Category Archives: logic

An elementary error of logic

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-22-25-43The campaign to leave the EU may, says Dalrymple (from 12:35), have appealed

to xenophobes. But it is an elementary error of logic to argue that if xenophobes voted for leaving, then those who voted for leaving were xenophobes. The fact that so many supporters of Britain remaining made this error suggests that education and the ability to think are not identical.

He notes that the implied corollary

was that there was nothing to choose between continued support for, and submission to, a corrupt and self-serving political élite on the one hand, and beating up foreigners on the street on the other.

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-22-32-08

Brexit blow to the bien-pensants

Only a racist would question their right to rule over us

Only a racist would question their right to rule over us

Their view, writes Dalrymple, is that one either believes

in the rule of Messrs Juncker and Van Rompuy et al., or one goes around beating up foreigners on the street.

Britain’s intellectual class,

so dismissive of the uneducated masses who voted for Brexit, seem not to have noticed the logical fallacy in the argument that if xenophobes voted for Brexit, then those who voted for Brexit were xenophobes.

Dalrymple wonders if the country’s educational system might be

even worse than I had supposed.

Ugliness, be thou my beauty

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 09.05.43The squalor and degradation that is Western popular culture

Two windows on the sordor:

  • obituaries of pop stars in the newspaper
  • a walk in the street

Pop stars, writes Dalrymple, fall into two groups:

  1. those who retire into the life of the squirearchy, the pleasures of whose kind of life they have done so much to destroy for others
  2. those who die young

There is nothing like the sordid for getting ahead

Romantics view self-destructive behaviour

as the sign of a great soul.

De Quincey wrote:

Pain driven to agony, or grief driven to frenzy, is essential to the ventilation of profound natures.

But, Dalrymple points out,

it is an elementary error of logic to suppose that, because profound natures ventilate agonised frenzy, those who ventilate agonised frenzy have profound natures.

Take punk. Its ‘ethic’ consists, explains Dalrymple, of

an utterly conformist non-conformity and an insensate individualism without individuality, allied to brutal and deliberate bad taste.

Self-harm

For instance,

to inflict a serious injury on yourself (which you then require others to repair for you, at their expense) in order to prove that you are genuinely committed to bad taste, ugliness, a rejection of everything that could possibly make life worth living, and to a celebration of ‘alienation, boredom and despair’ does not seem to me to be meritorious in any way. The alienation, boredom and despair are the consequence of a combination of laziness and impatient ambition, rather than the consequence of an ‘objective’ situation, and represent an impossible demand for achievement without concomitant effort.

Rage

Dalrymple says:

I feel a certain rage at the culture that we have created, and a certain guilt that I have not fought against it with all my heart and soul, to the best of my ability. It is a culture that can produce lines — and mean them, that is what is terrible — such as the following from one of Richey Edwards‘ songs (as Mozart took dictation from God, so he took dictation from the Zeitgeist):

I hate purity. Hate goodness. I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt.