False Sameness

The presumption that different things are in essence the same. This is what passes for acute insight—sweeping away the detail and getting to the heart of the matter. It is pub certainty which, in the morning, you unfortunately still believe: all uses of armed forces are forms of militarism; violent videos are no different from bedtime folk tales; the present climate change is the same as previous wobbles in the climate; street crime now is the same as it was in the eighteenth century; a defence of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 means defending the idea of invading Iran in 2008. A fabric of argument may be woven by establishing agreement that one particular thing is bad, and then asserting that everything else that you are opposed to is nothing but another version of the same thing.F13

The ancient story of The Princess and the Pea has been turned on its head. The princess’ judgment (being that of a true princess) was so refined and discriminating that she was kept awake all night in discomfort, owing to the pea that had been placed beneath the twenty mattresses of her bed. That was then. The twenty-first century princess’ judgment has been coarsened and dulled. She sleeps peacefully, whatever. To her, a bed of nails and a pile of soft mattresses are just the same.F14

 

Related entries:

False Opposite, Hyperbole, Slippery Slope.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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