Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Emperor's New Clothes - Peeping Tom

From today's Kaieteur News:
Remember the story of the Emperor's New Clothes? Well, I was reminded of that story this past week when Stella tried to escape the embarrassment caused by her bluff about the political philosophy of Hobbes.

The Peeper had seen through her superficiality a long time ago and had gently suggested that she steer clear of political analysis. Her writings indicated how little she knew about these matters. It was not, the Peeper advised, her forte. She would be better served, was the advice, by sticking to her field of competence.

The adorable Curly Stella however felt that she could bluff her way through and escape with it. She was wrong.

Her exposure came when she began to plug what she called, Hobbes Theory of Chaos. There is no such theory in political philosophy attributed to Hobbes and at first when she wrote about it, the Peeper allowed it to pass not wishing to embarrass her. But she persisted when in another of her fluffy columns she asked the leaders of the Alliance for Change what they thought about Hobbes's philosophy of controlling a state through chaos.

I could not allow this misrepresentation to go without commented. Stella was attempting to put forward the possibility that the PPP was encouraging chaos to keep the nation in a suspended state of confusion so that the people will constantly cry out for the government to intervene.

She is entitled to her opinion and even to develop such conspiracy theories; what she will not be allowed to escape with is the pronouncement that this action of keeping a state in confusion in order for state intervention is something that Thomas Hobbes proposed. Hobbes's political thought makes no such prescriptions and Stella is bluffing when she tries to pass off her possible theory as having some solid philosophical basis. In so doing she has once again exposed her shortcomings.

I also wish to assure her that neither does Hobbesian philosophy state that the more bestial a society becomes, the more it will tolerate state intervention in almost every aspect of social life. This is a complete inversion of Hobbesian thought.

I will urge Stella, therefore, to entertain herself in such discourses with that other fellow who said that it was Marx that developed the theory of “materialist dialectics.” Stella will be in suitable company with the Raj. She may even find his receding hairline attractive. Leave the Peeper's baldhead alone, Stella! You have my permission to fantasize about it, but please do not entertain the thought of rubbing it!

And please do not flatter yourself that you can make Robert Persaud tizzy with what you write. You may give him a good laugh but certainly not food for thought.

I wonder, Stella, just who is being naughty when you wrote that the Peeper did not clean up the issue of whether or not an apology had been offered to you? I never accused you of lying; I asked that you provide the proof that an apology was offered and you did this. I then wrote in my column of Monday January 30, 2006 that Stella had produced the evidence that an apology was tendered to her. I am therefore disappointed that on this score you can say that the Peeper was naughty.

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