Like a matador with his pork sword

I’m an admitted Anglophobe, as you know, and I especially hate the bloated-yet-reasonably-photogenic, faux swashbuckling types like Hitchens and Ferguson. I’d rather watch W in a flight-suit declare “Mission Accomplished” than listen to some limey in a just-disheveled-enough suit wank about Islamofascism and Chimerica (while quoting Auden and Churchill). At least, W wasn’t heralded as an intellectual giant…outside of the occasional Powerline post.

But Brad DeLong makes the case that swishboating Keynes is a long conservative tradition, though, so I guess I should just chalk Ferguson’s latest up to Niall being a typical right-wing douchebag.

As to the sexual politics: for 67 years–since Joseph Schumpeter in his obituary for John Maynard Keynes took what had been a within-Harvard whispering campaign into print, it has been a thing on the right to say, or at least hint, or to tiptoe up to: “Keynes was a perv and Keynesianism is pervy and Keynesians are perhaps perverts themselves.” Niall Ferguson’s been doing this for decades. But lots of other people have been doing it too.

It’s certainly not Ferguson’s first such attack on Keynes:

“Though his work at the Treasury gratified his sense of self-importance, the war itself made Keynes deeply unhappy. Even his sex life went into a decline, perhaps because the boys in London he liked to pick up all joined up…”

But this quote DeLong found was probably my favorite, from Joseph Schumpeter:

So (Keynes) he turned resolutely to the only ‘parameter of action’ that seemed left… monetary management….

I thought it was Joos that did that, not the gheys.

Update. h/t RaflW

103 replies
  1. 1
    John M. Burt says:

    Gheys is teh new Joos.

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    I particularly liked one of the quotes, deep down on Brad’s site, in which Keynes’ presumed perversity and lack of overall morals is given as the reason he opposed the gold standard. That is some massive confusion of things with concepts with purity and with pollution.

  3. 3
    scav says:

    How jolly, a bunch of posh public school boys having vapours about the gheys.

    Is next up a lather about birching and lashing (the horrors!) and the inherent virtue of austerity fiscal measures?

  4. 4
    Chris says:

    I’m not an Anglophobe (no, really!) so much as I hate Anglophiles. Especially those who pine over the Beauty and Goodness of the British Empire (and hold it up as a role model for America).

  5. 5
    CJericho says:

    Er, you are aware Keynes was an Oxbridge “limey” himself? (Bonus points for the ancient slang.)

  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    @Chris:

    Especially those who pine over the Beauty and Goodness of the British Empire (and hold it up as a role model for America)

    You have to admit, if we had the NHS life here would suck significantly less. Especially when you consider we could have had it for over a hundred years by now.

  7. 7
    mai naem says:

    Well, I think the name Niall is quite ghey. Who the fuck names their kid Nah-yul? “Oh Nah-yul would you get mummy a cup o tee and sum biskits? Graab daddy sum cucumber sandwiches as well will ye luv?”

  8. 8
    Citizen_X says:

    Keynes was a perv and Keynesianism is pervy and Keynesians are perhaps perverts themselves.

    Colonel Batguano–if that is his real name–did it better.

  9. 9
    MattF says:

    PIty about Ferguson– his ‘smarter than you are’ pose is pretty well shredded. The most charitable thing that can be said is that Ferg chose the wrong target: Keynes really was smarter than any of them and still is.

    Also, De Long’s list of right-wing libels against Keynes is just astonishing, even to a cynic such as myself.

  10. 10
    Mark S. says:

    Speaking of Anglophobia, I watched Love, Actually last night. There’s one pretty stupid scene where Prime Minister Hugh Grant(!) tears into President Billy Bob Thornton(!) at a press conference that Britain isn’t going to be bullied by America anymore, and the British people go wild. Then I read the movie was made in 2003, so I guess Britain wasn’t done being bossed around by stupid Texans yet.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mark S.:

    I think that was what the filmmakers wished Tony Blair had said to W instead of blindly following the US into Iraq.

