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How to spot the next mania Each new panic follows the same playbook

(ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)


April 9, 2024   6 mins

In the late Eighties and Nineties, the psychiatric profession became infatuated with “recovered memory”, which was conceived in the US but also captivated Europe, including Britain. Practitioners claimed that patients sexually abused as children would naturally repress any recollection of their suffering as too painful, but therapists could employ specialised techniques to retrieve these terrible experiences and so heal the patients’ trauma. As a profusion of books, articles and documentaries cultivated a larger cultural fascination, the recovered memory juggernaut resulted in countless adults “remembering” early childhood abuse, usually by parents. Patients would exhume recollections of having been subject to parental rape or oral sex when they were babies. Accusations followed. Families were torn apart.

In hindsight, it’s now accepted that the therapists were frequently implanting these “memories” in their suggestible patients. Recovered memory was a social mania — a.k.a. a moral panic, social contagion, mass formation psychosis, or mass hysteria. In the throes of the popular delirium, many people found this exercise in psychic archaeology wholly convincing (and no little titillating). For a few years, recovered memories were even accepted as factual testimony in American courts. Only from a distance does the sordid psychological dowsing look barmy.

For me, since roughly 2012, what has therefore been more disturbing than the content of any given hysteria is our continuing susceptibility to collective derangement, which can spread and take hold with alarming rapidity in a digital era. To examine the unnerving phenomenon of the communal fever, often destructive but rarely contested at its height, in my most recent novel Mania I invented my own. Suddenly everyone accepts that all humans are equally intelligent, and “cognitive discrimination” is “the last great civil rights fight”. In other words, there’s no such thing as stupid. Because that assertion is itself stupid, my concocted mania seems apt.

Within the astonishingly short time frame of 10 years, I count four real-life collective crazes: transgenderism, #MeToo, Covid lockdowns (which spawned sub-crazes over masks and vaccines), and Black Lives Matter. I also worry we’re already in the grip of social mania number five.

Take trans. Gender-identity disorder was not that long ago an extraordinarily rare psychiatric diagnosis largely constrained to men. Abruptly circa 2012 — on the heels of such a successful crusade for gay rights and even gay marriage that homosexuality became passĂ© — a profusion of television documentaries hit our screens about little boys who wore dresses and played with dolls. Fast-forward to the present, and the renamed diagnosis has exploded by thousands of percent across the West and now pertains abundantly to girls. Teachers tell toddlers that they have to decide whether they’re a girl or a boy or something in-between. We’re subjecting children to powerful, life-altering experimental drugs and surgically removing healthy breasts and genitals, even at the cost of permanent sexual dysfunction and infertility. “Some people are born in the wrong body” has become a truism, which sounds to me as medically credible as phrenology or bloodletting.

The social mania displays a few consistent characteristics. First and foremost, it never seems like a social mania at the time. In the thick of a widespread preoccupation, its precepts simply seem like the truth. Trans women are women; get over it. Or: masculinity is toxic; virtually all women have been subject to sexual torment and male abuse of power; regarding any accusations they make, no matter how far-fetched or petty, women must be believed. Or: Covid-19 is so lethal, and such a threat to our endurance as a species, that we’ve no choice but to shut down our whole economies and abdicate our every civil liberty to contain the disease. Or: all Western countries are “systemically racist”; all white people are genetically racist; the police are all racist (even if they’re black) and should be defunded or abolished; the only remedy for “structural racism” is anti-meritocratic, over-compensatory racial quotas in hiring and education.

While the seeds of a mania have often been planted earlier, for most ordinary people it comes out of nowhere. Transgenderism rocketed to a cultural fetish over a matter of  months. After one fully fledged creep was exposed as a serial sex abuser, #MeToo spread on Twitter like potato blight. Literally overnight, citizenries in March 2020 took it for granted that their “liberal democracies” could justifiably deny them freedom of movement, assembly, association, press and even speech, while many became eager enforcers of the chaotic, despotic, and sometimes positively silly new regime. It took only a few days for George Floyd’s death to trigger huge protest marches all over the world. This hyperbolic response to a single undeserved killing in a one mid-sized American city was partially fed by the pent-up frustrations of whole populations under house arrest during Covid. But for Koreans to troop down the streets of Seoul chanting, “Black lives matter!” when the country has hardly any black people was insensible. Likewise, Britons chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” when their constabulary is unarmed. Moreover, all these recent examples illustrate how moral panics have become more international in scope than ever before.

“While the seeds of a mania have often been planted earlier, for most ordinary people it comes out of nowhere.”

Manias are fuelled by emotion. The cult of trans has capitalised on our yearning to seem enlightened and compassionate.  It has been presented as the logical next step after gay rights, the movement plays on our craving to feel ultra-contemporary. #MeToo both fed off and promulgated resentment, self-pity, and vengeance; in standing up to abuse of power, it tempted some women to abuse their own power to ruin men’s lives. Covid lockdowns stirred primitive terror of death and contagion, until we came to view other people as mere vectors of disease. BLM stimulated the nascent Christian proclivities for guilt, repentance, and penitence even in the secular, while offering black people opportunity to vent frustration, self-righteous fury, and even hatred. All manias thrive on our desire to be included by our own herd and on our anxiety about being exiled — or, if you will, about being UnHerded.

Because a proper mania brooks no dissent. In its grip, everyone believes the same thing, says the same thing, and even uses the same language. A quasi-religious fervour makes anyone outside the bubble of shared obsession seem heretical, dangerous, insane or outright evil. Opponents of lockdowns were granny killers; the unvaccinated were pariahs who shouldn’t be allowed to fly, eat out or obtain healthcare, while some argued “anti-vaxxers” should be imprisoned or put to death. Their rhetoric and affect often violent, transactivists tar critics as murderers; not long ago, writing a single discouraging word about the mutilation of children would end your career. (Self-protectively, I kept my own journalistic mouth shut for a good four years; most journalists are still prudently bumping along on the trans bandwagon.) Women who expressed reservations about the indiscriminate sweep of #MeToo were traitors to their sex. In 2020, even tweeting “All lives matter” got you sacked.

Manias are prone to grow increasingly extreme, accumulating evermore casualties before collapsing from their contradictions. Stalin’s show trials, Cambodia’s killing fields, Mao’s cultural revolution, obviously Nazism; the eugenics movement in the West (which we like to forget), the rage for lobotomies, and the paranoia about Satanism in day-care centres and the contagion of multiple personality disorder of the Nineties — all these misguided infatuations got worse before they imploded.

Hula hoops were harmless, but most manias are malign. The trans movement has warped primary school education, demented our culture with confusion over biological reality, condemned thousands of children to painful surgery and pharmaceutical side-effects, encroached on women’s privacy, and corrupted female sports. #MeToo contaminated relations between the sexes with such mistrust that it may have alone lowered the Western birth rate, while destroying the careers of countless men whose sins were at most venial. Covid lockdowns ravaged our economies, fuelled inflation, and exploded sovereign debt, while damaging the prospects of a generation of school children. BLM has exacerbated racial animosity, demonised meritocracy, and fostered a wasteful, parasitical managerial class of DEI enforcers whom it will be laborious to get shed of.

Yet both the priests and disciples of moral panics are driven by good intentions. They genuinely believe they are doing God’s work. Aggressively virtuous, “wokeness” is one big bundle of mania.

Some hysterias die an easier death than others. Although the fragile, whiny accuser of a US Supreme Court nominee was once heralded as awesomely “courageous”, Christine Blasey Ford’s recent memoir has drawn weary disdain. Ergo, #MeToo is over. Nevertheless, a social frenzy seldom subsides because its agitators announce they were addled, just as the masses of ordinary people caught up in the derangement seldom acknowledge having been led astray. Everyone simply moves on, only to become consumed by something else.

There’s rarely an identifiable point at which a mania is debunked (barring a world war or counterrevolution). Few will recant, much less apologise to the victims of their excesses. A funny amnesia sets in, as forgetfulness is more palatable than shame; the Chinese have simply erased the cultural revolution from their history books. Occasionally, when folks outside the dogmatic bubble prosecute, the cheerleaders of utter tosh are called to account. We did have Nuremburg, and the belated Pol Pot trials in Cambodia. By contrast, the UK’s farcical Covid inquiry is conducted by the same establishment it’s investigating. The subsequent report may criticise single politicians for not having locked down sooner, but it can’t conclude that the lockdowns were a cataclysmic mistake, lest practically everyone at the top be implicated.

