‘Ferguson, author of The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die,' wrote Kostigen, ‘says it's only logical that Keynes would take this selfish worldview because he was an "effete" member of society.’
It's very typical of conservative Brits to see members of the Bloomsbury Group as elite snobs.
That was bad, but he did at least issue a real apology and say it was stupid and wrong.
What goes on in these people's minds? It's already been proven that gay men are significantly more intelligent then the general populace. The population is diluted with idiots now. This is what comes out of the mouths of "intellects?"
He's always deeply resented being known as the model for the young teacher in 'The History Boys.'
This 'off-the-cuff' remark - also known as 'answering questions' - makes his issues plain.
Hayell, even Agnew knew "effete" don't always mean queer. Mainly.
He's such an asshole. He's not American, but he lives here and all he does is bitch about how terrible he thinks America and most American are.
He should go the fuck back to the UK. They are just as fucked up as we are
Those of us who are not American find it laughable that he teaches at America's most prestigious university. And considering he's not an isolated case seeing the enthusiasm they have also taken to the likes of Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osborne and or the Beckhams; sometimes I wonder if a British accent is all it takes to make it in America.
Niall Ferguson is one of the top public intellectuals of our generation, haters gonna hate.
r8. Was it that he was a foreign policy advisor for the Romney campaign that got you? That ridiculous Newsweek cover takedown of Obama? Or his overly simplistic reading of history? The man is a laughing stock.
Read the comments on this Guardian link to see the esteem in which Ferguson is held in the UK.
No R9, I didn't vote for Romney - I'm an independent. I like Ferguson because he's an accomplished historian and has an acute understanding of the perils that face Western civilization. And I don't care about what the peanut gallery has to say at a leftist rag like the Guardian.
R10 - by that reasoning, why did you bother to type your little rant??
Niall Ferguson has produced very little original work in his life. He's just a flashy popularizer.
He was married to a black woman whom he divorced after an extramarital affair with another black woman. And yes he is a pompous ass.
In his field...who do you hold in esteem?
To R12 and anybody else....
Living or dead?
r10, at the height of the War on Terror that leftist rag was one of the few sources of information available to Americans that didn't have the crap censored out of it (especially after the English version of Al-Jazeera mysteriously went offline during the invasion of Iraq.) It also ran Wikileaks stories and broke the story about the Murdoch newspaper empire's phone hacking and protection racket. I have a digital subscription to the Guardian because I value freedom of information and good journalism and I believe in supporting it. Niall Ferguson can suck it.
R4, wait a minute...he was the model for the young teacher in "The History Boys?" The character that is gay but closeted? Hmmmm...was the gay part supposed to be true?
[quote]Niall Ferguson is one of the top public intellectuals of our generation, haters gonna hate.
"haters gonna hate" is pretty much what you'd expect to come from someone who thinks Ferguson is a "public intellectual."
Take what Krugman stated about Newt Gingrich's admirers, apply here.
Americans often do, oddly enough, associate an upper class Brit accent with intelligence. It's some kind of weird snobbery that makes no sense. If Niall Ferguson sounded like Harvey Fierstein he'd be teaching at Seton Hall University.
Niall Ferguson is not an "accomplished historian." He is a foul political propagandist with dreams of world domination. The fact that he is beloved by the GOP and the Clinton-Obama faction tells you all you need to know about him. He believes Britain was WRONG to withdraw from its global empire after World War II and that America needs to step up to the plate and send soldiers all over the world meddling in other people's affairs. He's just a Lex Luthor for our time.
He is also the prick who convinced Republicans that deficits don't matter, as long as they are their deficits, because his contention is that public debt created the industrial revolution.
Is his British accent also the reason why he was a professor at Oxford and the LSE, r19?
Robert K. Massie is an excellent historian; yes, his books are popular, but that's because he does his research and writes brilliantly: "Nicholas & Alexandra," "Peter the Great," "Dreadnaught," "Castles of Steel," "Catherine the Great."
William Benemann is an excellent historian of gay American history: "Male-Male Intimacy in Early America," "Men in Eden."
[quote]He was married to a black woman whom he divorced after an extramarital affair with another black woman.
Not that it really matters, but he left his white wife, Susan Douglas, with whom he had three children, for the Somalian writer/activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Before Obama vanquished Romney, he was on the Daily Beast every week predicting a Romney landslide and how Mitt was what America needs.
[quote]he left his white wife, Susan Douglas, with whom he had three children, for the Somalian writer/activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
I didn't know this! That Hirsi Ali woman is a creep - they're made for each other.
Re: 'The History Boys.' I assume Alan Bennett used just some of NF's characteristics. Bennett is a first-class Oxford historian himself, and a lifelong man of the left, so unlikely to respect the showboating neocon.
Anyway, enough people now associate NF with the film for it to have got under his skin. NF found it necessary to show in a lecture once how his sales pro rata were higher than Bennett's.
I would guess being linked to a closeted gay character, written by a gay writer, in one of the most successful UK plays/films of recent times is vexing to him. Hence the 'off-the-cuff' remark, despite his much-protested lack of prejudice.
