Friday, December 09, 2011

The Folly of Fools ....

According to the Guardian, "William Hague has insisted that the UK will still 'lead the way' on key issues in Europe even though it will not be among the 23 countries drawing up a separate treaty".

On which "key issues", I'm wondering. Which "issues" are there still left for the UK to discuss with the rest of Europe? And where will it lead us when it takes the lead? To Glastonbury or into the jungle with Katie Price?

No pal, let's face it - you're out. Game over.

At least the hilarious Hague corroborates Robert Trivers' argument in his new, long-overdue book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life:

At every single stage ... from its biased arrival, to its biased encoding, to organizing it around false logic, to misremembering and then misrepresenting it to others, the mind continually acts to distort information flow in favor of the usual good goal of appearing better than one really is.

I do hope Santa has already sent out his bulk order for the book, to use as a particularly timely stocking-filler for our distant friends in Whitehall. They might need reminding that their post-imperial self-importance is a mere self-delusion.


Francis Sedgemore said...

The British are now effectively fucked, but I hope you realise that this could turn out as a pyrrhic victory for Germany. I know that Brit-bashing is an enjoyable sport down your way, but forget about the UK, which is now all but irrelevant.

Jakob Augstein warns of a resurgence in Germanophobia, and he may have a point. If Merkel's political career survives this current crisis, the German economy may not.

Unknown said...

Jakob Augstein carries the burden of his famous surname and seems to feel obliged to keep the anti-German flag flying. I'm not so sure about his status as a political commentator (I never really read his stuff), and the piece you linked to confirms my doubt about his thinking. The shift from Angela to Auschwitz in three sentences is crude, not nifty - and entirely gratuitous.

I'm by no means triumphant, don't get me wrong. But I still believe that Europe is a concept worth working towards and the UK has been presenting a major stumbling block in this process.

Incidentally, it seems apt that the consultations took place in a building named after the neo-Stoic philosopher Justus Lipsius. We all could do with a bit of Stoicism, I guess ....

Francis Sedgemore said...

...crude, not nifty - and entirely gratuitous.

True, but with my exposure to the British commentariat I've become inured to such rhetorical devices. Should I expect any more of a German-speaking pundit, and if so why?

Unknown said...

"Should I expect any more of a German-speaking pundit, and if so why?"

Sounded as if you did, sort of ("he may have a point").

At this point nobody knows how the wind blows, but I'm with those who believe that Europe will endure. All that Titanic talk is just plain spiteful.

Francis Sedgemore said...

Good grief, Anja, saying that someone may have a point is hardly a wholehearted endorsement of their political wisdom. I mean, Simon Jenkins has been known to make the odd astute comment, but he's still a prick.

Unknown said...

Didn't say that you wholeheartedly endorsed. But refered to. To caution me against indulging in any kind of Teutonic triumphalism. Which I didn't in the first place. I want Europe to work.

Actually, my qualms with Cameron are purely personal and by analogy. He looks like a dickhead colleage of mine and every time I see his foppish gob I want to smack him.

mikeovswinton said...

You write as if you think that Hague actually believes the drivel he's speaking and is self-deluded. He's surely not that stupid. I suppose he might be, but surely its just for the consumption of his moronic backbenchers and the readers of the Daily Mail? As for Cameron - well, you have just about summed it up in your last comment.Just as Francis sums up Britain's position in his very first sentence.