Mystery interviewee

by Chris Bertram on February 8, 2006

It seems that even his familiars must be careful when supping with the devil.

Of whom was this said? And where?

bq. Beneath his leftist pseudo-sophistication X is a manipulative intellectually dishonest person, … and his like masters required to guide the rest of us poor great unwashed to achieve their utopia dream – which is a documented nightmare to date built on hundreds of millions of human corpses.


bq. typical Fabian Society International Socialist that will never say a bad word against a fellow leftist such as Noam Chompsky [sic].

Details via “Matthew”: .

Jane Jacobs

by Chris Bertram on February 8, 2006

Over at 2 Blowhards, Michael Blowhard has “a nice piece about Jane Jacobs”: . It was kind of hard to stop myself writing ‘about “the great” Jane Jacobs” in that last sentence”! There’s a useful set of links too. I’m kind of surprised by some of them. I know that Jacobs defies left–right categorization, but Jacobs as an unwitting reproducer of “Austrian” economics? That’s hard to square with her somewhat nutty views on import substitution. It illustrates something, though: that people are so taken with Jacobs’s brilliance in “The Death and Life …” that they really really want to believe that she simply must fit into their own worldview somehow. Usually, she doesn’t. She’s just too angular to fit neatly into anyone’s system or ideology.

The liberalism of fools

by Chris Bertram on February 8, 2006

Ken Macleod has “a sharp and interesting post”: on what he calls “the liberalism of fools”:

bq. If anti-semitism is, in an important aspect, a rage against the machine, against progress, is there an opposite rage: a rage against reaction, a fury at the recalcitrance of the concrete and the stubbornness of tradition? A rage against what is sacred and refuses to be profaned, against what is solid and doesn’t melt into air, against ways of life that resist commodification, against use-value that refuses to become exchange-value? And might that rage too need a fantasy object?

Ken discusses the way in which the Catholic church met that need in the 1930s.