Tuesday, July 02, 2013

More hypocritical racist derp from the WSJ

This time from Bret Stephens:

"For the rest of us, the lesson from Egypt is that democracy is a blessing for people capable of self-government, but it's a curse for those who are not. There is a reason that Egypt has been governed by pharaohs, caliphs, pashas, and strongmen for 6000 years."

As Mungo might say, Sweet Fancy Moses!

Hey Bret: what people were "self-governed" 6000 years ago? How about 1000 years ago? Heck how about 500 years ago?

Follow up question for Bret: When the age of self-governance took off, what did the great self-governing powers do? Oh, that's right, they ran Egypt as their colony.

One last question for Bret: Who allowed Hose-head Mubarak to "rule" Egypt for 30 years and destroy any and all civil institutions and civil society? Don't tell me, let me think, it's right on the tip of my tongue... Oh yeah! IT WAS US. THE GOOD OLD SELF-GOVERNED USA.

The WSJ: where racism, hypocrisy, and derp are not bugs, but rather features.




14 comments:

Gene Callahan said...

"Hey Bret: what people were "self-governed" 6000 years ago?"

Pretty much everyone on the earth: tribal society is governed largely by custom, but those of course are the tribes own customs. Tribal chiefs are largely the first among equals.

In any case, that different forms of government are suitable to different people has been known since at least Aristotle; calling someone "racist" for point this out is just argument by name-calling.

Angus said...

Sorry Gene, but saying a people are "incapable of self-government" is flat out racist derp.

Jeff said...

I think you are being a bit uncharitable. I would wager there are plenty of places on earth where democracy would be a disaster that would simply lead to street violence and civil war due to ethnic or religious tensions. Or even just a good ol conflict of visions.

Is Egypt one of those places? Maybe, maybe not. I don't think arguing one or the other makes you a racist.

Norman said...

"In any case, that different forms of government are suitable to different people has been known since at least Aristotle[...]"

That the earth's gravity exerts a significantly stronger force on a rock than a feather has been 'known' since Aristotle, too. That Poseidon chooses which ships make it to port has been 'known' for as long.

Lots of wrong beliefs have been 'known' for a very long time. That doesn't make them less wrong.

Tom said...

The Ozymandias piece is behind a paywall, so I didn't look... is "egyptian" a race, now?

The biggest error has got to be regarding "democracy." In modern Egypt, votes are cast and someone counts them. Izzat "democracy"?!? Freedom of speech and of the Press, Rule of Law, independent judiciary, freedom of religion, respect for private property, some bulwark from prosecutorial abuse, and other rights are essential to a Modern Liberal Democracy. Without them, voting and counting mean nothing.

The reason "democracy" doesn't work in Egypt is simple: they don't have any.

Gene Callahan said...

"Sorry Gene, but saying a people are "incapable of self-government" is flat out racist derp."

Angus, perhaps if you just repeat the same assertion a lot, it will become convincing.

Gene Callahan said...

@Tom: "are essential to a Modern Liberal Democracy."

Well, if you qualify "democracy" by "modern" and "liberal" then ofg course Athens was not a democracy either!

@Norman: "That the earth's gravity exerts a significantly stronger force on a rock than a feather has been 'known' since Aristotle, too."

A) Aristotle had no concept of "gravity" or of the earth exerting any force.

B) The idea at work in your comment seems to be: "I believe Aristotle was wrong about some things. Therefore, Aristotle was wrong about everything."

That is not a very sound syllogism.

Norman said...

Actually, the idea at work is
(A) Some things Aristotle thought were incredibly wrong;
(B) his racist derp ideas were and are among the wrong things he thought;
(C) if your best defense for supporting racist comments is "c'mon, Very Important People have believed this for thousands of years," then you have no argument at all; and
(D) your friends might have to put up with the racist derp, but the rest of us do not.

Gene Callahan said...

"(A) Some things Aristotle thought were incredibly wrong;"

Such as?

"(B) his racist derp ideas were and are among the wrong things he thought;"

The idea of race was not even a category for Aristotle. He thought Greeks were better than barbarians, true, but how much of that he thought was genetic is not clear to me. But, in any case, he made this argument in terms of DIFFERENT GREEK POLEIS, and therefore the idea that the argument was "racist" once again shows no knowledge of Aristotle's actual ideas at all. Obviously having no idea what Aristotle actually held, perhaps you should avoid talking about the topic?

"(C) if your best defense for supporting racist comments"

I did not "support a racist comment": I questioned whether the comment was, in fact, racist.

"is "c'mon, Very Important People have believed this for thousands of years," then you have no argument at all;"

Arguments from authority can be perfectly sound (you have probably taken it on authority that they never are, right?), and anyway, I was suggesting one might go and READ this argument in Aristotle. I know, I know... it is _Politics_ longer than a blog post, so it is probably not on, but that was the idea.

"(D) your friends might have to put up with the racist derp, but the rest of us do not."

You really like to accuse others of racism at the drop of a hat, don't you? Projection?

In any case, I haven't been talking about race at all.

Lastly, your argument does not become more effective the more often you use "derp."

Jeff said...

I guess sometimes it's just fun to shout "Racist!" in a crowded theater.

Gene Callahan said...

Now we see Norman, faced with someone who actually knows what he is talking about, slink off into the shadows!

Old Odd Jobs said...

So, saying that some people are incapable of self-government is racist. What does the "is" in that sentence mean? That the sentence is racist? No, a sentence can't think racist thoughts. It must mean that the author is racist. But was he merely a racist when he wrote the sentence, or is he still thinking racist thoughts now? If we ask the author if he is a racist, and he says "no", how will we convince him that he is wrong and is actually a racist? Can the same sentence be both racist and not-racist if it is written by different people? If an Egyptian said "we are incapable of self-government", would he be racist against himself?

It's all a mystery.

Maybe self-government requires WSJ style arrogance.

Gene Callahan said...

In fact, it is the REASON that someone says "The X are incapable of self-government" that makes the statement racist or not. If I say, "The genes of the X make them incapable of self-government," THAT is racist.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that Angus made up the quote that he puts in quotation marks. It appears neither in the printed nor on-line versions. A typical trick of the intellectually dishonest and personally corrupt.