Also, NF isn't upper-class. His father was/is a doctor. He's educated Scottish middle-class.
Is it the fact that her genitals were mutilated when she was five, or that she had to go into hiding after her friend was brutally murdered that makes her creepy, r26?
R28: Life experience doesn't make you a creep; creepy views make you a creep (e.g., all Muslims are immoral and evil, etc.)
Cites, please, r29.
And do you cut her any slack for having suffered female circumcision at the hands of Muslims or for having suffered death threats?
Grow the hell up, R30.
When Catholic priests rape little boys, that doesn't mean Catholics in general rape little boys or endorse the rape of little boys, so when you're so simplistic as to say "at the hands of Muslims" as though a billion fucking people gathered around to mutilate her (conveniently ignoring the fact that Islamic religious leaders and Muslim countries have come out against female circumcision and made it an illegal practice), then it's no wonder you excuse her "act" which only serves to line her pockets when speaking before neo con groups.
She and her husband are truly embarrassing for so many reasons.
Yes r30, she's a victim of female genital mutilation (I refuse to call it circumcision because it's not equivalent to male removal of the foreskin) but doesn't keep her from having the creepiest, most islamophobic possible. In fact, she made a thing out of those views; it's what she's known for. Never mind Islam doesn't require or promote FGM, it's actually Somali custom, learn to separate the two.
She's no different from other right-wingers. I was once mugged by a man who happened to be black ... see where I'm going with this?
Haha, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is such a stuck up bitch. I never knew this douche left his wife for her.
Her Dutch citizenship was revoked because she lied, btw. She and Niall have a son, I think.
Does she even have a country anymore?
He apologized clearly and for once it wasn't one of those bullshit apologies not for what was said but in case it offended anybody. He clearly retracted his statement, acknowledged it as wrong and hurtful, and called himself an idiot (or some variant.)
That said, he illustrates the thoughtless, automatic view of gays that a lot of people have that is why we're second class citizens in many respects still.
R36, he apologized because he got called out on it, but you do understand he has a history of saying similar things. Right?
Automatic view? He's a child. He knows better.
People on DL rail against Christians/Christianity in a generalized way all the time, r31/r32. Does that offend your delicate sensibilities in a similar way?
No, I don't know his history. I was weighing based on the one incident. If he's said it before, it's meaningless. I don't trust DL to be able to handle a right wing view rationally in any event.
That's because it hurt his reputation and potential commercial viability r37. Those of us who've had to sit through his documentaries weren't surprised by what are undoubtedly his true feelings. This is a man who thinks white anglo -saxon protestant culture is superior to all and is an apologist for European colonialism.
Well, somebody had to get it done.
r40 and r30 are goddamned morons. Don't you freepers have somewhere else to be on a Sunday?
I've heard there is an epidemic of kidnappings where the victim is forced to sit through Niall Ferguson documentaries. It's a problem and something must be done.
R43, your unhinged anger is as amusing as it is irrational.
r43 calls a woman who has had to fight against the most extreme forms of patriarchal oppression a - and I quote - "stuck-up bitch". Tells you all you need to know about him, r45.
R39? Christians can't even accept Jesus inevitably looked like their definition of a "Muslim," so I'd say many of them have bigger problems than someone "offending" them. The very person they believe in, they'd reject on sight.
Walking on water? Easy to believe. A guy living in the middle of the desert with the sun beating down on him being a "sandnigger"? Impossible!
I love you, R44.
R46 a Clintonista defending Niall Ferguson. Well that's another mark against her.
It's unheard of for some misguided teachers to require their students to do so for credit, r44.
Hirsi is an extremist and an arrogant one at that. She brought that fatwa on herself.
That's just sad, r43. I want verification for the claims made against her, so I must be a freeper. She said something you didn't like, so she's "stuck-up bitch." Calling people names isn't debating. It's just evidence of your inability to substantiate your assertions and argue them intelligently.
She deserved a fatwa?!?! Do you have any idea how intolerant you seem to be?
r52 It is not OUR problem that you have not been paying attention to world affairs or Ayaan Hirsi Ali's bullshit. You have had more than ample opportunity to see it, hear it or google it for yourself. I'm not obligated to educate you; and why should you be rewarded for intellectual laziness?
r53, she made those assertions with the full intent of provoking a reaction and she got it.
The Dutch politicians who worked with Hirsi Ali found her to be a pathological liar.
R3 Citation please? And I mean actual scientific research with empirical data. Otherwise it's self deluding nonsense.
Wow. both seem sordid and awful.
So did the gay pride demonstrators in Moscow, r55 - did they deserve to get beaten up by neo-Nazis as well?
He's a douche.
False equivalency r55. The gay pride demonstrators were about their own rights and liberties. Hirsi made deliberately insulted a religion and its adherents knowing full well the kind of reaction it would provoke.
Nonsense, r61. Her film was an indictment of religious patriarchy, whch directly jeopardizes her rights and liberties as a woman. Those who reacted to her "blasphemy" with death threats are by definition extremists, ergo people who want to oppress her rights - both as a woman and as an "apostate"/atheist.
