Skip to comments.Gore's assault on reason (reviewer: "stunning .. frightening .. bipolar book")
Posted on 06/01/2007 1:58:34 PM PDT by GMMAC
Gore's assault on reason
Peter Foster, Financial Post
Published: Friday, June 01, 2007
The title of Al Gore's latest book, The Assault on Reason, says it all. Illogicalities, non sequiturs, false analogies, fallacies, ad hominem (or rather ad Exxoninem) arguments all tumble forth in profusion from its pages.
But one's Spidey sense feels that something sinister lurks beneath the noble words and the plethora of quotations from Great Men. The book has one obvious target, but isn't piling on to George Bush a little like flogging a dead duck?
Dubya has certainly had his share of issues. In particular, he is in deep doo-doo in Iraq. But according to Mr. Gore, the president is intent on using the war against terror as an excuse to overturn the U.S. Constitution and set up a corporate plutocracy as part of a plot to achieve world "domination."
Mr. Gore foams and bubbles about the absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction and about Abu Ghraib, whose horrors increase with the length of the book. (On page 150, 90% of its inmates are declared to be innocent. By page 208, that figure has grown to 99%.) Mr. Gore rails about the incompetence which failed to pick up the warnings of 9/11, or to prepare for -- or respond adequately to -- the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. These are all very legitimate political issues. But his solution to this welter of government incompetence is to suggest ? more and bigger government! The galvanizing factor that will transmute self-interest and incompetence into collective wisdom is the "climate crisis."
"In rising to meet this challenge," declares Mr. Gore, "we too will find self-renewal and transcendence and a new capacity for vision to see other crises in our time that cry out for solutions: 20 million HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa alone, civil wars fought by children, genocides and famines, the rape and pillage of our oceans and forests, an extinction crisis that threatens the web of life, and tens of millions of our fellow humans dying every year from easily preventable diseases."
One would like to see the organization chart for such an ambitious initiative. But then we already have one. It's called the United Nations.
Mr. Gore spends the first half of his book in a conventional Galbraithian assault on wealth and power. His particular bugbear is that democracy has been subverted by the decline of the printed word -- which allegedly facilitated discourse -- and the rise of television, a "one-way" medium that is controlled by evil corporations in league with a Bush White House. Politics is all about raising the cash for 30-second commercials. However, a newspaper seems pretty "one-way." As does -- come to think about it -- a book. Sure, you can scribble "BS!" in the margins, but you soon run out of lead with a book like this.
What makes these media corporations so lethal is that they can control the programming and the agenda. Thus, presumably, you would never find Al Gore getting on, say, Jon Stewart or David Letterman. And you'd never find the publishing subsidiary of a giant corporation (say, Penguin) from publishing a book by him. OK, well maybe the theory falls down there.
But what makes them really sinister is that they have the insights of professional media manipulators at their disposal. So, let's say they were to publish a book by a guy whose physique now resembles that of Orson Welles or Marlon Brando in their latter years, they'd print a much younger and slimmer picture on the dust jacket, making him look like Superman in civvies. The manipulation! But I digress ?
Anyway, this control over the media explains why George Bush was able to lie about WMDs with no expectation of being caught, and why he is now able to maintain a high popularity rating, and why nobody has ever heard, or complained about, Abu Ghraib. But hang on again. George Bush's ratings are in the basement, and Abu Ghraib could not possibly have evoked more adverse coverage. So doesn't that suggest that Gore's thesis of a massive threat to free speech is, well, crap?
The most stunning -- and frightening -- aspect of Gore's bipolar book is that he constantly calls for more discussion and public input, but when it comes to his obsession, man-made climate change, he declares the debate closed.
Opposition to theories -- sorry, Inconvenient Truths -- about manmade climate change can come only from a Bush White House which -- according to Mr. Gore -- gets all its views from Exxon Mobil.
The suggestion that there can be no intellectually honest opposition to Mr. Gore's alarmism is disturbing, to say the least. Even more worrying is his bizarre claim that merely to posit opposing views amounts to "censorship." But then that's the sort of mindset you're bound to finish up with if you genuinely believe that your opponents are trying to "destroy the habitability of our planet and ruin the prospects of every generation that follows ours."
It also follows if you apply the following logic: the Bush White House didn't see 9/11 coming; it didn't see Katrina coming; it screwed up Iraq; therefore -- since it denies catastrophic man-made climate change theories (which in fact it now actually seems to be signing on to) -- Climate Change must be undeniably real. QED.
But in fact the scientific consensus -- even if it did exist -- wouldn't answer the much more fundamental issues of the lack of economic and political consensus. Mr. Gore declares glibly that "we know what to do." Tell that to the warring factions scrabbling ahead of the upcoming G8 meeting.
The lust for power is astonishingly successful in hiding itself from itself, and projecting its fondest desires on to others. Mr. Gore even warns against those who claim to have exclusive possession of the truth! But the fact is that Mr. Gore does not want a debate; he wants a chorus. He is a much bigger threat to freedom than George W. Bush ever was, or ever could ever be.
Well, he did say it was going to be an “assault on reason,” so everyone was warned.
Gore is insane. I’ve thought that for a long time.
His particular bugbear is that democracy has been subverted by the decline of the printed word -...
Which he single-handedly tries to make-up for with his overly wordy Crazyman manifesto.
Wow. The author seems to have looked the book over in detail.
If Algore was anyone else, he would be in an institution for life.
Its called tranference.
Dems are masters at it.
Loved that article. The quotes from the book are hilarious in their nonsensical absurdity.
Not to mention an in insult to reason!
Al Gore, megalomaniac...
n : a pathological egotist
Main Entry: meg·a·lo·ma·nia
Pronunciation: “me-g&-lO-’mA-nE-&, -ny&
Etymology: New Latin
1 : a mania for great or grandiose performance
2 : a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur
- meg·a·lo·ma·ni·ac /-’mA-nE-”ak/ adjective or noun
- meg·a·lo·ma·ni·a·cal /-m&-’nI-&-k&l/ also meg·a·lo·man·ic /-’ma-nik/ adjective
- meg·a·lo·ma·ni·a·cal·ly /-m&-’nI-&-k(&-)lE/ adverb
What do you expect from a little kid that wa schaufered back and forth to school? Uh, no...that was Kerry? No , it was Gore?
Isolated from dem der Masses can do strange things to a sense of ‘self”.
Al Gore posing as an “intellectual” is MORE of a stretch than saying that Rosie O’Donnell looks better than any woman on the planet in a bikini.
When Al Gore announces he is the Son of God I will not be surprised.
Never has a psuedo-intellectual risen so far in public life, he gives hope to self-obsessed narcissists everywhere. He is no different than a pierced, tattooed, college anarchist listening to Rage Against the Machine wearing his Che’ Guevara shirt, except that we have to listen to his inane ravings.
Probably more like kicking reason square in the 'nads.
I agree. But, like Cindy Sheehan, he is being used for ‘the cause’ When ‘global warming’ finally peters out, he will be tossed aside. And the media will circle the wagons to prevent anyone from reminding us that he was, not only stupid, but NUTS, as well.
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