Thursday, 7 December, 2017 – 13:01
This blog was originally published as ” OK. Call me a contrarian if you want but you are wrong.” with “The falsely accused contrarian and the bubble people.” as a subtitle. In February 2021, this was reversed when the blog was recorded for a BLOG/cast.
Listen to the BLOG/cast free: at Financial Crime Broadcasting .com
I’ve been called many things over time – usually by people who wanted to make me feel inferior. Generally, it hasn’t worked: either they are telling the truth, in which case it has no impact or they are lying in which case they are beneath contempt and merely trying to make themselves look important at my expense. But of late, one word has been applied to me more than once: I am, apparently, a contrarian. Actually, I’m not – but if calling me that makes you feel better, go ahead. But you are wrong.
The Cambridge English Dictionary (the Oxford version is far too American to call itself English, these days) describes “Contrarian” as “someone such as a writer or politician who likes to disagree with other people and [to] express opinions that are unpopular.”(1)
It describes “populist” as “representing or relating to the ideas and opinions of ordinary people.”(2) The “Left” who are trying to make “populist” sound like a dirty word might like to remember that definition.
It’s strange: in a world that some claim is racing towards globalisation, many people exist in their own bubble world, where only those like them are allowed and is, therefore, exactly the opposite of global. While geographically without obvious limit, their ability to think, analyse and respond is hampered by the fact that only opinions that match their own are admitted.
We are told that the world aims to be more inclusive – but it’s only inclusive in those areas that are currently trendy – race, sexuality, being prime examples.
But here’s the most interesting thing. The same dictionary defines “silent majority” as “a large number of people who have not expressed an opinion about something.” We don’t know when the term “Silent Majority” was coined – although its first relatively recent high-profile use was by US President Nixon in 1969 it’s pretty certain he didn’t think it up. Some commentators say that it was in fairly common (that word is probably not correct) use in the 19th Century to refer to the total number of dead humans since man first appeared. But it’s clear that the term was used in its current sense for at least 100 years before Nixon and, possibly, much longer.
It is interesting that there is some obvious correlation between “the silent majority” and “populist.” Yet, the bubble-dwellers don’t see that. The bubble-people see their own highly selective media, have their views formed for them by a remote algorithm of the “news agenda” of their chosen media outlets. They accept the views of supposed experts in international bodies or large countries without questioning them, because those people are bubble-adjacent, or even have overlap. They think within the bubble, they don’t think outside the bubble.
One might imagine that that the bubble would become bigger, but it doesn’t. The bubble just fills up and its walls become ever stronger. If a stray thought tries to enter, it’s turned away. “Halt who goes there? Someone who challenges the new orthodoxy that is the only acceptable thinking in here? No, you can’t come in.”
It’s intellectual apartheid. It’s discrimination by those who follow fashion. They would have been punks – but only a year after punk had become mainstream. They drive BMWs because someone told them that’s what thrusting young executives drive; the man with the Alfa Romeo is weird, they think.