The Choice: episode CVII, Andy Divine or Niall Ferguson? Political Cynic comments

Instead of reading full time political hysteric Andy Divine on the Trump Impeachment, under this headline and sub-headline:

The first paragraph defines to political territory of Andy’s comment:

Remember that sultry July day during the 2016 campaign when Donald Trump went in front of the television cameras and asked the Russian government to intervene in the looming presidential election on his behalf? “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails [by Hillary Clinton] that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” We now know, thanks to the Mueller report, that Moscow responded by hacking Hillary Clinton’s server that very day. We also know that the Mueller report itself concluded, after exhaustive examination, that there was no prosecutable evidence of a “conspiracy” between Trump and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. Yet we saw one in broad daylight.


Read the far more literate ,while still being well within the Conservative coterie, Niall Ferguson, at the good grey Sunday Times, on another pressing topic the Rise of China. Note that China became the sweatshop of choice of Western computer and cellphone manufacturers. In sum, Capitalists underwrote the rise of the Chinese, that is now the enemy of the Western Liberal Tradition!

What defines Mr. Ferguson as the readable, even more ‘clubbable’ in the parlance favored by Isaiah Berlin, and his yearning to be a literary critic, or at the least to frame his propaganda in more highfalutin terms, that the rhetorically flatfooted Andy. In which he employs- Mr. Ferguson speaks for himself:

But maybe a more interesting answer can be found in Liu Cixin’s astonishing 2008 sci-fi novel The Three-Body Problem, which I read for the first time last week. The “problem” of the title is introduced to the reader — and to the nanotechnology scientist Wang Miao, one of the central characters — as a virtual reality game set in a strange, distant world with three suns rather than the familiar one. The mutually perturbing gravitational attractions of the three suns prevent this planet from settling into a predictable orbit with regular days, nights and seasons. It has occasional “stable eras”, during which civilisation can advance, but with minimal warning these give way to “chaotic eras” of intense heat or cold that render the planet uninhabitable.

Working backward look to Mr. Ferguson’s September 22, 2019 essay that was framed by both Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s ‘We’ as the singular distopian novel.

His essay of September 8 2019 featured :

Friedrich Schiller, Robert Burns, James Hogg among others

From September 1, 2019 he quotes from ‘Beyond the Fringe’

The challenge of millenarianism — as Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore pointed out in my favourite sketch from Beyond the Fringe — is what to do when the end of the world fails to happen.

In his August 25 2019 essay he quotes from ‘Rebel without a Cause’

‘Hey, Toreador! . . . We head for the edge, and the first man who jumps is a chicken. All right?” In Rebel without a Cause, Jim (James Dean) and Buzz (Corey Allen) play the most famous game of chicken in Hollywood history, driving their jalopies at full speed towards a Californian cliff. At the last minute, Jim jumps. Buzz, his sleeve caught on the door handle, plunges to his death.

His essay of August 11 2019, ‘Seven Days in May’, both the book of Charles W Bailey and Fletcher Knebel, first published in 1962, and Movie of 1964.

At the least, Ferguson offers a more sophisticated frame for Conservative propagandizing, in distinction to Andy Divine’s – what to call it ? but his usual hysterical screech about a politician that he helped to birth, Trump. Respectable bourgeois capitalism, and its politicians, have enabled both Trump’s populism and its European variants,and  the rise of the dynamic economic engine of China.

Political Cynic











About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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