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Review of Richard Dawkins' new book 'The Fascism Delusion' - Comments

epeeist's Avatar Comment 1 by epeeist

Is someone have to declare Poe's Law on this?

Very funny though

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:40:00 UTC | #65546

Student Grant's Avatar Comment 2 by Student Grant

Terry Eagleton! Come out of the woodwork and confess! You wrote this!

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:44:00 UTC | #65547

BicycleRepairMan's Avatar Comment 3 by BicycleRepairMan

Haha, that was great.

.. the occasional bad consequences of Fascism

..Priceless quote

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:47:00 UTC | #65548

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 4 by Paula Kirby

Not even the junior Nazi Party secretary who first introduced me to Fascism believed that! ...

The funniest line in the funniest piece I have read for a long time!

What a brilliant parody! And very welcome after the stream of nonsense that's found its way into the press over the last week or so.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:53:00 UTC | #65550

Michael P.'s Avatar Comment 5 by Michael P.

from World Net Daily's The Rise of Anti-Facist America:

"No question about it. America was founded by Fascists. Its very purpose for being was the furtherance of militant Fascism, according to the Pilgrims and succeeding generations. The nation's school system was created for the express purpose of propagating Fascist doctrine. Almost all of the Founding Fathers who drafted and signed the Constitution were Fascist believers. Even U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer, in the high court's 1892 Ministry of the Trinity v. United States decision, proclaimed what was then considered obvious to just about everyone: "This is a Facist nation."

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:54:00 UTC | #65552

Crapsquire's Avatar Comment 6 by Crapsquire

Thanks! I just wet myself

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:06:00 UTC | #65557

jaytee_555's Avatar Comment 7 by jaytee_555

Brilliantly funny and seriously penetrating. It is regretable that a weakness in appreciating irony so often goes with religious belief.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:16:00 UTC | #65558

ksskidude's Avatar Comment 8 by ksskidude

That was brilliant! At first I was like, what! But I then qiuckly realized the irony of what was being said. How true this really is.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:32:00 UTC | #65563

automath's Avatar Comment 9 by automath

oh I hope that hasn't upset the sensibilities of too many fascists! There again, since thinking seems beyond them, I suppose they'll rub it off by believing it's that ranting Hawkins once again.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:35:00 UTC | #65564

pewkatchoo's Avatar Comment 10 by pewkatchoo

jaytee and ksssdude
I guess you must be American. This is not irony, it is satire. You really need to look up irony.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:44:00 UTC | #65566

3ddm's Avatar Comment 11 by 3ddm

Incredible! I keep trying to use humour to convince the confused, but I think that this would go straight over most of their heads.

Don't know if this has been posted before:
South Park V Mormonism

http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/59507/detail/
If not then enjoy :)

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:46:00 UTC | #65567

mdowe's Avatar Comment 12 by mdowe

Bravo! I wish I'd thought of it!

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 13:49:00 UTC | #65568

J. J. Ramsey's Avatar Comment 13 by J. J. Ramsey

I'll ask the same question here as I did on the Valve: which brand of fascism is supposed to be analogous to Reform Judaism? Which brand is analogous to, say, the Episcopalian Church? Or Buddhism? Or Jainism?

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:11:00 UTC | #65569

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 14 by Dr Benway

JJ Ramsey:

...which brand of fascism is supposed to be analogous to Reform Judaism? Which brand is analogous to, say, the Episcopalian Church? Or Buddhism? Or Jainism?
Some say a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle...but what sort of man is like a Trek? a Schwinn? a Motobécane?

I've been revisiting the 1913 Armory Show. Here's a reaction to Matisse, and his reaction to the reaction:
The Blue Nude, Le Luxe, II and Goldfish and Sculpture were chosen by students at Chicago's Art Student's League as the most appalling and blasphemous pictures in the exhibition. The charges brought against him were "artistic murder, pictorial arson, artistic rapine, total degeneracy of color, criminal misuse of line, general aesthetic abberation, and contumacious abuse of title." Further illustrating the contempt audiences had for Matisse is William Zorach's later recollection of the reaction to Le Luxe, II in New York: "Matisse's paintings seem to bother people most -especially one of a woman with only four toes."

Matisse reportedly was so troubled by the public's reaction to his work that he implored in an interview, "Oh do tell the American people that I am a normal man; that I am a devoted husband and father, that I have three fine children, that I go to the theatre!" While Matisse maintained aspirations to bourgeois gentility, his work was seen by some as an attack on the progress of Western civilization as a whole.
Funny, isn't it, how things change. Matisse is entirely compatible with middle-brow taste today.

Everything will be all right.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:18:00 UTC | #65570

JackR's Avatar Comment 15 by JackR

I hate this, and I hate the person who wrote it.

Because, goddammit, I wish I'd written it myself!

Beautiful. I hope RD sees this. I think he'll appreciate it.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:20:00 UTC | #65571

J. J. Ramsey's Avatar Comment 16 by J. J. Ramsey

Dr. Benway: "Funny, isn't it, how things change. Matisse is entirely compatible with middle-brow taste today."

You dodged the question: which brand of fascism is supposed to be analogous to Reform Judaism, etc.?