Once manias die down, most people pretend they never believed these things to begin with. Having contracted Covid five or six times post-vaccination, multiply boosted mRNA fanatics aren’t prone to advertise their vicious denunciation of the unvaccinated only two or three years ago — any more than recovered memory patients are inclined to advertise that they destroyed their relationship with their parents over an erroneous psychiatric fad. We like to think that we’re “modern” (and what peoples in the present have ever fancied themselves otherwise?) and that we base our beliefs on fact. But we’re just as prey to mass delusions as we ever were.

Accordingly, how’s this for mania number five. It isn’t a mania; it’s just the truth: check. It’s suddenly all anyone in the media seems to talk about, and they use all the same language: check. It’s powered by emotion: check. It brooks no dissent, refuses to acknowledge there’s even a debate to be had, and doghouses all sceptics as evil “deniers” who will bring about the end of world: check. It’s malign, getting increasingly extreme, and is driven by the very best of intentions: check, check, check. I’m not about to get into the argument here, but the escalating hysteria over climate change — or the climate “emergency”, climate “crisis”, or climate “collapse” — displays all the markers, does it not?


Lionel Shriver is an author, journalist and columnist for The Spectator. Her new book, Mania, is published by the Borough Press.


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michael harris
michael harris
3 months ago

And all the while, in the societies given to manias, birth rates collapse. The culture of death?

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

I’m not sure. In Ancient Rome, the birth rate also fell, but I did not hear about panics of this kind there. Rather, this is due to the influence of the Internet, which, with falling birth rates, enhances women’s natural tendency to mass psychosis. Take a closer look at all the epidemics of recent years. Each time, women are their most active participants, raising the degree of psychosis to the limit, and this tendency is expressed more clearly the more rights they have in a particular country and the fewer children they have per capita.

michael harris
michael harris
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Birth rates fall. Manias continue. One doesn’t cause the other either way. They are both – what’s the clever word – epiphenomena.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

Nothing like this. They are interconnected. The fewer children a woman has, the more actively she participates in public life and the more actively she brings emotions into this life, which, mutually reinforcing, become irrational. The same can be said about young people, but men are much less prone to hysterics.

Bruni Schling
Bruni Schling
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

I think Sigmund Freud would love you. I

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

So true, men are so calm, so rational, they never shout or swear or murder their families or engage in coercive control or shoot up their schoolmates or start wars or stone women for adultery or throw gay men off roofs or lynch folk they don’t like or ram cars in road rage incidents or behead aid workers on camera or kill maim and and rape over a thousand people peacefully enjoying an music festival. No, men don’t do these things because they are so calm and rational and not prone to hysterics. Sorry no, men DO do these things. It’s not hysteria, it’s TESTERIA,

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It’s not a total answer but it may be interesting – given some of the examples you raise – when they’re not killing people, there is a peculiar docility, even womanliness, to Arab men.

Terry Raby
Terry Raby
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

During evolutionary time females selected for these qualities in males – sexual selection. Recent female dominance in social production (including universities, media) moves society towards emotional safety due to greater female empathy and away from truth seeking. The pathology appears to be females under 30 without babies – a situation unprecedented not only for humans but in the last 4 billion years of life on earth.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
3 months ago
Reply to  Terry Raby

They still do. We’re still in “evolutionary time”.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Actually he has a point, if a somewhat colourfully put one, that women are generally more neurotic than men. It’s one of the few big five personality traits where there are significant differences between the sexes.

Nick Gilbert
Nick Gilbert
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Anyone who thinks El Uro. Is a crank has only to listen to Woman’s Hour to change their. minds. ” Behaviours”, “Learnings” the full vocabulary of the semi- educated on full display. Wo-mania central.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Say what? Birth rates are declining across the globe. China has amongst the lowest in the world. I doubt the feminist movement is burning up the CCP.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“I doubt the feminist movement is burning up the CCP.”
Why would you doubt that? It was a foundational principle of Maoism (indeed of all the totalizing Communist revolutionaries) to attack the bonds of familial love, to turn women into units of economic production, and to undermine the natural authority structure of the family. Only the state knows how to raise a child, only the state has any authority, only the state can help you, protect you, love you.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Except in, you know, high birth rate countries. All of Africa, south east Asia, Gaza even.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

The only countries with high birth rates are countries where women have no control over their own fertility and marital rape is not a crime.

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The remaining countries with high birth rates have low rates of industrialization.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The reason for the plummeting birth rate is totally different – it was 40 years of the one child policy combined with Chinese culture.

Sylvia Volk
Sylvia Volk
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

A few years back, many men in Africa were in a panic because they believed witches could steal their genitals. Like pickpocketing? But far more dire for the victim! I don’t think that female psychosis was the major factor in that one.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Sylvia Volk

In parts of south east Asia there are regular outbreaks of shrinking p***s anxiety. Usually men in one country think men in another are the cause – through polluting food etc.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Sylvia Volk

Many African men also believed that sex with a virgin cured Aids so rape of children and BABIES was/is common. I don’t think women were responsible for that either.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

“
in Ancient Rome the birth rate also fell
” Yes indeed, and at least partly as a result the Empire collapsed under the weight of foreign immigration/invasion. Sound familiar? (But at least the Romans put up a fight)

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Tacitus talks about these sorts of panics, generally in the context of ‘our modern weak leadership is unable to quell them’ but also ‘everybody has become an informer and how one accusation causes dozens of similar ones to surface — sometimes because corruption was widespread, but sometime because of fabricated complaints. It seems that what we call ‘virtue signalling’ today was alive and very well in ancient Rome, too.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago

The panic we’re talking about here is panic for completely absurd reasons. It has nothing in common with Ancient Rome. The only such example that I know of is the prohibition on women mourning their husbands and sons after the defeat at the Battle of Cannae, but you must admit that women then had a good reason to cry.
As for the example of Tacitus, as far as I understand, it was about the desire to make money. Most of today’s idiots want to make the world a better place – this is a much more dangerous desire.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

dangerous comment there el – but i think stats might support you………………….

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago
Reply to  michael harris

Birth rates collapse in every society as it industrializes. It has little to do with manias of any kind and much to do with families retreating from agricultural lifestyles and into suburban and urban lifestyles. Families get smaller, education gets more specialized, women enter the workplace, families get smaller still, wash, rinse, repeat.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago

Thank you so much, Leonel! You have hit the mark. We have become a society of idiots living in a crowd, a maddened herd that panics at any reason and rushes in any direction, trampling its own relatives as it runs.

Charles Savage
Charles Savage
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

I completely agree. Another outstanding article. You make mention of “a maddened herd”. it was five years ago, in 2019, that Douglas Murray wrote and published “The Madness of Crowds”, headlining therein “Gender, Race and Identity”. No mention there of climate change, but Lionel Schriver is absolutely correct to flag it up now.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 months ago

Great essay. My only minor disagreement is that climate hysteria is one of the original manias of the modern age, not the most recent, and seems to be outlasting the author’s other examples.
I view these manias as a form of cultural neurosis that occurs in affluent, though economically stagnant, societies where people lack fundamental beliefs that animate their lives (as religions used to), and there are no new frontiers to conquer (sorry, the internet doesn’t count). There is no useful outlet for people’s natural energy and inherent tendency to compete, so we create monsters to slay.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I thought that too about the “climate mania” claim. Perhaps it’s just… ahem… a slow burner?
It’s probable there’s always been cultural manias, but their spread and reach is now exacerbated by the internet. How we learn to adapt to this new paradigm will be of huge consequence. It’s good to see essays such as this begin to explore that process.
Of course, we’ll see the usual comments going off at a tangent and seeking to blame some group or other; it’s already happening, someone ranting on about women. Is this why witches became a thing? That was another mania, and took hold in highly religious societies which demonstrates that it’s not necessarily a fall in religious belief that leads to an increase in mania.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Perhaps it’s a deflection from the massive upward transfer of wealth that’s taken place in most Western societies since the 1980s. The majority of these fads have tended to be promoted by the elites and their servants in the media.

