Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Daily LOL, No. 79: Academic Luddites Trash Their Own Source of Cash

 University of Edinburgh Sees £2m Slump in Donations After Cancelling Great Scottish Enlightenment Philosopher David Hume

Edinburgh University is learning the hard way that there's a price to pay for going woke

Weak, pusillanimous and ignorant officials thought it would be easy to spit on the memory of David Hume. They were wrong

Douglas Murray has written in the Telegraph about the University of Edinburgh’s excruciatingly woke decision to cancel one of Scotland’s greatest Enlightenment philosophers, David Hume, and the anti-woke backlash that led to a drop in donations to the university of £2 million.

David Hume’s work was crucial in moving our society out of the realm of superstition and into that of reason and rationalism. But in one fatal footnote to one fatal essay Hume said something that is certainly by modern standards racist.

I doubt any of his critics had ever read any of Hume’s works. Or at least, my strong suspicion is that they did not stumble upon this footnote during a routine read-through of Hume’s collected works. Outrage culture does not work like that.

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But the Wokesters of the University of Edinburgh will surely themselves make up the shortfall in cash through an impost on the salary of each and every one of them.

Meantime, the donors who have ceased donating should consider building a multi-million pound monument in recognition of David Hume's monumental contribution to the advancement of human understanding.

As to Hume's great offence? He said that white people are smarter and more creative than people of any other race. Moreover, he had no qualms about the slave trade. In today's multiracial Western world, such views naturally cause outrage.

But this is now and that was then. Hume lived in a world totally dominated by European technology, capital and military might. Even today, almost every important feature of the modern world that makes it rich and modern was invented by white people: cars, planes, wireless, television, missiles, atom bombs.

Moreover, Hume was an empiricist. Certain truth about the world was, he believed, unknowable. On that view, our only means of anticipating the future is to assume that the future will resemble the past, which it often does -- but not always.

On the relative creativity of the races of mankind, much evidence during the 18th Century, supported Hume's assumption of white superiority. The British nation, the people of a small island, had begun the settlement of North America and the conquest of India, on the way to creating the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Other European nations were creating other vast overseas empires. Meantime, at home, the European nations were instigating a scientific, technological and industrial revolution, whereas China, the World's most populous nation existed in a condition of cultural and economic stagnation, and Africa, the World's largest continent was lightly populated by a multitude of tribal groups of very limited cultural and technological advancement.

So was David Hume wrong in his belief in the superiority of white people? At the time he committed his view to paper in a footnote to a paper on national characteristics, few white people would have judged him so. Among others, well the Chinese for sure, would have laughed at the absurdity of his presumption.

But today, when formerly white nations have turned multi-racial, and their university and corporate research laboratories ire staffed by creative people of every race, colour and creed, and when China's industrial output far exceeds that of any other nation, Hume's judgement seems mistaken. 

So what? Hume believed certain truth to be unattainable. If it had been demonstrated to him that his belief about human racial differences in intellect and imagination was false, he would have simply shrugged.

But there's no end to the PC crowd's hatred of white people or their endless search for justification of their anti-white racism and their ignorance of the history of the advancement of human understanding.


  1. "But there's no end to the PC crowd's hatred of white people or their endless search for justification of their anti-white racism and their ignorance of the history of the advancement of human understanding."

    I agree, but I do not believe they will be regarded by historians as so pure of other racisms, or free of prejudices against so many other groups, as they themselves believe themselves to be.

    They are worried about mistreatment of women, but the mistreatment they address seems ridiculously trivial compared to the widespread sex trafficking and sex slave practices which have accompanied globalization of economies. Some of that is terrifying; eliminating misuse of gender pronouns really isn't.

    During their tenure as "America's conscience" nothing has gotten better. That's probably due in part to, as you say, their ignorance of the history of the advancement of human understanding. It is this coupled with their insufferable sense of superiority, and their basic underlying cowardice (accompanied with a kind of moral bullying). It is the power to feel superior and bully and control others they are after-- not progress, advancing civility, or human understanding, they are after.

    I don't care about their anti-white racism. I can personally shrug it off, while on a more public level I can see how stupid and ineffective they are. They could never pull their vicious agenda without help.