  12. 12

    @Chris: I love British authors, and TV shows and movies and the BBC but hate the Empire. So what does that make me?
    Actually Keynes was an upper class Englishman while Ferguson wishes he was, so may be he just has a jealous.

    ETA: Forgot to add music. Especially Queen.

  13. 13

    @Mark S.: I think mummy does not like being bullied around by the daughter much..

  14. 14
    Comrade Jake says:

    I’ll have to hold onto that quote from Ferguson’s The Pity of War the next time some asshat tries to tell me Niall is a serious historian. It really makes his apology moot, IMO.

  15. 15
    Cookie Monster says:

    Just to be technically correct (the best kind of correct!), anglo (in anglophobe) refers specifically to the English, and Ferguson is a Scot.

    Also, too, Niall’s a Celtic name, so the phonetic attempt at impersonation above is way off.

    Granted, to many Scots, the worst thing you can do is call them English…

  16. 16
    Mark S. says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yeah, I would imagine jealousy has tons to do with it. People are still debating Keynes a hundred years later, while Niall will be long forgotten five minutes after he keels over.

  17. 17
    ChrisNYC says:

    Jonah Goldberg has a helpful compilation as well, though of course his point is, “Hey PC police! The perverted worldview of gay people was long ago proven so stop marginalizing and ostracizing Niall. Mind you, I myself love the gays and have no problem with them.” Ferguson must be overjoyed to have so bright a bulb as Jonah ride to his rescue.

  18. 18
    Mister Harvest says:

    Jews, gays, whatever. I’m sure we can look forward to a Degenerate Economics symposium sometime soon. National Review can host.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    Even his sex life went into a decline, perhaps because the boys in London he liked to pick up all joined up…”

    The gays beat Hitler! Bless you boys.

  20. 20
    Culture of Truth says:

    I have to admit I was not much a Hitchens fan either.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m feeling they certainly snuck that Harriet Jones, Prime Minister aside message to the president into The Christmas Invasion with intent. And then toclafaned one and left him so on the Valiant, despite the big rewind.

  22. 22

    @Mark S.: He singlehandedly
    pioneered the entire discipline of Macro Econ. No wonder, the partisan hack is jealous.

  23. 23
    Roxy says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    Jonah Goldberg has a helpful compilation as well, though of course his point is, “Hey PC police! The perverted worldview of gay people was long ago proven so stop marginalizing and ostracizing Niall. Mind you, I myself love the gays and have no problem with them.” Ferguson must be overjoyed to have so bright a bulb as Jonah ride to his rescue.

    ChrisNYC, Lawyers, Guns and Money blogger SEK tears Jonah Goldberg apart. It is a most excellent read

  24. 24

    BTW Sully assures us that Ferguson is not a bigot, because he asked Sully to be his son’s godfather or something.

  25. 25
    bcinaz says:

    Riddle me this: How, what, when or why did macroeconomics turn into a morality play?

  26. 26

    @bcinaz: In the conservative worldview everything is a morality play, from Macro to Climate Change and everything in between.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @bcinaz:

    Because that’s all they have left.

  28. 28
    the Conster says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Also, Sully read Corinthians at his wedding! Corinthians!!! Case closed.

  29. 29
    Tokyokie says:

    @Chris: I’m with you on that. I worked offshore long ago with a motley group that included several Geordies, a Scotsman, a Liverpudlian, a pair of Welsh brothers, even a Gilbraltarian, and we all shared a sharp dislike for the one fellow from the south of England who put on airs. (And I still have the maritime British Jack that one of the Geordies stole from the guy we didn’t like as a going-away present, for which I gave him my authentic Atlanta Braves cap in gratitude.)

  30. 30
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    Early (pre 9/11 Hitchens was interesting in an iconoclastic way which is why is reaction to 9/11 and his subsequent writings felt more like a betrayal than the pseudo-historian, pseudo-economist, Ferguson.