David Harris
David Harris
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

“Luxury Beliefs” is the phrase. Those that start it and push it ever wider are those that are wealthy enough to avoid the downsides of it. The biggest currently is Net Zero, but Lockdowns ran it a close second.

Buck Rodgers
Buck Rodgers
3 months ago
Reply to  David Harris

Maybe I’m mistaken, but I’m pretty sure there was a clear pivot by the *very same people* from covid to climate in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow. The ridiculous COVID briefings by the LARPers at IndySAGE were joined by climate briefings.

It was the end of summer 2021, when it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the hysteria over COVID – everyone had had it by then & realised it wasn’t a big deal for most. The IndySAGE spokesman released a statement about “keeping the energy going” – might as well have said keeping the gravy train rolling.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

The climate hysteria is a bit older. But remember here in the UK it took off in response to the radical 2007 EU Climate initiative led by an East European ex-Communist Commissioner. Ed Milliband naturally adopted it for the EU compliant Blairite State. At its root lie the usual core anti discriminatory and victimhood genetic codes of elite leftist Western progressive ideology. In this instance, the victimhood of the developing world and the Evil of the capitalist West. So it fits.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Maybe the Climate Change “mania” has been going on so long because, dare I say it, the climate is changing and this is actually affecting the lives and liveliehood of millions of people. Whether or not humans are responsible for it and have any ability to effect a change is irrelevant. People are scared, so do you expect them to not even TRY to do something about it?

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Perhaps this is because it has more of the earmarks of a religion than a mania.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It is difficult to say that Muslims are atheists or they live in wealthy societies, but the Arab Spring or the reaction of Muslims to caricatures of their prophet was the same hysterical madness.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

Dubai doesn’t look short of a pound or two.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I was going to note the same thing. Climate change hysteria is 35 years old now, which is remarkably long. Maybe because there is an underlying kernel of truth to the claims of CO2 being a greenhouse gas. On the bright side, I do think it’s starting to die a slow death – if only because the reality of net zero is kicking govts in the teeth..

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I think there’s an underlying kernel of truth in all these things. Weinstein was a creep (but how representative was that sordid Hollywood world?), CO2 gas does change the composition of the atmosphere (but how big is the magnitude of this effect compared to solar irradiance, cloud albedo…?), some people are genuinely uncomfortable with their biological sex (but how many?), Covid did kill some otherwise healthy people (but how many?)

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

“some people are genuinely uncomfortable with their biological sex (but how many?)”

Agree that some always have but did they, let alone society, actually think they were of the opposite sex?

Bruni Schling
Bruni Schling
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Well, within the narrower circle of my friends and acquaintances there are two transgender people who had a full gender reassignment long before transgender mania broke out. Through my close personal contact with them, I am convinced that their gender dysphoria was real. Interestingly, neither person felt that they could align themselves with th recent transgender movement.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
3 months ago
Reply to  Bruni Schling

‘Gender dysphoria’ – i.e., the self-reported discomfort of some people with the sex of their bodies – is certainly real. I don’t think anyone thinks these people are just pretending they are in distress. The question is how do we understand and respond to it. Is the right solution to change their bodies, or their minds? And more importantly, will we understand this is not some inevitable genetic condition, but caused by social changes. It’s the result of mental disorders coming to fruition in societies where sex roles are fluid, sexual aberrations are glorified, and sexuality is now a topic of public interest. In 1700 people with the same underlying medical disorders would have found their mental illness expressed in a different way – but today, we get men insisting they should be able to beat up women on the pitch.

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

There’s no denying — or there shouldn’t be — that COVID killed a lot of people. To think otherwise is also a denial of reality. One needn’t support lockdowns and the rest to admit that.

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago
Reply to  harry storm

At one point during the pandemic I read a report on average age of death from Covid in the UK. It was 82 years old. The average lifespan in the UK is about 82 years. Covid was brutal to the very old and very frail, but the insanity began when we decided young and healthy people were at an elevated risk when they definitely weren’t.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Kathy Hix

Correct. And the data was available from quite early on; there were a number of cruise ships, hotels and resorts where everyone was basically shut in till it had run its course and the data was pretty clear – under the age of 50 covid was 99.98% survivable.

AC Harper
AC Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Quite so. You could blame journalists, the courts, politicians, or social media but the growing tendency is to discard nuance and proportionality for thrilling headlines and catchy slogans.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Good point.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

The best cons always contain a grain of truth. That’s what makes them plausible.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s actually much older than 35 years – in the 60s we were warned about the coming of the next ice age – and if you look up Tony Heller on his YouTube channel – Realclimatescience – you see lots of even older and more egregious misinformation from the press at the time.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Dawson

Well, no. The hysteria only began in the nineties. I know because I introduced the greenhouse gas/global warming theory to my research organisation in 1989. Prior to that, no one there had ever hear of it. I wrote some economic papers on the implications, and then – whoosh – a load of others jumped on it and before one knew it, we and the universities were spewing out papers at a prodigious rate. It was the new thing. Everybody seemed to love the idea of impending catastrophe … at some time in the future. Meanwhile. there was money to be made, careers created, out of all the possible ramifications: CO2 reduction strategies, international co-operation, adaptation pathways. The possibilities were endless, and the great thing was that you did not have to know what you were talking about. So the great climate change industry began.
Footnote: from this point, I was barred from further promotion. My voice did not join the clamorous majority. I was the grit in the great machine. So I found pastures new.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

It all started when NASA climate scientist James Hanson appeared before Congress in 1989. It took a few years to really ramp up though.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter Dawson

I remember that too. However, CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

So is water vapour – and considerably more prevalent – but I don’t see any great push towards zero clouds
.

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Meantime, there is still so much money to be made from climate change!

Simon Binder
Simon Binder
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Probably more to do with the scarecety of charging points. The enthusiasm for electric cars seems to have quelled too.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon Binder

I think if you look, the fast majority of EVs were sold as a second car, and to orgs with large fleets.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

35 years is nothing. Eugenics started in the 1920’s and Sweden still had a eugenics based sterilisation programme running until the mid 1970’s.

Then there was Lysenkoism in the USSR which started again in the 1920’s and didn’t fade out until the late 1960’s.

Once pseudoscience becomes politicised it can be very hard to shift.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Climate Change mania outlasted the other ones, because too much money and political power is invested in this scam


Jae
Jae
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I agree with your position, the mania on climate change is possibly the oldest of these manias and doesn’t seem to abate. Probably because it’s too lucrative financially and affords the maniacal elites immense power over the masses.

Howard S.
Howard S.
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Right on the mark!

Thomas Donald
Thomas Donald
3 months ago

Great piece. More like this. Fewer “Beyonce has ruined Jolene” articles. Too much Shriver is never enough.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Donald

The author sadly has completely misinterpreted the intentions of those who are passionate about raising climate change awareness and has clumsily lumped them in with genuine passing manias. As others have noted, the subject of climate change has been around since the 1980’s and sidelined by governments until quite recently because of economic protectionism, which we still see here with the dismissal of net zero initiatives.
The threats from climate change are very real – forget the existantial crisis hyperbole, what we will see is mass migration, international conflict, droughts, flooding and starvation. This will come in increasing phases over the next decades – then you will see hysteria of a different kind.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The thing about manias is that their greatest adherents are usually the last to know they are in the grip of one.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I’ve been a subscriber to UnHerd long enough to remember Robbie K saying the same thing about covid lockdowns.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Afraid of a little debate Graham?

