Sunday, October 13, 2013

Two of the best takedowns of Niall Ferguson

Two of the best takedowns ever of Niall Ferguson happen to be by people of Indian origin. I wonder if that is merely coincidence.

June 30, 2013, Ashok Rao on The Great Degeneration:
Never, however, have I read a book – no less from an endowed chair at Harvard – that is so blatant in its fraudulent claim, only vindicated by a lawyerly interpretation of grammar: something, as any reader of the book knows, Ferguson does not like.
 November 3, 2011, Pankaj Mishra on "Civilization: The West and the Rest" (from which I excerpt this, which is relevant to my previous post
Hysteria about ‘white civilisation’ gripped America after Europe’s self-mutilation in the First World War had encouraged political assertiveness among subjugated peoples from Egypt to China.
He sounds like the Europeans described by V.S. Naipaul – the grandson of indentured labourers – in A Bend in the River, who ‘wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else’, but also ‘wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves’.
 PS: It doesn't mean that others don't know how to take down this gasbag:

Niall Ferguson: More Mistaken Musings from the Land of the Excel Spreadsheet Error
So there you have it: Ferguson has no serious measure of either the cost or the extent of regulation. And he gets the story on growth completely backward. This is the sort of wisdom on economic policy that we are coming to expect from Harvard University and the Wall Street Journal opinion page.
A Full Fact-Check of Niall Ferguson's Very Bad Argument Against Obama
There are plenty of legitimate reasons to disapprove of the president. Here's the big one: 8.3 percent. That's the current unemployment rate, fully three years on from the official end of the Great Recession. But rather than make this straightforward case against the current administration, Ferguson delves into a fantasy world of incorrect and tendentious facts. He simply gets things wrong, again and again and again.
“There’s wrong, there’s very wrong and then there’s Niall Ferguson.”
But Ferguson — a man for whom the term “hackademic” would surely have been invented, had it not already existed — is part of a long right-wing hack tradition.