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:24:00 UTC | #65574

dancingthemantaray's Avatar Comment 17 by dancingthemantaray

Because, of course, for most people fascism isn't just men with odd mustaches barking policies at rallies, no one really believes in over medaled leaders dictating bizarre laws, fascism is love...

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:28:00 UTC | #65576

J. J. Ramsey's Avatar Comment 18 by J. J. Ramsey

Jack Rawlinson: "I hope RD sees this. I think he'll appreciate it."

His opinion of it would certainly say what kind of man he is.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:31:00 UTC | #65578

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 19 by Dr Benway

JJ Ramsey:

You dodged the question: which brand of fascism is supposed to be analogous to Reform Judaism, etc.?
You dodged the question: what sort of man is like a Schwinn?

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:36:00 UTC | #65581

skyhook87's Avatar Comment 21 by skyhook87

Yes! I enjoyed that piece very much.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:54:00 UTC | #65590

AntonAAK's Avatar Comment 20 by AntonAAK

J J Ramsey


I'll ask the same question here as I did on the Valve: which brand of fascism is supposed to be analogous to Reform Judaism? Which brand is analogous to, say, the Episcopalian Church? Or Buddhism? Or Jainism?



Er.. I think you might have missed the point just a tad.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:54:00 UTC | #65589

pewkatchoo's Avatar Comment 22 by pewkatchoo

JJ Ramsey
Just leave your brain at the door. Oh you did!

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:57:00 UTC | #65591

jaytee_555's Avatar Comment 23 by jaytee_555

Pewkatchoo says it's satire, not irony. Well, perhaps - but Wiki says:

Irony is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is a gap or incongruity between what a speaker or a writer says and what is generally understood.

H. W. Fowler, in Modern English Usage, says:

Irony is a form of utterance that postulates a double audience, consisting of one party that hearing shall hear & shall not understand, & another party that, when more is meant than meets the ear, is aware both of that more & of the outsiders' incomprehension.

Seems enough wiggle-room there for me, though strictly pedantically, you could be right.

Pewkatchoo is off-topic, and so am I now, so let's drop it to avoid derailing the main discussion for a penn'orth of tar. (And yes, Pewkatchoo, I know that this is a mixed metaphor!).

JT (UK, actually)

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 14:58:00 UTC | #65592

Crapsquire's Avatar Comment 24 by Crapsquire

pewkatchoo said:

"jaytee and ksssdude
I guess you must be American. This is not irony, it is satire. You really need to look up irony."

Well, in fact, it is both. Satire often uses irony, and as can be found in this article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,985375,00.html

The New Oxford English Dictionary says:

"Irony is a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result."

"...saying the opposite of what is true in order to underline the truth.... Swift, by contrast, uses irony for polemical purposes, conjuring grotesque images ironically (babies being eaten, mankind enslaved to the morally superior horse) in order to state his case (that the Irish were starving, that humanity was going to the dogs) ever more forcefully."

Also see H. W. Fowler, in Modern English Usage:

"Irony is a form of utterance that postulates a double audience, consisting of one party that hearing shall hear & shall not understand, & another party that, when more is meant than meets the ear, is aware both of that more & of the outsiders' incomprehension."

Crapsquire

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:03:00 UTC | #65594

Crapsquire's Avatar Comment 25 by Crapsquire

I agree with jaytee_555 (who had an almost identical post to mine, though 5 min. ahead)-- let's move on shall we.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:10:00 UTC | #65596

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 26 by robotaholic

Comment #69032 pewkatchoo actually it could be considered irony and I am American:

In classical Greek comedy, there was sometimes a character called the eiron. He was a dissembler: someone who deliberately pretended to be less intelligent than he really was, and often spoke using understatement. (Incidentally, the eiron often came out on top.) The word irony is nowadays used in several slightly different ways, but they nearly all retain the idea of dissimulation, of a discrepancy between what is said and what is really the case or between what is expected and what really happens.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:14:00 UTC | #65598

?'s Avatar Comment 27 by ?

JJ Ramsey--

I sort of agree with you that the analogy breaks down when dealing with the nicer more refined side of religion, but that is partially the point.

Lets switch to the more complex, less (currently) emotionally charged subject of monarchy. Not all monarchs and monarchies are evil, but when given the opportunity (i.e. when they are allowed to wield real power), many of them are.

And even if all current ones were fairly decent, one could still criticize the BASIC IDEA of monarchy or fascism, communism, tribalism or anything else on intellectual and moral grounds.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:22:00 UTC | #65601

J. J. Ramsey's Avatar Comment 28 by J. J. Ramsey

AntonAAK: "Er.. I think you might have missed the point just a tad."

Not at all. The parody only works if the analogy between religion and fascism is close enough.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:43:00 UTC | #65610

Wosret's Avatar Comment 29 by Wosret

Nothing better than a brilliant argumentum reductio ad absurdum. Very nicely done, and a hilarious read.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 16:04:00 UTC | #65615

Bookman's Avatar Comment 30 by Bookman

Parody, thy name is J.J. Ramsey.

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 16:39:00 UTC | #65630