Sunday, 6 January 2008

Inversions & Deceptions

Every so often I run across something that leads me to exclaim why on Earth was I not aware of this before now?. Such happened this morning when I followed a link on the new Libertarian Party UK's forums to an essay at a blog called Inversions & Deceptions.

Inversions & Deceptions is the blog of Fabian Tassano, an economist and libertarian thinker & writer. His book, which I have ordered and will write a full article on in due course, is entitled 'Mediocracy: Inversions and Deceptions in an Egalitarian Culture'.

A full definition of "mediocracy" is provided in an essay linked to from the blog and dated December 2007 (Link). I shall not provide an excerpt from it here, because I recommend that it be read in full. It's not long, and when you reach the end you'll have enough information to decide whether to look further into the theory.

Similarly to Oliver James' much hyped 'affluenza' theory, 'mediocracy' is just that - a theory (the difference, and stated reason I come across as having such contempt for the former, is that as far as I can tell unlike James, Tassano doesn't claim scientific backing for the 'mediocracy' theory).

It is also true that, although a certain conservatism comes through occasionally, much of Tassano's thinking fits very well with my own set of opinions and preconceptions. Quite a lot of what I read on his blog today concorded with one or more previous posts here on Question That, or with posts I have half-formed in my mind but haven't put fingers to keyboard on yet.

For instance, Tassano's spot-on statement on freedom of speech (Link, under 'Intellectual Taboos' header):

"It should be obvious by now, to anyone who cares, that the principle of free speech is being gradually eroded in the West. Either by straightforward ditching, or — more subtly — by redefining it in ways designed to legitimise the prohibition of ideologically incorrect viewpoints."

Tassano on collectivism (Link):

"Collectivism is the belief system of the middle class elitist, who is perpetually buttressed by his privileged background and totally insulated from ordinary citizens. As social critics [George Monbiot] and I both know what this means.
Self-interested as libertarians (like everyone else) may be, the true social parasites are those who demand collectivism for other people while being themselves relatively protected from its consequences."

and Tassano on ideology (Link):
"I believe I’d find any dominant ideology oppressive and want to criticise it. All dominant ideologies tend to obstruct cultural progress. Ostensibly it’s progress in the direction that is most likely to undermine them which they obstruct. But I think more generally they tend to obstruct all progress, even that which could support their outlook. If I was living in the late Victorian period I would probably be railing against the repressive effect of Christian ideology."

The mediocracy FAQ explains that the book was written to be accessible and "at least a little humorous". One of the central proclamations is that the 'mediocracy' has a tendency to redefine key terms (as Tassano puts it on the blog under 'the concept', "a key weapon of the mediocratic agenda is the Orwellian redefinition of words and ideas."). Here are a few of my favourite Mediocracy daffynitions:

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