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows


and I suppose the thing about sceptics is that it’s easier to cry ‘it’s just the latest fad’ than engage with the argument? Especially when the argument is very, very complex, and requires real rather than YouTube skills and experience. I certainly fall prey to that weakness myself.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Climate change enquiry began over 40 years ago, 40 years from now people will look back and curse this generation for the problems they will have. 40 years after that humanity will still be dealing with it. That is not a ‘mania’, it is reality.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You appear to have but a superficial knowledge of the subject about which you are apparently so passionate. Ever thought that with the (unknown) lags in the system, the simple correlations upon which so much is based might be spurious? Ever thought that the activities of a small group of nations might not be able swing the climate pattern of the entire world? Ever thought that if your version of climate change were to occur that there might be a lot more desirable places to live than western Europe and migration patterns might be reversed? You really don’t know the answers but you would impoverish the entire country with foolish net zero policies. Perhaps if you are wealthy enough you’ll be alright (Jack), but the great majority will be heading back to the living standards of the 1940s, or worse.
I have no time for people like you who really believe that they and they alone have the answers and the rest of us are thick or blind. For the record, I have actually worked on this subject, unlike (I suspect) you.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Jos Haynes

Well, I studied climate change as part of my degree in Ecology, does that count?
Given your apparent experience of the subject it’s really pitiful to suggest that some countries’ climates will improve and become more pleasant. The UK for example will quite likely become colder and wetter as the Gulf Stream collapses further.
Maybe one should read up on it?

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

There’s no evidence for your “reality”.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It did. I remember clearly the predictions that tomorrow or the day after we would all freeze to death. Global cooling was all the rage.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

You make a good point. An accusation of moral panic can become the ultimate mass ad hominem. You no longer have to present facts and arguments -just diagnose moral panic.

Im not saying you are right or wrong about climate change. Just that dismissal of an issue as a panic on the basis of a social diagnosis is itself risky and questionable.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

I suspect that there is always a kernel of truth in these hypotheses – as there undoubtedly is with climate change – but that isn’t really the reason why people adopt them with such fervour.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I’m sure you are right, but my point is really that it is too easy to dismiss views you disagree with as moral panic. Anxiety about German intentions prior to World War Two were dismissed by many as a moral panic.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

People are animated about this because unlike the other examples in the article there is time pressure on inaction. This is also compounded by the oil industry and their well funded and effective campaigns to muddy the waters with reasonable sounding ‘experts’ and publications.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Why not refute the argument rather than smear those who make it?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Amazing that people are still sceptical isn’t it? You’d have thought that once the Maldives disappeared beneath the waves all those years ago – exactly as predicted by the experts – they’d have woken up.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Gosh, did they? And you do know that sea levels have been rising since the end of the Ice Age, dont you?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yes, how foolish and short sighted were those developers of the billion dollar resorts that they built there, and continue to, along with the runways for their private jets. All to see it vanish so quickly. Them were pretty dum, ain’t they?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I recently came across this, which I found interesting.

https://youtu.be/55n-Zdv_Bwc?si=TUU65cB_dyiFqIJ-

If you search YouTube for this clip by name you will struggle to find it but will find debunks. The one I watched made some good points but he rather undermined himself by saying nobody is getting hysterical about this.

I’m not scientifically literate enough to have an informed opinion on the subject matter but Shriver is spot on with her diagnosis of a social contagion.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

How long does a crisis have to exist without impact before we can srand down? If India and Saudi Arabia, plus most developing countries dont think there is a crisis, why do we?

Sean G
Sean G
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Robbie K, I was going to write something roughly the same, but you beat me to it. Defining manias, as the article attempts to do, is certainly worthy if it gives us a tool to preempt them and the harm they cause. As a side note, it’s interesting to me that the illiberal pro-US mania that arose from so-called 9/11 is not mentioned in this item — it was just as or more impactful than the other manias named. Getting back to the topic of climate change and by extension environmentalism, no, I don’t see my and some others’ preference for riding a bicycle, donating to protests against logging old-growth forests, etc., creating a sense of terror for proponents of consumer capitalism anytime soon. That should be obvious. As an environmentalist opposed to woke illiberalism, I find the frequent coalition of anti-wokeness anti-environmentalism extremely curious. It seems to me a form of slander against environmentalism. I’d like to know what’s behind this — i.e., where some people find a connection between wokeness and environmentalism… because I don’t really see ‘woke’ types giving a damn about climate change, and I see wokeness as just another branch of consumerist individualism, which is antithetical to peace with the natural environment. Can someone enlighten me?

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Sean G

I’d like to know what’s behind this — i.e., where some people find a connection between wokeness and environmentalism

Excellent point. It seems to be simply a trend of the right wing, who will happily lump anything they consider as left wing in with the other woke subjects – the author is totally guilty of the same thing and appears to be merely creating clickbait, which is a shame.
Of course many of us hold what are typically seen as left or right wing views that span the political divide, which can cause confusion in many people, like the audience here.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

‘Pot’ and ‘kettle’ spring to mind.

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I trust science and the increasing evidence for the effects of greenhouse gases on the global climate.
What I don’t trust is activism that promotes hysteria about the subject, while automatically rejecting practical solutions to the problem. Small wonder that so many people are cynical about the very existence of greenhouse warming.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Gore

Fair comment.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

very fair comment – Lionel was not critiquing climate change per se – but rather the semi-religious hysteria that has accompanied it. For whatever reasons our climate IS changing. But big perspective planning is called for – not stupid simplistic fixes-that will often cause way more grief than rising temps etc. IF strident ‘no to everything’ groups would spend more time trying to figure out real alternatives they would discover that there is actually not a whole lot that can be done in a hurry. Robbie I would like to hear some useful , realistic solutions from you – seriously – because I cant personally come up with many that have much chance of making much of a difference – except for the hard ones – eg EVERYONE STOP BUYING SHITE AND MASSIVE NEW HOUSES AND NEW CARS – AND BE OK WITH LESS. I see little of that happening where i live – and anyway economies would crash ie h sapiens are screwwed by their own greed and will now have to live thru the karma of that. Pity about the young ones who did not cause this – no wonder they are dropping out and ‘lying down’.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The threat from the Climate Change Agenda is very real.

The Climate has been called by Judith Curry, a past professor in the subject, as a wicked problem: yes, it can be predicted but, as it needs so much information about the initial conditions and so much calculation, the prediction would take longer that it actually happening. Most of the issues can be explained at the level of A’ level Physics, but the Dept of Energy has a preponderance of History and PPE graduates! I wonder why? 🙂

Just like many modern emergencies, the Climate Emergency proponents act as though they were attacking the Establishment when they are the Establishment. They don’t respond to questions very kindly or with understanding, so Scientific discussion is usually impossible. There is plenty of evidence that our own Sun plays a significant part. While the chief activist organisation in the UK, the BBC, won’t here of it, the BRICs continue to get on with their industrialisation.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago

The sun plays zero part in the greenhouse effect other than providing the energy. The disgraced Curry is a radical, whilst she should not be silenced folks really should take what she says with a large pinch of salt.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

No, Robbie K, the misinterpretation is yours. We skeptics of climate alarmism interpret the alarmist’s intentions just fine. You’re convinced, on the basis of models and “expert” opinion, that the earth’s biosphere — and therefore humanity — is at risk of collapse. On the basis of this belief, you demand the 8+ billion of your fellow humans abandon plentiful, cheap, portable, and reliable power, which is the basis of modernity and prosperity. Because many of those 8+ billion people reject your demands, you are increasingly willing to force us to do so. The idea that your fears are not well supported by objective, verifiable evidence, rather than models, is beyond your comprehension, even though it is a fact. In this regard, your beliefs are exactly like the other manias the author listed, and far, far more dangerous.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Why do I get the feeling that if the theory of anthropogenic climate change were irrefutably proved false you’d be terribly disappointed.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Climate change awareness began earlier than the 1980s. The majority of climate scientists predicted warming from CO2 emissions in the early 70s, and data supporting this prediction increased throughout the 1970s.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Yes. But there is not a shred of evidence that climate change is caused by anything that people do. The climate is changing anyway. Warmer in some places, colder in some others. The change is caused by increasing solar radiation, part and parcel of the sunspot cycle.
While it might be politic to take some precautions like restoring the public drinking fountains and installing forced air ventilation in buildings, the wholesale demolition of the coal fired power stations has already turned out to be disastrous.
Last night (early hours of 16/04/24) I experienced the first power cut since the electricity rationing ended in 1974. I doubt it will be the last.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Read ‘1970’s for ‘1980’s – Limits to growth (Meadows et al 1972). The Club of Rome was not, and is not, a cult. What climate and human society have in common is they are complex systems with global connectivity, and chains or cycles of cause and effect are hard to pin down. However that’s where the analogy between reality and narrative stops.

Richard 0
Richard 0
3 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Donald

Agree. Would love to see more Shriver articles. That she’s on point is clear but her style is such a winner.

