Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The strange, solipsistic world of Jeremy Corbyn... the "nirvana fallacy" revisited

I mentioned an excellent New Statesman article about Jeremy Corbyn and the nirvana fallacy last October - 'The nirvana fallacy, Denis Healey, and "Toy Town Trot" Jeremy Corbyn'. It's been impossible to avoid the old twit on television in recent days, what with the party conference officially marking the end of Labour as an electable force in British politics, and - presumably because he's really dim and mentally rigid -  it seems he has learned absolutely nothing. To recap, the nirvana fallacy is the belief that we always have a binary choice in politics between messy, imperfect reality and the perfect world which exists only in our imagination: once you have rejected the imperfect world and shared your vision of a perfect world, your work is done. Here's how Ian Leslie put it in his  excellent New Statesman article:

"...the nirvana fallacy makes you stupid. It stops you from doing the hard, gritty thinking about how to improve the world we have, since, faced with a series of complex, imperfect options, you overleap them to reach the sunlit uplands of an ideal scenario. Soon, you forget how to think about the real world at all. 
Should we be making hard choices about public spending? No, because we want a high-growth economy in which only the rich pay more tax. Should we reform the way in which the NHS allocates resources, or schools are run? No, because we want a country in which everyone, regardless of background, receives the best healthcare and education, for free. Thank you for the applause, comrades."
I was reminded of Corbyn's penchant for this babyish approach when he was asked about the difficulty he - a lifelong CND supporter - would face leading a Trident-supporting party. This was Steptoe's reply:
"I have no sympathy whatsoever with nuclear weapons. That's very well known, that's been my life and I will continue that debate and that discussion. And I recognise that I have to lead this party in a direction that will bring about a nuclear free world."
Listen, you silly old fool, nobody who isn't the sort of deranged left-wing dictator you habitually champion or the sort of Jew-hating terrorist Muslim you see as your "friends" feels any "sympathy" for nuclear weapons. And while the vision of a "nuclear free world" undoubtedly gives you a warm tingle below the Mason-Dixon line, a world without nuclear weapons would probably be a world where even more disputes would result in conventional warfare - i.e. more Bosnian Wars and the sort of horrors being visited on the Middle East right now. (Strangely, one of my political heroes, Ronald Reagan, was similarly steadfast in his anthropomorphic hatred of nukes, and wanted to rid the USSR and the United States of their nuclear arsenals - luckily Mrs. Thatcher intervened and explained to him how such a move would leave Western Europe terrifyingly vulnerable to invasion by the Red Army, and the Gipper eventually backed down.) Not feeling "sympathy" for nuclear weapons doesn't provide you with a reason for ditching ours while several spectacularly nasty fascist regimes possess them - and when, thanks to Barack Obama, Iran's theocratic dictatorship will soon have them.

Corbyn was at it again when he was asked whether he wasn't turning his party into a leadership cult: "I'm not in favour of cults of personality and I don't encourage them." Yes, you ancient, bearded loon - nevertheless, here in the real world, the Labour Party has turned into a personality cult. If he's genuinely not in favour of personality cults, this must worry him deeply - so, what the hell is he doing about it? Not encouraging something is very far from the same thing as actively discouraging something. Or is he simply too thick - or delusional - to understand the difference, or to understand that his own precious, personal attitudes are of absolutely no consequence unless they result in action?

As for anti-Semitism, the Dear Leader told the conference,“This party always has and always will fight against prejudice and hatred of Jewish people with every breath in our body.” And yet anti-Semitism has been increasingly rife ever since Corbyn was elected to the leadership last year, and he was caught on camera exchanging pleasantries with the knuckle-headed activist whose heckling had earlier led to a female Jewish Labour MP to leave a press conference announcing soon-to-be Baroness Chakrabarti's disgraceful whitewash report on anti-Semitism within the party. In Corbyn's world, simply saying you're against anti-Semitism (or thuggery or misogyny or hatred or whatever your core supporters are up to this week) is the same as actually doing something about it. But that would mean descending to the level of reality, facing the truth, and getting your hands dirty.  Corbyn - and his nasty chums - indulge in the sort of magical thinking most of us leave behind at puberty: when it comes to his political development, Jeremy Corbyn's evidently still waiting for his balls to drop.

Labrokes have apparently been offering odds of 10/1 against Corbyn becoming the next prime minister. There were no takers. Not one. That's reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment