Monday, October 31, 2011

Comic-book Racism and Nonsense About Adam Smith

James Lewis writes in American Thinker “The Parasite LeftHERE

Retroviruses are like a speedboat full of grinning Somali pirates who go careering hundreds of miles into the Atlantic to take over passing supertankers, by randomly firing off their ancient AK-47's at anybody on board. When they succeed, they get great big ransom payments from Lloyds of London. Everybody's happy, and the pirates go back to Mogadishu and make a lot of little baby pirates.” …

Gordon Brown is a thrifty Scot, 'tis true, but he's also a True Believer in the all-knowing and all-mighty State, which is much more to the point. Adam Smith was also a Scot, but as Professor of Moral Theology -- and therefore a believer in the immortal soul -- Smith would hardly approve of cannibalizing one's loved ones for parts. Adam Smith admired free markets, but only for moral and responsible people.

A typical hyperbolic piece written by a man with a theme into which whatever passes by his attention is fitted.

But themes should be based on facts, especially those that may be checked. Even allowing for slips of the kind that anybody might make in a first draft, consider the racist, comic-book rubbish written by James Lewis quoted above.

Memo to proof-readers [?!]: at American Thinker: Somalia is in East, not west, Africa, and the Somali pirates have a very long was to go to get to the Atlantic. They find the Indian Ocean more convenient for their depredations.

2nd memo to proof readers and facts checkers:

“Adam Smith was also a Scot, but as Professor of Moral Theology -- and therefore a believer in the immortal soul -- …”.

As this is a lynch-pin for James Lewis’ rant, please note that Adam Smith was a professor of moral philosophy from 1751-64 at Glasgow University. He was never a professor “moral theology” (whatever that is supposed to mean).

There is no evidence that Adam Smith believed in an “immortal soul”, indeed there is considerable evidence that he did not so believe – see my paper, “THE HIDDEN ADAM SMITH IN HIS ALLEGED THEOLOGY”, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Volume 33, Number 3, September 2011.

Included in this evidence is the hostility of George Horne, President of Magdalene College, and later the Bishop of Norwich (Horne [Anon.] 1777) who attacked Smith for praising David Hume and, interestingly, for not mentioning in TMS that ‘belief in the soul’s existence and immortality could do no harm, if it did no good’ (Corr. No. 189, 230).

In short, James `Lewis was factually incorrect in his American Thinker article, and should try to do better before he refers to Adam Smith - or the geography of Somalia - next time.



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