    P.S. Who is surprised that in economics, Harvard has has a conservative bent?…or am I ascribing to much importance to Ferguson at Harvard?

  31. 31
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Chris:

    I’m not an Anglophobe (no, really!) so much as I hate Anglophiles. Especially those who pine over the Beauty and Goodness of the British Empire (and hold it up as a role model for America).

    Rigid class systems cause resentment among the ambitious. This can manifest as crankiness.

  32. 32

    @pamelabrown53: Harvard is known more for its Business School than its Econ Dept and BSchools are almost always conservative, so I don’t think it has much to do with Ferguson.

  33. 33
    ChrisNYC says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Except, for Ferguson, demonstrably not. The morality play stops conveniently, right outside HIS bedroom.

    I have not yet asked Niall Ferguson about him leaving his wife and three children, or his relationship with the Somalian feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, so when he launches in to a lengthy and verbose attack against the press during what I thought was a pretty innocuous chat about political correctness (he loathes it, naturally), it seems a little out of the blue.
    “I really hate it,” he scowls.
    “I can’t stand it. I find the prurience, the prying, the sneering… I find it utterly odious. But the problem isn’t just the amorality of editors and their minions, it is that the British public also has a nauseating prurience. And what I find disgusting is that people want to judge footballers – and professors for that matter – by an entirely anachronistic yardstick. It’s as if by reading this stuff we become Victorians, and we are scandalised, I mean scandalised, to discover that a professor of history is getting divorced, which is clearly outrageous in this day and age.
    “I mean, how can this be news? How can this be ——- news? To me, it’s just a collective hypocrisy that attracts people to these stories. This desire to look into the BEDROOMS” – he is practically shouting now – “and pick up the sheets and have a gander. It disgusts me.”

    Gotta LOVE anachronistic yardstick. Very seksy.

  34. 34
    Hill Dweller says:

    K-Thug continues knocking down the austerity-loving clowns’ excuses.

  35. 35
    MattF says:

    @bcinaz: I think it’s more that the ‘modern’ view (e.g., since Adam Smith) is that economics is not a morality play. Then conservatives managed to turn ‘the market’ into a new source of morality, but that’s a different story.

  36. 36
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    In addition to all of the above, Niall Ferguson is also clearly someone who says whatever he thinks the audience in front of him wants to hear. So he thought the people he was speaking to in California would be impressed by the gay-bashing used as a way to “prove” Thatcher/Reaganism, then when he realized how it had been picked up and was making the rounds elsewhere making him look like a creep and an idiot among his friends like Andrew Sullivan, he almost immediately said what he thought they’d want to hear, i.e. yes it was gay-bashing and I don’t know what I was thinking and so on.

    And it worked.

    I’m going with “opportunistic, soulless hack”, in other words, more than anything else.

  37. 37
    TG Chicago says:

    Swishboating — best portmanteau I’ve heard in a while.

    Is this a DougJ original? Whom can I thank?

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    I’m a little disappointed that no one has made a stimulus joke in the many threads on this topic.

  39. 39
    Meg says:

    I especially hate the bloated-yet-reasonably-photogenic, faux swashbuckling types

    They are certainly not strictly British. I really think we should try to fight our base instinct to stereotype any group of people.

    Also, I am not a Hitchens fan, but he was hardly a homophobe.
    According to his memoir, he totally did not try to hide his experimenting with same sex pleasure when he was young. Anyway, I just think we should try to be fair and not to paint a group of people with a wide brush.

  40. 40
    patroclus says:

    Thanks for the Brad DeLong link – I hadn’t realized that the go-to move for conservative economists (or pretend economists) in discussing Keynes has been to go for the homophobia every time. I’m guessing that this has been the case since Keynes’ death and that they’ve always gotten away with it. So Niall Ferguson was merely proceeding in a well-worn path when he made his bigoted “off-the-cuff” comments in California; having already done so in print after editing in one of his bigoted books.

