its author. :-)


  1. A couple of your comments went into spam for whatever reason. I just fished them out.