Rod Robertson
Rod Robertson
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard 0

The Spectator. She’s often there.

Allan Plaskett
Allan Plaskett
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard 0

Totally agree, Lionel is a wonderful writer.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Donald

The “climate change” scare began on the German pan-left, when East and West Germany still existed. The thrust of the movement was anti-capitalism: capitalism was to blame for the state of the German forests. It turned out that the real ecological slayer was monopoly state capitalism as practised in East Germany and Czechoslovakia. But the cause was ideally suited to the metamorphosis of the prevailing Marxist-Leninist ideology required of the collapse of the USSR. Now the capitalist West was the great polluter. China, India and Russia were tiny offenders. In any case, if they were offenders they weren’t the target. The next step was the conversion of the Californian oligarchy to the cause with the help of the internet. Behold, 96% of professional publications support the “climate change” thesis. North Korean levels of approbation. And “the science speaks with one voice”. You bet it does with that amount of money, prestige, publicity attached. Its a story from rags to riches.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

A link to The Climate Movie, a debunk of the narrative, has been posted twice on here – by myself and somebody else. They appeared, disappeared, reappeared and at the moment have gone again.

Somebody is very determined it doesn’t get much exposure.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I think you’ll find it’s the dissenting comments that are being suppressed yet again. This site’s moderation system is ridiculous.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Here we go, they’ve disappeared again. It’s either an utter farce or by design.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I think people click the Report Comment icon next to the comment and the system removes that comment and any responses to it until the moderator has cleared it. Complete overkill!
In fact, why don’t you try replying to this comment and then hit Report Comment on this one? Then we can see what happens.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

That’s part of the problem. Quite ironic really given the articles on here about wokey students no platforming people yet folks can’t handle a bit of debate.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The links were posted in response to your comments. It’s the links that are attracting the censorship, which then takes down the thread.

People with strong arguments do not need to close down opposing voices.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

That doesn’t make sense – how many times does a link need to be moderated? Most people want and enjoy a lively debate, there does seem to be a minority who would rather shut it down.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Couldn’t agree more

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

You mean that film by Clintel?

Gregory Swan
Gregory Swan
3 months ago

Thank you. The actual name is “Climate: The Movie”. I found it by searching on using “Clintel”

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago

Yes sorry. Seems all my posts are being flagged now.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I watched it last night. It’s great to see “doubt” so clearly expressed by such prominent scientists.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

The people in the propaganda film have a history of climate change denial, that’s why they are in it.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The well known climate deniers include a Nobel Laureate, a former member of the IPCC and several professors. How does “we know they have a different opinion” possibly translate into “therefore we don’t need to listen to them.”

Try actually watching it.

Having come across this video I’ve actively looked for debunks of it.

Here’s one

maxresdefault.jpg
Mallen responds to ‘Climate – The Movie’ (part 1)
youtu.be

There is much here that makes sense but much that is logically debatable and, of course, it starts with the ad hominem argument which is always seems to be the first line of defence.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

“Climate change denial” – so I’m inferring that you haven’t actually watched the film, because if you had you’d know that none of those involved are denying that climate change occurs. That would be a bit silly given what we know about ice ages and interglacial periods. What they are saying is that is does change, and is changing, however on the basis of the data to date there isn’t really any cause for concern much less the hysteria that one sees daily in the press, television and online.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Like Galileo and Copernicus had a history of heliocentric denial and should therefore be ignored, you mean?

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

And how about climate change itself? About to ruin a large proportion of Britsh crops this year: farmers are very worried. You seem to know nothing about the science.

harry storm
harry storm
3 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Donald

i thought the Beyonce has ruined Jolene article was excellent, as so many of Kat Rosenfeld’s articles are. At the same time, I wish Lionel Shriver contributed more often with her clever insights.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago

Interesting read for sure – if only to summarize and list all the recent manias. It begs a number of questions though, not that I expect the author to answer them. Why does there seem to be more of these recently? Are they intentional? How are they manufactured? What is the role of govt and NGOs? It seems to me there is an entire class of pseudo intellectuals whose very existence depends on maintaining the facade of some moral panic or another. Interesting essay, but there may be a bigger story here.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Thomas Sowell has discussed the role of intellectuals. He says they used to be quite low paid university staff, satisfied with thinking and offering different opinions. Now they have become highly paid by governments and they provide the government with stupid answers that they want to enable them to increase their power over us.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

There is hardly such a thing as a disinterested academic these days. They are nearly all looking around for the next research grant, the next conference abroad, the next “paper” to lengthen their cv – because they think that publication numbers are more important than intrinsic merit. And yes – they will give Government departments the answers they want because they want another research commission next year.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I think the role of the pervasive power of social media cannot be discounted in the recent and rapid surge of “manias”. Misinformation of all sorts can spread like wildfire, ginning up people’s fears.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The answer, I think, is that man is an inherently and unavoidably religious animal. Everything – everything – depends on which religion he adopts.
Today we have vast swathes of the richest and most intelligent people ever alive on earth, whose spiritual vacuums must be filled with *something*. So they have a religious dedication to the (alleged) virtue and morality of these progressive manias, combined with a (shall we say) religious disinterest in counter-evidence, combined with an utter conviction in the transcendental significance of the cause. Together these amount to self-righteousness, willful blindness and totalizing worldview – the perfect recipe.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

“vast swathes of ….most intelligent people ever alive on earth”
I wonder where these people are hiding.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Except than Hitler, Stalin and Mao hated and got rid of religion.
You’re right that religion can do the same thing, but it’s not limited to religion. Fauci wasn’t a cleric. I don’t know what we should call this human tendency.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Don’t call it religion if you don’t want to, but the common factor of all the manias is anti-virtue, anti-justice and anti-prosperity, which to put another name to it from a cultural standpoint would be ‘rebellion’. Classically, rebellion attacks the social order as being ‘unjust’, ‘unfair’ and seeks revenge.
BLM? Trans? MeToo? COVID mandates? Climate? These manias have their roots in resentment – not without a grain of truth. Since modern thought has rejected God, it seeks to find spiritual strength from anti-God rebellion, often parading as “Science”. The common factor is that they are all completely self-destructive.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

We call this tendency ‘religion.’
Your comment is akin to someone saying that black is a color. And then another person saying it is actually the absence of color. And another person saying, no, it’s the presence of all colors at once.
There are some limited uses of the word ‘religion’ where Maoism, Stalinism, Nazism are not ‘religions’ – they denied the existence of God. And yet they relied upon transcendental reasoning to justify their claims! There are many more uses of the word ‘religion’ where these movements do fit – totalizing worldviews, received on faith, enormous ethical commitments, ultimately grounded on transcendental claims, etc.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You can trace the euthanasia mania over 100 years, tho eugenics tokk a beating after WW2.

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Look at the feminisation of politics – indulging in surfeit of compassion, empathy, feeling rather than reason and evidence- and the tendency for women, particularly teenage girls to both spread and be susceptible to social contagions as well as the happy co-incidence of global social media.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
3 months ago

And the demonisation of Israel over the war in Gaza?

D Oliver
D Oliver
3 months ago

How about the Israeli belief that the current campaign will wipe out Hamas and not just make things worse?

D Oliver
D Oliver
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

Keep the down votes coming! Dissent not tolerated, Hamas will definitely be wiped out, right??

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

Do you ever wonder why the German people rejected Nazism when they were defeated at the end of WW2, but the Gazans will not (in your view) reject Hamas at the end of Israel’s campaign?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

I support the Israeli action but your point is valid; clearly, the action might make things worse.
I don’t understand the down votes.

Andrew S
Andrew S
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

You seem to confuse disagreement with rejection of your right to an opiniion. Only the wokey left seem to do that.