    As I said in yesterday’s thread, I’ve actually read Skidelsky’s multi-volume biography of Keynes – the best reading of Keynes’ sexuality was that he experimented heavily with both sexes while young and eventually got married and tried to have children. This makes him, historically, bisexual – not gay. So not only are the conservative economists gay bashing; they’re getting the actual history wrong (in their rush to smear Keynes).

    Why don’t they deal with his actual ideas? Like the analysis of effective demand? And the call for expansionary policies when an economy is in recession or a slow growth period? It is just astonishing that they instead have gone for the gay bashing so often and for so long.

  41. 41
    Hill Dweller says:

    OT: Why is the Village so desperate to blame Obama for the gun legislation failure in the senate?

    The decrepit Cokie Roberts, in her role as know-nothing on ABC’s Sunday show, claimed Obama didn’t lift a finger to help the gun legislation get passed. This is stupid, even by her ridiculously low standards.

  42. 42
    Redshirt says:

    Blimey! This is a sticky wicket, init?

  43. 43
    MattF says:

    @Hill Dweller: There’s some indications that Senators who voted against background checks might actually be deemed responsible for the defeat of background checks. So, it’s got to be Obama’s fault.

  44. 44
    Anoniminous says:

    @bcinaz:

    About a hundred years ago when they had to protect the rentiers from the highly popular policies and influence of Henry George.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    Actually, it’s all they ever had.

  46. 46
    patroclus says:

    @the Conster: Corinthians (along with Romans) are the two epistles that contain the most gay bashing in the NT. Saul/Paul didn’t like gays; the guy who the religion is named after liked everyone. It is not surprising that a homophobe like Niall Ferguson had a passage from Corinthians read at his wedding; in fact, it is somewhat expected. That Sullivan doesn’t get this (and apparently thinks reading Corinthians at a homophobe’s wedding is some sort of homophobe cure-all) is depressing.

  47. 47
    Meg says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I am not sure this piece of info will make Ferguson look any better.

    To me, it shows that he is a cynic who is all willing to use people’s hatred toward gays to put down his opponent, even though he is all buddy up with his influential gay friends himself.

  48. 48
    Comrade Jake says:

    Shorter Jonah Goldberg: it used to be socially acceptable to gay bash!!! What happened?!?!?!?

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @patroclus:
    What isn’t depressing if you think at all about little andy?

  50. 50
    Meg says:

    @Hill Dweller: Your first mistake is to listen to Cokie Roberts. She is such a one-trick pony and not worth paying attention to. Namely, everything is Obama’s fault.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    @Comrade Jake:
    I imagine it is hard to see the world go by if one has one’s head up one’s ass.

  52. 52
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Meg: Someone on the twitter machine linked to a video clip of her stupidity. You couldn’t pay me to watch the Sunday morning Republican propaganda.

  53. 53
    Comrade Jake says:

    That Cokie Roberts quote about Obama and guns is galactically stupid. What planet has she been living on the past couple of months?

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @patroclus:

    So not only are the conservative economists gay bashing; they’re getting the actual history wrong (in their rush to smear Keynes).

    Conservatives failing history? That’s unpossible!

    Though with a name like Patroclus, don’t be too surprised when people start smearing you for defending bisexuals.

  55. 55
    Mandalay says:

    @Meg:

    I really think we should try to fight our base instinct to stereotype any group of people.

    Right. The notion that Sullivan, Hitchens and Ferguson are especially worth hating, as opposed to a general hatred of the rest of them, is so silly it doesn’t even rise the level of being offensive.

