The bad ideas file
Excellent stuff (as usual) from Fred Halliday. The world’s twelve worst ideas.
Number nine: We live in a “post-feminist” epoch. The implication of this claim, supposedly analogous to such terms as “post-industrial”, is that we have no more need for feminism, in politics, law, everyday life, because the major goals of that movement, articulated in the 1970s and 1980s, have been achieved. On all counts, this is a false claim: the “post-feminist” label serves not to register achievement of reforming goals, but the delegitimation of those goals themselves.
Really. The idea that feminism has nothing left to do – what a joke. Tell that to women in India, or Pakistan, or Niger, just for a start.
Number seven: Religion should again be allowed, when not encouraged, to play a role in political and social life. From the evangelicals of the United States, to the followers of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to the Islamists of the middle east, the claim about the benefits of religion is one of the great, and all too little challenged, impostures of our time. For centuries, those aspiring to freedom and democracy, be it in Europe or the middle east, fought to push back the influence of religion on public life. Secularism cannot guarantee freedom, but, against the claims of tradition and superstition, and the uses to which religion is put in modern political life, from California to Kuwait, it is an essential bulwark.
Secularism cannot guarantee freedom but it certainly is a start, and its absence is a near-guarantee of unfreedom.
Number one: The world’s population problems, and the spread of Aids, can be solved without the use of condoms. This is not only the most dangerous, but also the most criminal, error of the modern world. Millions of people will suffer, and die premature and humiliating deaths, as a result of the policies pursued in this regard through the United Nations and related aid and public-health programmes. Indeed, there is no need to ask where the first mass murderers of the 21st century are; we already know, and their addresses besides: the Lateran Palace, Vatican City, Rome, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. Timely arrest and indictment would save many lives.
Yeah. And note how the three link up – religion playing a huge role in political and social life, religio-male domination, and extra suffering and death on a massive scale caused by the combination. Three sucky ideas creating pointless stupid misery. And yet people wonder why atheists won’t just be quiet.