D Oliver
D Oliver
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew S

I respectfully suggest you are jumping to conclusions. In fact, I know you are.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

I read an interesting piece in the WSJ today saying the Israelis are in talks with the Palestinian Authority/Fatah to take over Gaza once the shooting stops. As you know, if there is one group that hates Hamas more than Israelis, it is Fatah who lost the bloody battle with Hamas for control of Gaza. Fatah will be able to root out and destroy the remnants of Hamas in a way that is impossible for the IDF. So it is entirely possible that Hamas will be wiped out.
As for unintended consequences, the Israelis are hesitant about this plan because they fear Fatah controlling both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Perhaps the cure will be worse than the disease.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Perhaps Israel shouldn’t have encouraged Hamas in order to undermine Fatah. My enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend after all.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yes I read that too, a classic case of my enemies enemy. The PA have no live for Hamas since they killed their people in 2007.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

I up-voted you but down-voting is not lack of tolerance, it’s just disagreement.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
3 months ago
Reply to  D Oliver

How on Earth would wiping out Hamas make things worse? They are a murdering terrorist blood lust cult. Their destruction would relieve everyone in that region – and it would be a very good start.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 months ago

Well, much that I’d like to see that result, the Israeli action could simply solidify support against them. The overthrow of Saddam doesn’t seem to have made us the best pals of the Iraqi people.

To be clear,I support the Israeli action but it could make things worse, this is not an unreasonable argument.

D Oliver
D Oliver
3 months ago

Where did I say it would be a bad thing? I’m just saying it’s not going to happen.

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
3 months ago

Because the west is freaking stupid and hypocritical and doesnt (want to) understand it is a global religious war against the one jewish state.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

The NY Times ran a piece in 2016 about Hamas executing one of its own for being gay. Now they wouldn’t dare print it. The only way in which Hamas did anything wrong on Oct. 7, maybe, was raping women. That every university in the Middle East has no gay student organization except Israel cannot be written. That Jews are the the only colonizers and racists to be pursued and killed (the “Jewish Empire” where there are 3,000 year old Jewish archeological remains is judged worse than the Ottoman, Russian, German, British, French, Belgian, Japanese, Chinese, Islamic or any other in the world), that Hitler is lauded…it is a mania, but a very old one. It has tapped into and become another outbreak of hatred of Jews. And if you dare call it for what it is, you’re one of them. McCarthy was a universally condemned amateur in comparison to the Jew hatred in academia and media and on the streets of NYC and London.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
3 months ago

Shriver!

Now that is what a true kick a$$ intellectual heavyweight sounds like


Ian_S
Ian_S
3 months ago

Maybe all these moral hysterias each form up within — and as part of — a wider morally-founded interpretative paradigm of the times (which is also expressed in myriad other ways than just the hysteria). Going back to the Salem witch trials, it’s Puritanism. For the “repressed memories” it was the 70’s-to-90’s belief in “liberation of the self from civilisational repression” (“find yourself”), climate change hysteria is a symptom of the cultural frame that capitalism/modernity/consumerism is toxic to nature (arguably there were earlier panics in this long-standing metanarrative, e.g. “silent spring” and “population bomb”). We’re familiar with the consecutive hysterias around transgenderism and BLM, based on “oppressed tribal authenticity versus oppressive fake universalism”. The hysteria is founded in the basic human archetypes of what is pure and what is dangerous. As a mass performative act, it serves to enhance the paradigm’s purity/danger distinction as a shared sensory experience, and affirm the moral framework as not just valid but group-bonding and existentially vital. You would die to defend it. Also, it needs villains to be believable, so there will be a hunt for outsiders to sacrifice. Surely there’s more to think through on this

Danny D
Danny D
3 months ago

Does anyone remember the „needle spiking“ social panic from a couple years ago? Where supposedly women were randomly pricked with needles at parties and such? No substances were ever discovered in the self-identified victims‘ blood. None of the „victims“ ended up being assaulted or robbed. No guy was ever caught carrying a needle on him. Not to forget that it doesn‘t make any sense to begin with, plus you would‘ve been able to find instructions or discussions about the method in creepy communities online somewhere. But our media ran with it unquestioningly, reporting new cases of needle spiking almost daily yelling „Believe Women!“. Then suddenly, after one woman was actually sentenced for purposefully lying to police for attention, the media stopped talking about it. Did they ever admit they were the ones fueling an imagined epidemic? Of course not. Business as usual and they‘ll quickly jump to the next thing.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

I don’t think this one has completely died yet.

carl taylor
carl taylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

Similar ‘urban myths’ abounded – and are still revived – concerning razor blades in Halloween candy (in the US), and razor blades underneath political stickers (here in the UK). I suppose that it’s not impossible that there was once an occurrence of these phenomena, but the manner in which baseless hysteria is continually weaponised shows that some at least are fully aware of our psychological propensity to believe BS.

Caroline Ayers
Caroline Ayers
3 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

Maybe, but spiking drinks with drugs does happen a lot. My 22 year old niece had her drink spiked a couple of years ago in a night club, and she was very ill from it overnight. Plus my 24 year old son had his drink spiked 2 years ago at a party in Newquay, with a drug that made him hallucinate and pass out. We had to drive to Newquay (from Kent) in the middle of the night to rescue him in response to his terrified telephone calls. We enlisted the help of the police to help us find him (he had passed out at that stage in a Sainsbury’s car park, and his phone was dead). We eventually found him in the morning, ultimately unscathed thank goodness, and when we met up with the police they said there had been a spate of drink spikings in Newquay that summer and it was a real problem.

Danny D
Danny D
3 months ago
Reply to  Caroline Ayers

No, spiking drinks absolutely does happen and is disgusting. But there‘s nobody running around with needles poking random people.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

In the late 19th Century, there was the needle women. They would stick needles in their bodies sometimes very deeply. They would not stop and it became a contagion. Experts think that the strict social norms of the time led to deep frustrations for women, who for the the most part, were stuck at home. You can only do needle point for so long before you go batty.

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

Whatever happened to the people whose kidneys were being stolen?

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Danny D

The media just got bored and moved on to something else, as it tends to. Doesn’t mean the issue went away.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
3 months ago

This has been a great read, and just reinforced my burgeoning realization: EVERY slope is slippery! Stick it on your bumper!

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

and all generalizations are false

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago

It’s completely understandable why people are passionate about climate change, since frustrations have grown from more reasoned voices seemingly ignored for so long. What is less understandable however is why there are still so many who are sceptical and dismissive.
This is attributable to cognative dissonance. When people consider a subject which appears to have two sides of equal merit then naturally they will choose the one that offers less resistance and inconvenience. Over time these biasses become embedded and immovable, despite the huge body of evidence and current impacts.
Hence why there is hysteria on both sides of the debate.

Ian_S
Ian_S
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Climate change believer hysteria: “We’re all gonna die!!! Arrrgh!!! Do something now!!!
Climate change skeptic hysteria: “hmm, I see another study showing no actual loss of ice …”

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Also the earth will burn up in 10 years, maybe 9 now, a prophecy enunciated by an apparently sane UN head. Well, Britain should be spared at least.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I think you’ll find the hysteria is entirely on one side. It’s precisely because of completely “over the top” claims about “we’re all doomed” when the Earth’s climate has constantly changed, and will continue to do so, that there’s now a fairly measured reaction.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

It’s the speed of change, not the fact of change which worries climate scientists.

Sharon Hall
Sharon Hall
3 months ago

Absolutely

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

Not true. We’re constantly told that the absolute rise in temperatures is a serious problem. Also that the rising sea levels from this (which depend on the absolute temperature and not its rate of increase) are a serious problem.
Whether you choose to believe that – or what the precise balance of climate winners and losers is [a warmer climate might be a net benefit for the UK] – is another matter.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago

They have no idra what caused the Ice Age interstadial 16000 years ago, nor the Younger Dryas event 1500 years later. But we know it happened quickly in both cases.

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago

Totally agree. What people rarely realise is the CO2 creating the greenhouse effect now, will likely persist in the atmosphere for two hundred years – hence the clamour for immediate reductions.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Yes. Would you prefer it to get colder or warmer. I’m for warmer. Same for co2 levels. Prior to the industrial revolution these were getting dangerously close to the mimima required for life. So one could turn the alarmist narrative on it’s head and quite reasonably claim that we Brits and our coal burning saved humanity from extinction.

It’s all about narrative.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Patrick Moore argues exactly this: that if it were not for human activity, the long term carbon cycle would have eventually destroyed the viability of most photosynthesising life. It’s an interesting theory and does seem to have a lot of the facts on its side, but it’s also prone to a degree of parochiality relating to geological timescales, in my opinion.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Any chance this could be accepted in lieu of reparations for slavery?

