Two issues ago, there was in CAM an article so egregious, that I was impelled to write an April 1st spoof of it. The original article is on page number 13 of the PDF here , and my version is here . The writer, a professor called Theresa Marteau, displays an amazing disregard for human beings and for our right to decide the course of our own lives. She seems to think she has some divine right to plan and to carry out experiments in social engineering on those around her.
Last week, the latest of these massive missives plopped through my letter box. CAM issue 79 (available on line via ) doesn’t, to be fair, include anything quite as arrant as Ms Marteau’s offering. But four of the articles in it have a whiff, at least, of a flavour that makes me want to hold my nose and shut my mouth.
I’ll begin with the package. It was big and bulky. (How strange that a university that claims as a core value “concern for sustainability and the relationship with the environment, ” sends out hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of these large items of junk mail each year).
When I opened it up, a bunch of inserts fell out. At least there were only four of them this time. Two were ads for high ticket items; exclusive, expensive and exotic holidays, and private medical insurance. The other two were begging letters. One, daubed with large swathes of red, was about some clever device supposedly to help poor people in Bangladesh. The other, more soberly presented in an envelope, had something to do with Christmas. All four went straight in the bin, the last unopened.
Then to the content of the rag. The first of the four malodorous manifestos was on page 13. The article is about Brexit, by the outgoing vice chancellor, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. It perfectly exemplifies the view of the British ruling class on the issue – that Brexit is a disaster, and that what they need and want is more and more political action. (Or even better, to stop it).
The article also makes the ridiculous statement that “our commitment to Europe... is a commitment to a shared cultural and intellectual heritage.” Eh? The commitment of Remainers is to the EU, not to Europe. (How can you commit to a continent?) But the EU has only existed since 1993. It has no cultural or intellectual heritage; it’s simply an artificial, bureaucratic political device. And the European project, leading towards ever closer political union, was mis-sold in the 1970s to the people of the UK. We were led to believe that the project was purely about free trade within the European Economic Community. That was a lie, and the politicians knew it. No wonder so many people who remember the 1970s, including me, voted Leave.
And the following is almost as ridiculous. “When the communities we serve no longer believe that we have their interests at heart, it is our responsibility to engage and communicate to them.” Paraphrased: “When people no longer listen to you, SHOUT LOUDER.” That’s an attitude typical of the ruling class, showing as it does scorn for the “little people” and what we think.
I do, however, sympathize with Sir Leszek on immigration. Schengen is one of only two good things to have come out of the European project (the other being the European Court of Human Rights). However, we have never enjoyed its benefits when travelling into or out of the UK. So he should hardly be surprised if a lot of UK residents aren’t too worried about giving it up.
On to the second article, beginning on page 14: “Welcome to the space of possible minds.” Every so often, we see an article of this kind in establishment publications. It purports to educate and illuminate us; but in fact, its subtext is to cast aspersions against human beings, and to make us feel less confident in ourselves. This article, to give the writer her due, is subtly done. It doesn’t actually say that humans are no better than chimpanzees or other animals; but there’s a constant undertone of suggestion in that direction. This, again, is an attitude common among the ruling class. It’s almost as if they think that they’re a separate, and superior, species from us.
The third article, “What a Hypocrite!” (page 26) is by Matthew Parris, political journalist, broadcaster and former Tory MP. His argument, as far as I can work it out, is that because David Hume may have suffered from mood swings, hypocrisy (that is, practising otherwise than you preach) is OK. My response is to mis-quote Bill Vaughan: To err is Humean, but to really foul things up requires politicians and political commentators.
I suppose that the kind of hypocrisy, in which individuals fail to follow through on prescriptions they make for themselves, can be seen as innocuous enough. As long as no-one else suffers harm as a result, of course. But most hypocrisy we see today is of a different, and far more dangerous, kind. Such hypocrites promote or support damaging political policies to be enforced on others, yet themselves fail to obey the very rules they want to impose.
As example, I give you those that make out that we should drive and fly less in order to cut carbon dioxide emissions and so prevent catastrophic “global warming,” yet also fly around the world to climate conferences – often at taxpayers’ expense – and are chauffeured around in limos when they get there. But their accusation that “human carbon dioxide emissions will cause catastrophe” is both unproven, and almost certainly false. And yet, they seek to suppress the voices of those who deny their cant.
My diagnosis of hypocrites of this type is two-fold. Firstly, they have absolutely no respect or concern for human beings. For them, the Great Cause du jour is what matters, be it Europe, the Environment, Society, Equality (however interpreted), Fighting ISIS, National Security, Health, Safety or whatever else. Human beings, and the human individual in particular, do not matter to them at all. What happens to us is merely collateral damage. This is particularly strong among those that subscribe to leftist or collectivist politics; but the right are hardly innocent, either.
Secondly, they seek to evade accountability for the effects on others of their actions – a trait of which the great majority of politicians in the world are guilty. But further, they don’t even see the problem. They seem to have no sense at all of personal responsibility. Hypocrites, in my view, are the lowest of the low. No human being should feel anything but loathing for them.
The fourth article, starting on page 36, is about political “summit meetings.” It seems infused with a respect, even a love, for the current world political system, which I don’t and can’t share. And it fails to ask any of the important questions. Like, why do we still suffer under states and sovereignties, that are essentially relics of the politics of 16th-century France? Why do we human beings permit mass murderers like Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot to get even anywhere near positions of power? Why does the sham called democracy – which itself is based on a flawed 18th-century notion that a population, however large and diverse, has a “general will” – not only fail to empower us individual human beings, but instead empowers a ruling class that behave towards us with hatred and contempt?
No doubt, there are good things going on at Cambridge, even today. (There certainly were during my time there.) Deep inside the biology labs, or in dark corners of the computer lab or the physics department, people are surely still doing things, which are actually or potentially of benefit to humanity. In arts subjects too, there may be good work being done; objective historical studies, for example. But the message that comes over from CAM is that the public face, at least, of the university has been taken over by acolytes of the ruling class.
And it’s actually worse than that. For consider the attitudes and characteristics of behaviour, which these articles in CAM show as typical among those that currently project the university’s image. They think that they’re superior to us human beings. Even if they don’t use deceit and dishonesty themselves, they accept them in others such as politicians. They show, like Professor Marteau, scorn for human beings rather than concern or empathy. And they see hypocrisy and evasion of responsibility as OK or even normal.
These are not the behaviours of honest human beings. They are certainly not the behaviours of those best qualified to direct the intellectual endeavours of some of the world’s finest minds. No; these are the behaviours of bootlickers of a corrupt and psychopathic ruling élite.