    Here is where I do worry: you are specifically linking this to the university. I see this as you showing these PC'ers have the assistance of the elite. I do even suppose though the actions of the PC'ers has caused a loss of 2 million pounds, the elites can shore up the university with much more than 2 million pounds in donations. No problem. (I bet if you tracked down the lost donations you would see they came large numbers of small donors.)

    1. I agree with your assessment of the mentality of the PC crowd, but what should be of greater concern is the motivation of those behind the scenes, the media organisations, the government agencies, the medical authorities, the courts, and the politicians that promote woke bullying and intimidation of ordinary folks. Ultimately, the BS must be driven by hidden and much more powerful forces than twits like Stephen Toope of Cambridge University or moronic public figures like as Justin Trudeau. But who and why? That is the important question.

    2. In an essay in Chronicles, entitled "The Failure of Liberalism and the Conservative Crisis of Faith" it is argued that Wokeness is being driven by large corporations -- think Google, Twitter, Farce Book, etc.-- to achieve a competitive advantage over the non-woke. Certainly Wokeness is being driven by those corporations, but not by them alone, so I think there is more to it, a deeper driving force, than the author of that piece recognises, but it is important to recognize the role of woke corporations in the destruction of Western civilization. Presumably, there goal is global plutocracy, with the mass of mankind reduced by woke bullying to a state of intimidation and helotry.

  2. I appreciate the Moon Over Alabama link from your blog. Their analysis of political spin of American mass media on the "recent grain shortages" and price spikes-- all purportedly "Putin's fault" was invaluable.

    1. Yes, that guy works hard at finding things that the MSM has no inclination to tell you.

  3. "But who and why? That is the important question."

    I often think in terms of plutocrats or elites as a general category of people and don't care if I know their actual identities as specific persons. I also tend to believe their interests are so different from the rest of us as to appear crazy to us.

    Yet at the same time, I believe the modern economy has emerged as an autonomous force under the control of nobody, whatever their social status or whatever their conceitedness about being powerful and a "mover and shaker".

    For example, it wouldn't surprise me all that much if Bill Gates has played some role in originating the global pandemic. Clearly he was poised to profit from it, and move into a position of public prominence and influence such as he'd not previously "enjoyed".

    At the same time, what's happening is not unfolding in a way which anyone can control, or can profit from. Bill Gates has himself suffered from Covid19, maybe more than once. What is he? Sixty-six? I'm sure even he, crazed, money-grubbing megalomaniac though he be, understands HIS OWN health is HIS primary concern. We're not going to have a vaccination program to save us-- ever. The virus is mutating more rapidly than we can develop new vaccines, let alone administer them, even if we only developed them for, and administered them to, the elites.

    Bill Gates's modus operandi was to release products prematurely, confident he'd be able to work out all the bugs and other problems as they showed up later in the frustration and discouragement of consumers of these products. Clearly he got away with it-- until now.

    (We're also never going to have herd immunity-- I admit to being wrong on that one.)

    Something similar is happening (in terms of elite intentions and interests) in Ukraine. It is clear to me the elites must destroy Russia simply because Russia is outside the control of the elites and offers some level of alternative (I would say minimally, but even this is threatening) to them. (They're also eager to pilfer Russia's vast wealth in natural resources.) At the same time, they risk their own lives, and the lives of everyone else, should WWIII break out. It is as if they are set to provoke WWIII, on behalf of their interests, and wager everything. They always were fond of casinos and gambling irresponsibly.

    1. Re: autonomous economic development. Knowledge is now as fundamental an economic factor of production as land, labor and capital. Even if you only sell hamburgers, your success depends on the advancement of knowledge and technology. Can kangeroo be substituted for cow, or canola oil for beef fat? Can burgers be flipped robotically, can they be served and sold robotically? etc. Individual economic success is mainly about being in the right place at the right time. Google's page ranking algorithm was a neat idea, but Brin and Page became billionaires because computing power and costs had reached the point that internet search engines became a viable proposition at the time when they were in a position, at Stanford University, to do something about it.