    Politicians and the media love doing the same thing with France and the French. The idea that you merit hatred based solely on where you are from is not a good path to go down.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MattF: I think this is quite right. Markets ought to be amoral, but economic philosophers liked to think of markets as spaces of cooperation and collaboration and even benevolence in action: your goods for my goods, win-win. Even Adam Smith gets caught up in trying to settle the difference between pure economic self-interest and the enlightened self-interest that ends up benefiting the public inadvertently. To make markets moral in this other way involves defining them as free, such that interfering with markets is interfering with freedom, which would be unconscionable. So my answer would be that to conservatives markets aren’t supposed to be moral in themselves, but messing with them would be immoral, because (of course) freedom, that’s why.

  57. 57
    patroclus says:

    @Ruckus: Well, Sullivan holds himself out as a uber-gay Catholic, so he should know that Corinthians (and Romans) are not really what should be read by gays at weddings – something from the Davidic period (the Song of Songs, for example, which contains some poetry extolling the beauty of the male body) or one of the Gospels (about loving everyone) would have been far more appropriate. The fact that he read Corinthians is not absolving, in the least – in fact, it is damning.

    This incident is a perfect example of where Sullivan should confront the rampant anti-gay bigotry amongst conservatives, which Brad Delong has documented (about Keynes). That he won’t do it about his homophobic friend Niall is what is depressing.

  58. 58
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Comrade Jake: presumably she means that Obama only used The Bully Pulpit instead of The Twisting of Arms or The Banging of Heads or The Showering with Gifts or other conjuror’s tricks with legislators themselves. That was the Maureen Dowd view, so it’s likely the Cokie view too.

  59. 59
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Mandalay: I disagree. I find those three especially worth hating because they have inexplicable pull in our political dialogue. They drag with them the Brit thing with empire. They give snooty cover to a lot of vile stuff about Islam. And they don’t understand US politics at all, particularly the huge effect of race in our politics and policies and, relatedly, the deep differences between UK conservatives and US wingnuts.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yeah, but NHS is post WWII, therefore post-Empire.

    People in this country some oh I don’t know 235 years ago rejected the British Empire.

    Or so I thought.

  61. 61
    Mandalay says:

    @patroclus:

    the best reading of Keynes’ sexuality was that he experimented heavily with both sexes while young and eventually got married and tried to have children.

    Some have enjoyed pointing out that Karl Marx had six children and Adam Smith had none.

    That nicely captures the level of Ferguson’s argument about Keynes being childless.

  62. 62
    Meg says:

    @Comrade Jake: I don’t remember where I read it, but someone claimed that Cokie Roberts never did her home work for the issues she did punditry on. She just read the headline and then made her own story line about how it was all Obama’s fault. As long as she did not say anything fireablely offensive, she would be deemed edgy and keep her job.
    Remember, being terribly wrong is totally fine with the pundit class. Howard Kurtz only got fired because of his gay bashing.

  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @patroclus:
    Oh please. Little andy sucks on so many levels. The only reason he is not more depressing is that I can ignore him quite easily(except when so many keep bringing him up). What makes him depressing at all is that he is only one ass among many. Anyway wouldn’t it be easier and faster to list his good points? There must be some.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    such that interfering with markets is interfering with freedom, which would be unconscionable.

    Yet these idiots don’t seem to get that the relentless pursuit of profit, which is the sole purpose of a corporation in this country, will lead to unconscionable interference with free markets.

    The stupid. It burns.

  65. 65
    Anoniminous says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Markets,” defined as “a regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of goods and/or services,” has nothing to do with morality. It’s people’s actions in The Market that can, if one wishes to digglepoop around, be analyzed using Moral Philosophy. But that won’t help pose and answer questions about Economics per se; it would be more fruitful to look at and apply findings from other, more appropriate, intellectual disciplines, e.g., neuro-psychology.

  66. 66
    Mandalay says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    I disagree. I find those three especially worth hating because they have inexplicable pull in our political dialogue.

    I guess I was unclear. I am not at all opposed to someone specifically hating Sullivan, Ferguson and Hitchens based on what they have said and done. I don’t care for any of them myself.