Dominic Lyne
Dominic Lyne
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I don’t think that’s cognitive distance at all.It’s just having a different opinion.Most people agree, we should try to do better, but the climate industry has become a cult and it’s now as bad as Big Pharma!!

Things like “just stop oil”,for instance, is a great modern phenomenon. “Just” implies, it’s easy to do, “stop”, there’s only one option….. We should aim to use less oil but you can’t just stop it. Even wind turbines use diesel engines to start them and oil to lubricate. It’s a fantasy to just stop oil, imo. If we had a proper debate, people would be more on board with it I believe and some balance…… Otherwise it’s a danger of collapsing in a few years, under its own contradictions.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Dominic Lyne

Robbie is correct – cognitive dissonance affects people on both sides of the debate. It’s a behavioural effect. It doesn’t – can cannot – take sides. I don’t agree with him about many things, but he’s absolutely correct on this.
I know I suffer from cognitive dissonance on a range of issues, most notably Brexit. I’m so sure I’m right (pro-Brexit) that I won’t even read or evaluate arguments against it now. We lose the ability to evaluate things objectively.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I disagree with him and you together. At the moment I hear “anti-vaxxer”, or “climate change denier”, or “old white male”, I understand there is no reason for debate, in front of me is a psychopath and I must take care of my health.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

When I hear the phrase “old White male”, I understand it as my moral duty to immediately cause the speaker as much offence as possible.

D Oliver
D Oliver
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

A mania may be best identified by the non-acceptability of any dissent. Given the opprobrium directed at “climate sceptics”, it seems reasonable to think that some proponents are indeed in a mania.

Ian_S
Ian_S
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

There’s been a number of independently-minded people who distinguish between “climate change” and “CO2 based anthropogenic warming”. Judith Curry and various contributors to her “Climate etc” blog are among them. The hysterics like to strawman their opposition as “climate deniers”. Yet, the prevailing sceptical position is to agree warming is happening (though still firmly keeping a sceptical eye on the claims made there), but strongly questioning the CO2 causation claims. And really, when you look at the hysterics, their main interest is actually in the anthropogenic CO2 aspect (“Just Stop Oil”) because it resonates with age-old moral narratives of human evil (“how dare you”) and redemption (net zero). Rising temperatures are like a stage prop in their medieval moral drama of good people against bad people. CO2 hysteria is a real worry, because very possibly it’s a complete and potentially fatal diversion from reality, which is that resilience and mitigation measures are prudent, but not the mania of attempting to completely reinvent society, economy, and technology in a few short years, or the associated power grab for a collectivist global technocracy. Economies are being weakened by political consequences of net zero hysteria, rather than strengthened for future resilience; and trillions of dollars are being wasted on possibly (probably?) totally useless net zero measures instead of on mitigation measures.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

“What is less understandable however is why there are still so many who are sceptical and dismissive.
This is attributable to cognative dissonance.”

Actually it’s not. It’s attributable to the problem that the continually growing observational evidence keeps falsifying the dangerous warming conjecture, which is now supported wholly upon evidence tampering and computer models that have to be deliberately pre-programmed to produce dangerous warming trends.

It is those who refuse to accept that they have been lied to who suffer from cognitive dissonance.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I posted a reply (to your earlier comment) containing a link to a film attacking the climate narrative. The film itself is clearly a polemic but has enough credible voices and data to open a sensible debate.

Both have now disappeared. It will be interesting to see if they reappear.

If you search YouTube for the film by its name you will struggle to find it but debunks of it do come up. If the science is so settled why the very obvious attempts to suppress any dissenting voices?

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

See below comments re your propaganda film.

jim peden
jim peden
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

May I respectfully suggest that you watch the recently released Climate The Movie – The Cold Truth which presents some of the objections of the sceptics on this issue in a very watchable way.
I watched it at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/03/20/climate-the-movie-watch-here/

Robbie K
Robbie K
3 months ago
Reply to  jim peden

Climate The Movie – The Cold Truth

Apparently climate change is an “invented scare”, an assault on “freedom and prosperity”. The movie is full of tired old rehashed myths and is an obvious appeal to the sceptical with reasonable sounding cherry picked ‘facts’.
Turns out it is directed by an established denier, funded by organisations who are established deniers and represents guests who are established deniers.
This is nothing more than propaganda. I suspect it has roots in the oil industry, they continually fund this kind of thing – all in the name of profit at the expense of humanity. It’s utterly criminal.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I posted an answer in the higher thread

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 months ago

A point I feel Lionel has missed in this otherwise excellent piece is the absurdities that happen when one mania collides with another. Think back to the initial flush of BLM…right in the middle of the first summer of the pandemic. You know, when we were all sitting locked in our homes thinking it was for the greater good, and had police cars prowling around our neighbourhoods to make sure no one was engaging in such subversive behaviour as sitting on a park bench.
All of a sudden, that need to socially distance which had been governing our lives for 3 months evaporated as people poured out onto the street to protest for an issue which had zero to do with many of their lives. It was as if the righteousness of the BLM issue rendered the covid virus intransmissible. Weirdly, when the people who were against the vaccine protested, it didn’t work out quite that way.
These manias are one of the biggets reasons why I’ve started to think that the Japanese concept of hikikomori is quite a good idea.

AC Harper
AC Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Indeed. But… but… the almost total avoidance of social contact leads to reduced marriages and births. I suspect the Powers That Be are not concerned about stacks of old people being cared for by robots in big warehouse dormitories but the loss of tax revenue and need for bureaucratic jobs to farm it.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

This will burn in my brain for a very long time. That laid bare for me the big lie about lockdowns, social distancing etc. When 1500 health professionals published a letter supporting riots – structural racism being more life threatening than Covid – a big, glowing lightbulb went off in my head.

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s the “progressive stack” in action. The “stack” is the hierarchy of “victim” groups and is used, when there is conflict between the interests of different “victim” groups, to decide which one is favored. In this case the BLM enthusiasts were favored over the general population.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Not all of us bought into the hype and locked ourselves away. Some of us went about our business unmasked, unshot, and unconcerned – just like we did with Swine Flu in 2009. It seemed obvious to me that the entire thing was concocted as an exercise in control. And now we know it was – war gamed by the WHO in October 2019.

These hideous human experiments aren’t organic. They are planned and enacted by our malign governments.

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago

I live in the Free State of Idaho and had the luxury of living my life with little or no disruption. Restaurants still required masks, but fortunately, the virus only operates in the narrow band of air that one breathes when standing and doesn’t operate in the air just above the table where you sit. That was a mercy.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
3 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

And the rioting, looting and mindless destruction that resulted in 2 dozen deaths was part of a great racial reckoning, while the January 6th riot was a crime against democracy. And the elites wonder why they’re so deeply hated.

R D
R D
3 months ago

It’s interesting to wonder why communities have evolved the tendency to obsess simultaneously. I wonder if social manias have the same significance as a nation going to war? In war, the population acts as a unified group behind the flag and hatred of the enemy obsesses the nation’s consciousness – in a similar way to a social mania. Then, once peace is declared, psychological relief is felt, and soon enough all is forgiven.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  R D

There might be something to that. One worrisome trend I’ve noticed in recent political discourse is the tendency to dehumanize those who espouse different views.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Exemplified in the UnHerd comments section, tbh.

brad mclaughlin
brad mclaughlin
3 months ago

To be fair, almost all comment sections ultimately become much more echo chamber like in nature. Personally most of the comments tend to align with my own, so it is enjoyable. I have yet to see a publication that hasn’t fallen down this hole.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
3 months ago

‘Opponents of lockdowns were granny killers;’

The next mania will be euthanising grannies.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Well, Matthew Parris thinks it’s inevitable.

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
3 months ago

Matthew Parris thinks it’s not just inevitable but is a great idea. He also recommends shrinking prisons and releasing non-violent prisoners. It does make life a little easier, though, in that when Parris approves of something, I can automatically reject it without the bother of thinking it through.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
3 months ago

But he does not believe in euthanising murderers.

The weird world of Matthew Parris.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Yes, it’s already under way.
It’s the compassionate thing to do, apparently.
I must disclose an interest, as a grandparent.

