Holiday Reading Meme

I’ve been tagged by Dave at Though Cowards Flinch in a ‘meme’ whose requirement is that I tell you all what I’m reading this summer.

Currently I’m reading something called ‘Conservatism’  by Ted Honderich. Weighty political thought? Actually, light recreation. Reading the book is the literary equivalenty of watching a collection of people you dislike be repeatedly slapped. It poses as a standard ‘let’s try to understand this thing by carefully analysing it’ – like Socrates did with ‘justice’ or ‘courage’, Honderich will do with ‘conservatism’. Then it explains, step by painstaking step, that most of what conservatives say is deliberately mystifying humbug, that what’s left over is rarely consistent, and that what is consistent is unified not by any theoretical rationale but by naked self-interest. As you can imagine, I found this conclusion shocking.

Other reading has included brief extracts from work by Joseph Spritzler and Gabriel Kolko on the 2nd World War, which did a lot to stimulate my posts on the subject. t

The meme must go on. I tag DBZ at A Division by Zer0, Lindsay at Autist’s Corner, the apostate at The Apostate, Awais at A Myth in Creation, Chris at Stumbling and Mumbling, Penny at Penny Red, S.P.Greenlaw at himself, and Arthur at Once Upon a Time…

6 Responses to “Holiday Reading Meme”

  1. Dave Semple Says:

    Which conclusion is all one really needs to explode the notion of democracy as ‘the great debate’; the rise and fall of any articulation of ideology is dependent upon structural factors, not merely the intrinsic merit of the argument.

  2. Gabriel Says:

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/2219604?seq=1

    If you ever grow up I’d recommend Perry Anderson’s ‘Spectrum’ for an example of a how a Red can talk intelligently about Conservatism without blithering along the lines of “conservatism is motivated by self-interest, which is why all those dumb poor people vote Republican because they’re dumb, not like us lot who have cushy jobs at the public expense and accordingly get to vote ourselves a pay rise every election, which is fair because it’s equal or something. Did I mention the AHRC gave me a shitload to write this thing?”.

    However, I suppose his central point stands I guess. I consider it in my self interest not to be governed by moral and psychological deficients ergo I don’t want to be governed by leftists. If I was more enlightened no doubt I’d selflessly let you tinker about with the social system to your heart’s content in order to ameliorate whatever deep seated issues led to you to become a Red, but I’m selfish so I won’t.

    You can quote that as an expose of selfish conservatism if you wish.

  3. Dave Semple Says:

    The AHRC didn’t give me diddly squat, so up yours and all.

  4. Alderson Warm-Fork Says:

    Moral and psychological deficients! This degenerate age! Decadence! The decay of civilisation! The corruption of the womenfolk! The subversion of all that is holy! Perverts and deviants! Where will it end?

  5. Summer Reading meme | A Division by Zer0 Says:

    […] I’ve been tagged by Anderson Warm-Fork with the “watcha readin’ this summer” meme (btw my alias is Db0, not DBZ. I’m not a Dragonball Z fan ). So why not bore you a bit today? […]


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