    What I don’t agree with is disliking people just because they are English (or Scottish in the case of Ferguson). I don’t see a qualitative difference between that, and disliking people because they are (say) Jewish, or gay or black or fat or disabled.

    Credit to DougJ for being honest about it, but it is not something to be proud of.

  67. 67
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Re: “Free Market”

    There’s never been such a thing in the history of the US. In fact, Teh Founders went out of their way to prohibit a “Free Market,” Patent Laws are a good example. Forbidding a company from putting melamine in milk is a more recent example.

    There has always been a Restricted Market and we argue about what restrictions to apply, when, how much, & etc.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @patroclus:

    Why don’t they deal with his actual ideas?

    Because they’re not intelligent enough to.

  69. 69
    Anoniminous says:

    @Anoniminous:

    we intelligent people argue about what restrictions to apply, when, how much, & etc.

    FIFM

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anoniminous:

    All true.

    “Free markets” exist as mental constructs only, Once you stick them in the real world, well, so much for the purity of them.

  71. 71
    Tonal Crow says:

    Republican economics: shaken, stirred, and 100% moonshine.

  72. 72
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Mandalay: Oops. :)

  73. 73
    mouse tolliver says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    BTW Sully assures us that Ferguson is not a bigot, because he asked Sully to be his son’s godfather or something

    Back when Mahar still had a show on ABC, you could always count on Sully, who was then an out-and-proud conservative novelty act, to make sweeping negative generalizations about the gay community. He cast himself as “one of the good ones” so he could be a finger-wagging scold to all those other shallow, irresponsible queens.

    But then somebody found Sully’s classified ad where he was seeking anonymous bareback (that would be condom-free) hookups. No fatties!

    He seemed to tone it down after that.

  74. 74
    Tonal Crow says:

    @mouse tolliver: Sullivan has a persistent need to bash hippies, even when they’re correct, as in the runup to Iraq. That said, he’s more introspective than the vast majority of “conservatives” and is not infrequently willing to acknowledge error. So, he’s a mixed bag. We could do a lot worse than to have Republicans become more like Sullivan. But LOL about the barebacking hypocrisy: that’s so Republican.

  75. 75
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There have always been Tories and monarchists in the US. It’s just a matter of how comfortable they are letting their freak flags fly.

  76. 76
    scav says:

    Anglophile: Finds the English great.
    Anglofile: Finds the English grating.
    Anglobhobe: Frightened of the English.
    Anglophobo: Frightened of itinerant English.
    Anglophoebus: Frightened of the English sun (theoretically plausible fear of the unknown, not yet observed in action).

    Scuse me, I seem to be wandering. The idiot’s been sliced and smashed and shredded into rat, pork, and horse filled hamburger by now, but will still be served as supersized Kobe Sir-Loin by many who like their economics fast, cheap, predictable and easy. Rather encouraging still that a) the apparently usual schtick was greeted with a thudding silence in a theoretically friendly venue and b) the vapidness of the apology has gotten the coverage it has.

  77. 77
    Amir Khalid says:

    Off-topic: Malaysian election results.
    220 of 222 Parliamentary seats called. Barisan at 133 seats, Pakatan at a combined 87 seats. Barisan retains power but without a 2/3 majority — essentially the same result as 2008. Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim says Barisan has cheated to win — a accusation that’s been going around for years.

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: How do feel about the results? I read that polling suggested a tighter race.

  79. 79
    chris says:

    while we all died of laughter

    stupid ass motherfucker…..

    Here’s the giveaway….there’s no such thing a a Scottish Tory, the few that are spotted in the wild like Fergie have something seriously perversely wrong with them, and a chip on both shoulders as they say.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Anoniminous: agreed, but that’s not the way free-marketeers, libertarians, and neoliberals think of it. For them markets are zones of freedom, and it’s wrong on a fundamental level to prevent markets from being free, practically limitlessly so. That’s how something amoral like a market can become, in spite of all you rightly say, something moral in a particular kind of imagination that is sadly influential in politics and economics in the English-speaking world.

