About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Monday, December 07, 2009

My considered opinion on Robert Wright's new article in Foreign Policy

I take no delight in the impolite spite of Robby Wright. His screed is in need of some serious mothereffin’ rigour. It’s got vigour, but I figure that it’s not worth a widow’s mite – no! It’s kind of a slow bleed of real thought. It’s caught up short in the nets of error. It’s trite ... a kind of thinking-lite. Yo! An unpedigreed stampede of special pleading for creeds and misdeeds and the seeds of religious terror ... all keyed to mislead. It’s like Wright has smoked too much weed or got too greedy, and now he’s a satellite. An acolyte. A parasite on superstition. So ... he’s turned off the light of reason, looking for a coming season when it gets him a treasonous prize that he jealously eyes, an unrighteous type of commission. His ambition has made him unwise: so now he’s a temporiser, when he ought to be a despiser and a pulveriser. A mighty criticiser. No, no. It’s a hideous sight, a benighted blight that we need to fight without inhibition. If we proceed, we're guaranteed to succeed and lead to its demolition!


Wonderist said...

Bravo, Russell!

This is by far the best response to Wright and his kind that I could possibly imagine. An indignant, intelligent, well-rhymed rap. If you could put this to a beat, or find a rapper to do it for you, this kind of critique of the ridiculous would consistently kick ass on YouTube. You don't even need music, just a talented rapper doing it a cappella. I'd love to hear/see it. That would be so friggin awesome.

Janet's Dad said...

Russell Bullworth

Deep down in places he doesn't want to talk about at parties, Wright wants you on that wall, he needs you on that wall. He uses words like moral, direction, and purpose, to us these these are words we summon for ourselves in a life spent creating something. He now uses them as a punchline.

Men like Wright rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom provided by men who have questioned the institutions and ideas that enslaved mankind, and he now earns a living questioning the manner in which we do this.

I would rather he just said thank you and moved on.

NewEnglandBob said...

Wright=Wrong, rinse repeat.

Russell Blackford said...

More fun than writing limericks.

Eamon Knight said...

I note that both Russell and PZ Myers get a mention in comments on that article.

Steve Zara said...

Brilliant Russell!

Anonymous said...

Please don't insult those of use that may smoke too much weed. The nonsense that Robert Wright spews can only be the product of non-serious thought. His drivel reminds me of people who take the idea that words have no inherit meaning to the extreme. Despite acting as if words have no meaning, they interpret the meaning of your words according to whatever made-up definition that resides in their heads only. And for some reason they don't hesitate to use loaded words that can mean vastly different things to people that are only slightly different. I can never tell if it's just lazy, disingenuous or both.