Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The crybaby philosopher

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  • MxDEJ,

    So, Whyte requests a civilised discussion about racial law and is instead called a "crybaby", "manchild", and accused of throwing a tantrum. Sure, the way he's gone about it is hamfisted and naive, but surely the better way to oppose him is to accept his challenge to be civilised, rather than being a dick about it? This really does seem like one area that New Zealanders can't discuss like grown-ups.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • MxDEJ,

    Also, philosophers _hate_ it when you're calmer and more right* about things than they are.

    * No pun intended

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to MxDEJ,

    but surely the better way to oppose him is to accept his challenge to be civilised, rather than being a dick about it?

    I’m characterising Whyte’s actual behaviour and I don’t see why he gets a free pass from being mocked for that. He is the leader of a political party and I'm really not sure if he's well-suited to the job. You will of course note that I and others have also criticised his arguments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to MxDEJ,

    That hasn't worked well with climate change deniers, and for similar reasons. They, like Mr Whyte, are not basing their arguments in reality. Where is the room for civilised discussion in that?

    The civilised discussion has already been had. It appears Mr Whyte has not wanted to be a part of it.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • MxDEJ, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You will of course note that I and others have also criticised his argument.

    Absolutely. That bit was good to read.

    I'm characterising Whyte's actual behaviour and I don't see why he gets a free pass from being mocked for that.

    How about because civilised, careful, fact-based debate might work a little better without the side-order of name-calling?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth, in reply to Lisa Black,

    Mr Whyte is also a climate change denier. And a piss-poor one, at that.

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • John Small,

    Its rare we see such selfish & petulant attitudes dressed up as coherent argument. The "flaws" he demanded people identify have been clearly identified. Where is his coherent response? Absent: buried so deeply by his own self-image that he can't think straight.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to MxDEJ,

    How about because civilised, careful, fact-based debate might work a little better without the side-order of name-calling?

    because Whyte doesn't deserve the privilege of being taken seriously. The man is a privileged prat right from his hoity toity accent down to his white cracker Matha's Vinyard preppy dress style.

    Maybe if he actually sounded a bit more like a New Zealander and didn't look like he had an enormous carrot permanently stuffed up his arse he'd be taken a bit more seriously.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Gareth,

    But of course. Dear oh dear.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    He's playing the same race card that Don Brash played and he is playing it to the same audience, that percentage of New Zealanders who still think Maori are skiving con artists ripping off Pakeha. Packaged up with that "we are all one people" nativity.

    To call it a civilized discussion is bollocks.

    The tragedy is Jamie Whyte will still have his supporters and they will vote for ACT.

    I think the current , hostile, response is about right and deserved.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Dr Whyte's problem is that when he loses the argument, he resorts to the hoary old persecution complex and shifting the goalposts. If he wants a reasoned debate, he seriously needs to practise what he preaches.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to MxDEJ,

    How about because civilised, careful, fact-based debate might work a little better without the side-order of name-calling?

    Fair enough. The problem is, when Mr Whyte gets on the end of careful and reasonable objections to his assertions (I hesitate to call them arguments), he either ignores them or tells his opponents some version of 'you can't think straight'.
    As someone who (long ago, far away :)) once took philosophy seriously, Whyte is an embarrassment. What I've seen of his economic, legal and social 'arguments' are shallow, shrill, poorly constructed and fact-free.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    How about because civilised, careful, fact-based debate might work a little better without the side-order of name-calling?

    As someone with an actual philosophy degree, I'm ashamed that Whyte is so tenuous in his arguments. If you are going to state a position, it is incumbent on you to bring facts to a debate. Assertions, no matter how clean and simple they are, remain assertions until they are either proved, or disproved. If you are going to make a strong claim (which a comparison to pre-revolutionary France and of strong Pakeha disadvantage is) then you need strong facts.

    Whyte has no facts to bring. Instead, he is the kind of person who deals in substance-free hypotheticals.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Michael J. Parry, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    because Whyte doesn’t deserve the privilege of being taken seriously. The man is a privileged prat right from his hoity toity accent down to his white cracker Matha’s Vinyard preppy dress style.