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:
    Disappointed, but not really surprised. It’s more or less what I expected.

  82. 82
    Sly says:

    @Yutsano:
    The Anglophiles of the Ferguson variety consider the welfare state reforms of the immediate post-war period, of which the NHS could be said to be the centerpiece, the vanguard of British decline; that the first thing socialized medicine cured was that stiff upper lip.

  83. 83

    @FlipYrWhig:
    My read on this was that the Bully Pulpit doesn’t have much power to change congressional minds. I have been informed by our Leftest (as opposed to Leftist) brethren that the real lesson is that Obama didn’t Bully Pulpit hard enough.

  84. 84
    TR says:

    @the Conster:

    Which wedding? Niall is such a firm believer in the institution he’s done it twice.

  85. 85
    Xenos says:

    @TR: @TR: @TR: And he is an atheist, as is his second wife. So maybe this was done to mollify wife #1.

  86. 86
    Bruce S says:

    I harbor no ill will toward Brits – “some of our best actors are…”

    But I don’t like pretense, which Brits pull off with more panache than the typical Kagan, Kristol or, god forbid, habitue of NRO. George Will tries but his intellectual arsenal is limited – he only sounds “smart” in comparison to most of the rest of the people on a This Week panel (Krugman excluded, of course, in that he actually says things that are rooted in research and careful observation as opposed to ideological predilections.) Hitchens actually had an amazing mind – he was incredibly well-read, had remarkable recall and could dash off engaging prose even when his argument was full of shit. I never paid much attention to his opinions (or his then comrade Cockburn) even in his “Nation” days – his political judgement was deeply and consistently flawed, from the youthful Trotskyism to the equally discredited Neo-Neo-Con garbage that he apparently clung to on his death bed. And his atheism was a mirror negative image of the easy-target fundamentalists he hectored – nothing I hadn’t thought of by the age of 16. But he did have one saving grace – he was clearly brilliant in discussion of English literature. Maybe I’m so ignorant in this area that I’m too easily impressed, but I admit to enjoying reading his literary essays, even on authors I knew virtually nothing about. I can’t find anything in Ferguson or Sullivan that makes them the least bit worthwhile.

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    OT: Why is the Village so desperate to blame Obama for the gun legislation failure in the senate?

    The Village isn’t big on the Second Amendment (or “heartland” cultural conservatism in general), but they are big on their elite Republican friends in Washington, so they can’t blame them for the failure of gun control, or admit that they and the heartlanders fused together long ago. So, of course, they blame Obama.

  88. 88
    Bruce S says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Same one she’s lived on for years – Planet Beltway. Cokie Roberts is a total fucking idiot. One particularly gruesome version of Hell would be sitting next to Cokie Roberts at an eternal dinner party.

  89. 89
    Bruce S says:

    @patroclus:

    “Why don’t they deal with his actual ideas?”

    You’re kidding, right? These are the people whose most iconic moment in intellectual response to Keynes was when they discovered a doodle on Arthur Laffer’s napkin. (And most recently they’ve rallied around an Excel spreadsheet “error.” )

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    “Free markets” exist as mental constructs only, Once you stick them in the real world, well, so much for the purity of them.

    It’s funny because that’s what they’re always telling us about constructs like “fairness” and “equality.” I guess it’s different when it’s an abstract construct they like.

  91. 91
    RaflW says:

    FYI I posted the DeLong item in your earlier Niallism thread about 90 mins before this went up.

    You’re welcome to have stumbled across it on your own, also, too, of course.

  92. 92
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @ChrisNYC: Indeed.

    If sexuality and sexual desire is as determinative as Niall Ferguson believes (even if he invokes it in offhand fashion) what does that say about serial philanderer… Niall Ferguson?