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
3 months ago

Whew! Thank god I never had kids. I may be safe from the granny killers.

Andrew Barton
Andrew Barton
3 months ago

An utterly brilliant article. I could hug her.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago

Great piece. The only thing I’d add is that both transgenderism and the reaction to it have elements of social contagion about them. And the latter has more characteristics of a moral panic.

Obviously many will feel the panic is justified: which is, of course, a characteristic of all moral panics.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
3 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

There’s a loony, creepy kind of anti-transness that you used to see on social media, I don’t know if it is still there – it could be found by typing in things like ‘poopwound.’

It’s every bit as disgusting as the ‘lgbt’ Reddit moderators with names like Flopsy-Wopsy who are actually 49 year old unemployed furries from Aberdeen, with 14 year old girlfriends.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Hey – what do you have against Aberdeen 🙂

I think what is missing fro LS’s list of moral panic criteria is a clear way to distinguish moral panics from justified concerns. My general rule is that if the concern is way out of proportion to the cause then it is probably a moral panic. It’s a bit like individuals being triggered by something insignificant.

However, I think this is the criteria most people use: if I am concerned, it’s a genuine concern; if others are concerned but I’m not, it’s a moral panic.

Sharon Hall
Sharon Hall
3 months ago

Could we include the mania over Brexit and the prejudices revealed by many remainers in this list?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
3 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Hall

That’s less mania, and more resentment – that they have to grow old with the people they raised – and taught, if they work in education (which a lot of them do.)

They would rather grow old somewhere with more traditional family values, respect for age etc, that is, the values they did not themselves pass on.

Sharon Hall
Sharon Hall
3 months ago

Climate change concern is not historically a ‘mania’. It is based on genuine findings and solid research. However the language of mania has crept up on us in recent years. Climate change sceptics (important for rigorous discourse) are now ‘climate change deniers!’ and global warming has been rebranded as ‘Global Heating!’Emotive language that stirs fear and hysteria rather than practical, productive debate and action.

The rest follows – see above.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Hall

“Heating” has already become “boiling” . A case of exponential hyperbole, perhaps.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

Was 152 degrees Fahrenheit in Iraq last year hot enough for you to say boiling?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes. I believe the high temperature that made the news was at an airport in Iran (easy to confuse with Iraq, I guess) and a “heat index” temperature “feels like 66C” combo of 40 Celsius (104F) plus high humidity. I might indeed say “boiling”, or even “roasting” , along with a few swear words, were I there at that time.

Sphen Oid
Sphen Oid
3 months ago

Actually blood letting wasn’t necessarily bad if you suffered from haemochromatosis! So with that possible exception I agree!

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
3 months ago
Reply to  Sphen Oid

I don’t know what heamochromatosis is, but I love that you are defending blood letting.

Graeme Archer
Graeme Archer
3 months ago

Superb, superb, superb. And a novel by LS on this topic will be *terrific*.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago

I am a long-time Climate Sceptic and was a Lockdown Sceptic throughout the pandemic. I thought from the beginning that BLM and Metoo were just the latest loony left jamborees. I have always believed Transvestites are Transvestites.

Can I get a medal?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Defo, a pink sparkly one.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
3 months ago

Bravo. This is beyond important as each mania is playing out in everyone’s heads. This is not normal political debate. This is Orwellian mind bending – reshaping and perverting the very nature of our popular mass culture. At its root lies the human rights legal revolution of the post 90s progressive EU/UK states. It is this new 25 year ideological State which first supercharged the hysterias in trans or feminism via its twisted CRT influenced 2-level 2010 Equality laws: the mothership. Obsessed with identity based greviance and victimhood, we have seen the Mania Collective – cynical progressive Left, Fake Tories, judicial Overlords, ideological bbc and the toxic engine of social media – whip up and foment a powerful Me Me emotive anti discriminatory hysteria that is now shredding all communal bonds as well as making us sick. We have developed a totally twisted culture of individual entitlement and Soviet like State dependence. Wfh madness and zero productivity. Sick note culture with 4m depressed. Bizarre Council- bankrupting gender pay settlements. Teachers in hiding from unchecked religious mobs. Millionaire Doctors trashing their Oaths to get richer. And next up our right to Euthanize the Weak. We are in a Cage. And no one is fighting the people’s corner. So long as Equality Laws are pump primed by the Big State and defended by the Supreme Red Guard Judicial Defenders of Progressivism, we are trapped.

John Duminy
John Duminy
3 months ago

How about Paedo Panic / Operation Yewtree?

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
3 months ago

The other way to frame it is that the Left are always looking for a new figure of the revolutionary proletariat. There is CRT and BLM but the facticity of ethnic minorities and post-colonialism/multiculturalism doesn’t have legs as sufficiently subversive.
In contrast, Queer philosophy has provided a huge political opportunity for post-Marxists. Again, there was a materiality to transsexuality being rooted in hormonal imbalance and s-xual kinks. But when young and old can realise their alternatively gendered soul to upset heteronormative social structures?
That’s a political figure of which Marx, Lenin and Mao would be proud.

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

I think there is something in what you say, but Lenin and Mao would be ashamed, it’s so ridiculous. I suspect Marx would say something about history repeating itself as farce.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 months ago

I live in a World of stuff and regimes created by men. In this World, some places called ‘The West’ have recently experimented with giving women power and influence in decision making. This article perfectly describes a few of the many outcomes we could expect. Welcome to the big picture!: if we continue the experiment, ‘The West’ is guaranteed extinction but the men-run human race will survive just as before.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Oh, for goodness sake! Why are you so afraid of women?
Look who’s writing the most thought-provoking articles for Unherd: Kathleen Stock, Mary Harrington, Kat Rosenfield and… Lionel Shriver. Notice anything, there?

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Fear?… where did you dig that up?
Yes, I completely agree they are superb journalists, but as such they are functionaries, not visionaries with direct power and influence in decision making and practical implementation. Our entire civilisation has always and will always depend on visionaries and, out at the tail of the curve, men far exceed women. That’s why attempting 50:50 sex ratios in this vital attribute will result in stagnation, demoralisation and incompetence amongst the mass of functionaries: look around … notice anything over the last 40 years?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Jesus wept . . .

David Morley
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

This is just black and white thinking. Is the name a clue?

B Emery
B Emery
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Aris, Fazi and david patrikarakos actually write the best articles on subjects that actually matter like the wars going on in my opinion. And Philip pilkington and a man I can’t remember the name of Joel something, that occasionally writes stuff about the economy, also important sh*t. Not this cultural bullsh*t that only women on university campuses care about and talk about.
Some of the articles by one of the women you mention are the most wordy superfluous sh*t I have ever read in my life about issues I have never come across in actual real life and hadn’t even heard of until I started reading here. Not all of them, stock is always pretty good, but when it comes to real life issues that affect your average person I’m afraid the wars and the economy are more interesting to me.
This article is in my wordy and superfluous category. She’s a bit out of date only now adding ‘climate hysteria’ to her list mass hysterias. She may want to consider that actually globally, the world is becoming more unstable and our access to resources is threatened, look how Germany has to cut back on energy for example, look how much your electric bill has increased, don’t you think this ‘climate hysteria’ might be being pushed by global institutions because they saw this global instability coming? That a push to get people to use less resources and energy might fit nicely with having to cut back as a result of the emerging multi polar world? There’s a war on guys, but don’t look at that, hug a penguin and feel happy you are using
less electric.

The complete lack of any opposition to the Ukraine war should tell you something.
The complete lack of discussion about the destruction of the free market by sanctions should tell you something.
That it is useful for government in times of war to have any number of reasons for lynching people should tell you why cancel culture is so prevelant at the moment.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

The incels’ incel! You’ve been listening to too much Andrew Tate.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Cheers, that was amusing! ‘incel’? …. ‘andrew tate’? I have just googled these terms as they were meaningless to me. Eh… well…in ma eighties, three wives, four weans, ten granweans … and tate is a total t****r … how wrong can you be!

Sharon Hall
Sharon Hall
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Oh dear. What authors like Jordan Peterson write and talk about is instructive and important in our current social/cultural climate. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions and don’t be a slave to victimhood
. unfortunately, there are always going to be