    Maybe if he actually sounded a bit more like a New Zealander and didn’t look like he had an enormous carrot permanently stuffed up his arse he’d be taken a bit more seriously.

    I’m not going to defend Whyte, because defending the indefensible is mugs game.

    However that is a terrible statement. What the hell does a “New Zealander” look and sound like to you because to me it sounds and looks like anybody from New Zealand. Dismissing someone over their looks and sounds is a bigger mugs game than trying to defend the indefensible.

    Dannevirke/Wellington • Since Feb 2012 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Whyte is engaged in a disingenuous exercise, where he acts as a politician then demands to be treated as a philosopher. Politics is a contact sport, and he's aggressively engaging in a very disgusting and immoral political exercise, of course he's going to get aggressive responses.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Bradford,

    I have postgrad philosophy degree too, and his arguments are so obviously shit that it's actually embarrassing. I doubt Russell had to put a lot of effort into dismantling them here. He deserves ridicule, and the fact that he taught philosophy at a prestigious university only reinforces my growing prejudice against prestigious universities.

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    he acts as a politician then demands to be treated as a philosopher.

    Philosophy can be a bloody affray too. I can't agree with those who say Whyte should 'go back to academia'. He doesn't, prima facie, seem capable enough.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Whyte is an embarrassment.

    plus his parties relationship with National and thus gift of a seat is a huge insult to all New Zealanders

    If anything Whyte and his outlandish notions of rational argument deserve to be mocked more, the guys an idiot

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to MxDEJ,

    but surely the better way to oppose him is to accept his challenge to be civilised, rather than being a dick about it?

    No -- I take serious people making serious (and preferably fact-based) arguments seriously, even if I vehemently disagree with their conclusions. Because I don't have any monopoly on wisdom and insight, and who knows? They might even change my mind or at least nuance my position a bit, which are all very good things.

    But trying to rationally engage with the fundamentally irrational and/or unwilling to take good faith criticism without a meltdown? Sorry, don't have the time or the energy for that anymore.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Michael J. Parry,

    However that is a terrible statement. What the hell does a “New Zealander” look and sound like to you because to me it sounds and looks like anybody from New Zealand. Dismissing someone over their looks and sounds is a bigger mugs game than trying to defend the indefensible.

    Thanks, Michael. You said it better (and more politely) than I was going to.

    But I would note the irony, which seems to have escaped Tom, that our intellectual and cultural life has been vastly enriched by people who looked and sounded NOTHING like "New Zealanders" (whatever the hell that means) and an awful lot like refugees from Europe with their weird accents, funny clothes and exotic ways.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • MxDEJ, in reply to Michael J. Parry,

    What the hell does a “New Zealander” look and sound like to you because to me it sounds and looks like anybody from New Zealand. Dismissing someone over their looks and sounds is a bigger mugs game than trying to defend the indefensible.

    Bingo.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’ve been posting this around all over the place lately, and can’t remember where it came to me from (was it here? If so, oops, sorry.) but it’s relevant and I really like it so I’m going to post it again.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Yup, indirectly characterizing the arguments as ad hominem really only works when none of the substance of the argument was addressed (obviously it was), and that there was an irrelevant description of someone's personal characteristics (such as their accent - I mean, really? I don't sound like a rool kiwi myself these days). There's nothing wrong with describing someone's actual observed behaviour as "crybaby" and tantrum-throwing.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Petyt, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Agreed.
    And thanks Russell for a great post.

    Japan • Since Apr 2014 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    I think Jamie Whyte is right to a degree in that in a ideal world these policies shouldn't exist. But the important part he fails to see is that we don't live in an ideal world.

    We live in a world where the market isn't always right and the privileged take advantage of the disadvantaged.

    Mr Whyte also fails to understand the meaning of privilege in his own speech. He says that Maori have legal privilege but this is privilege that has been given by those in power. Any other examples of privilege he talks about seem to be privilege taken by those in power. Yet he sees no difference.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

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