  93. 93
    Bruce S says:

    Not to defend Schumpeter’s (relatively tame) “childless” remark re: Keynes, but the rest of these folks are midgets compared to Joseph Schumpeter, who is actually worth engaging and who had some significant insights into the nature of capitalism – including the down sides. This was a low moment for Schumpeter, but nothing less than typical of the rest of them.

    My favorite citation in the deLong post is “William Rees Mogg, the former editor of the Times of London went so far to say that Keynes’s rejection of morality caused him to reject the gold standard…” There’s really nothing one can say about that other than to laugh. In the category of “Not even wrong.”

  94. 94
    Mike in NC says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Niall Ferguson is a serial philanderer? I’m assuming he’ll have Newt Gingrich write the foreword to his next book, both being conservative intellectual giants and all that…

  95. 95
    Bruce S says:

    @bcinaz:

    “Riddle me this: How, what, when or why did macroeconomics turn into a morality play?”

    When it’s visited upon the “little people.” For the rest – the rich and powerful – it’s all just laws of nature…can’t be helped.

  96. 96
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Niall Ferguson is a serial philanderer?

    His ex-wife, Sue Douglas, has a lot of friends in the British press. When the split was first reported, unnamed sources (make up your own mind who they might be) talked about eight affairs in five years. I’ve heard similar gossip going back a lot longer, but Fergie is notoriously litigious, so I’ll stick with what others have reported.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @Bruce S:

    I sometimes think all there is to conservative 1%ers is that they’re bored with life, having never risked, wanted, or been denied anything, and that they see the rest of us – “the little people” – as characters to be played with for their entertainment. The world is their video game, basically.

    (Also my theory of why Mitt Romney ran for president).

  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    @RaflW: DougJ tends to be allergic to hat tips.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    “… while we all died of laughter.”

    DougJ, for how long have you been saving that line?

  100. 100
    DougJ says:

    @RaflW:

    Thanks, I couldn’t remember where I saw it, so I h/t ed you.

  101. 101
    El Cid says:

    It’d be great if more Americans knew about worthwhile interesting UK historian and telegenic TV documentary host Janina Ramirez than space-wasting attention whore pseudo-intellectual Niall Pompousson.

  102. 102
    RaflW says:

    You are a gentleman, DougJ.

  103. 103
    Bruce S says:

    Doug – Obviously you missed this from comments in your first post on this Saturday –

    Bruce S Says:

    “In fairness” to Ferguson, he’s just repeating some shit that anti-Keynesian polemicists of a dickish bent have been using to trash Keynes for years. Here’s Billy Kristol’s mama, Gertrude Himmelfarb, writing in the Neo-Con rag Commentary back in 1985, when Reaganomics was all the rage and there was a full-on attempt to bury the fag Keynes:

    There is a discernible affinity between the (Cambridge intellectual circle) Bloomsbury ethos, which put a premium on immediate and present satisfactions, and Keynesian economics, which is based entirely on the short run and precludes any long-term judgments. (Keynes’s famous remark. “In the long run we are all dead,” also has an obvious connection with his homosexuality – what Schumpeter delicately referred to as his “childless vision.”) The same ethos is reflected in the Keynesian doctrine that consumption rather than saving is the source of economic growth – indeed, that thrift is economically and socially harmful. In The Economic Consequences of the Peace, written long before The General Theory, Keynes ridiculed the “virtue” of saving. The capitalists, he said, deluded the working classes into thinking that their interests were best served by saving rather than consuming. This delusion was part of the age-old Puritan fallacy.

    http://www.facingthechallenge.org/himmelfarb.php

    Unfortunately, even Joseph Schumpeter had nudged up against this line. Ferguson is just repeating some standard Neo-Con, supply-sider shit ginned up by folks who have pretty much been wrong about everything, foreign and domestic, for more than 30 years and who love them some ad hominem to bolster their weak shit.

    May 4th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

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