R54, if you assert facts in a debate, it is your responsibility to back them up. And, if you can't be bothered or unable to do so, calling people names does not constitute defending your position. It just makes you look childish.
R29 accused her of having "creepy" views, "e.g., all Muslims are immoral and evil, etc." Now, I already knew who she was, and had some idea of her views and associations. But I haven't read such an extreme position from her. And I could spend hours trying to find such a statement from her online. But since someone else claimed she had such a "creepy" view, it's really his responsibility to provide a cite substantiating this accusation.
For a taste of Ferguson's assholery, here's his take on the VP debate where Biden schooled Ryan.
R22, Robert Massie isn't an excellent historian - he's not a historian, he simply writes pop books in a descriptive narrative style that involve no original research and very little analysis. He is not a professional historian who carries out original research or opens up new areas of knowledge. His work is not assessed and critiqued by and is certainly not judged, as a professional historian would be, by his academic peers.
Niall Ferguson is an academic historian who in his own field has written some interesting original and credible work. Trouble is he also tries too much to be a popular historian. Because he is kind of pretty and eloquent and took a particular simplistic angle that the general public could understand he became a tv historian. It's good that he apologised, however, and saying something as stupid as this about Keynes is not necessarily part of Ferguson's style. He shouldn't have said this though, even off-the-cuff.
Keynes was bisexual and married to a woman for about 25 years at the time of his death, and that wasn't a fake marriage but one based on love. Perhaps they didn't have children simply because they couldn't.
Keynes' male lover, Duncan Grant, lived in a form of marriage with Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf's sister, and even had a child with her, Angelica Garnett (neé Bell, as she was raised as the daughter of Vanessa's husband, Clive Bell), who only died last year at the age of almost 100. Angelica herself then went on to marry another of Duncan Grant's male lovers, David Garnett, with whom she had four children. So, the homosexuals of Bloomsbury were clearly procreating and having kids who were survivng for a long time.
Prestigious institutions that need to raise money sometimes employ people like Ferguson because they believe it raises their public profile and helps in "engagement with the public". On the whole, however, most popular tv historians are not necessarily distinguished in their field but somehow managed to worm themselves a tv career. The general public thinks they are "great" historians, however, because they are famous.
Ferguson's first wife was not black. His second wife is probably mortified by what he said about gays.
The Guardian may be ok for some coverage but the people who comment on its comment threads are very hard core, even extremist, and not at all reflective of the general population.
"He is also the prick who convinced Republicans that deficits don't matter, as long as they are their deficits, because his contention is that public debt created the industrial revolution."
Wouldn't that make him a neo-Keynesian, r20?
Wives or no, likely closet-case/
Check your gaydar, R67. Can you imagine Ferguson trolling rest stops, or even in a committed relationship with a man? Besides, closet cases don't leave their wives for another woman in middle age. Doesn't happen.
R16, the Guardian actually backed the Iraq War. It was wishy-washy about it, and tried to sound "balanced", but the Guardian line was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and he had to be disarmed. Then, when no WMD were found, it tried to take the line of well, he was a bad man so it was a good thing we got rid of him anyway. Some Guardian journalists were, and still are (think Nick Cohen), among the biggest advocates of the war.
I can't find a Guardian leader article from 2003 (they're hiding them well), but this is the leader article in the Observer, the Sunday edition of the Guardian (as you can see, it's from the Guardian's website).
"War with Iraq may yet not come, but, conscious of the potentially terrifying responsibility resting with the British Government, we find ourselves supporting the current commitment to a possible use of force. That is not because we have not agonised, as have so many of our readers and those who demonstrated across the country yesterday, about what is right. It is because we believe that, if Saddam does not yield, military action may eventually be the least awful necessity for Iraq, for the Middle East and for the world."
[quote]The Guardian may be ok for some coverage but the people who comment on its comment threads are very hard core, even extremist, and not at all reflective of the general population.
If their readers are not reflective of the general population, who are? The Telegraph? The Mail? Stop trying to portray the Guardian as if it is some fringe, far-left publication. Yes, it's left-leaning but its readers form a significant enough part of the population to affect elections and sometimes even get the Labour Party in power.
As for those reader comments, they are mainly spot on. For example, Ferguson is an apologist for colonialism.
The Grauniad is nothing. 2013 circulation is about 220K. The Telegraph is double that, the Mail, God help us, 1.8 M. The Guardian just exists for the loopy left to have someplace to market their loopy ideas. I mean, Polly Toynbee, for God's sake...
What's your problem with Polly Toynbee, R71?
Ferguson apologized because he was caught out; that it reads as more contrite than the standard operational retort of 'I'm sorry if I offended anyone" that you usually expect from the phobes, he's got form going back decades when it comes to Keynes.
He wrote in The Pity of War that Keynes disapproved of WWI because all his tricks were signing up to go to the front. He also couldn't handle the peace negotiations because he had the hots for a German stud.
Link to Ferguson's views, which speak far more to his attitudes than his 'apology'.
Btw, the backlash Ferguson has received for this really goes to show how far we've come in the last few years regarding the unacceptability of homophobia
Just 8 years ago, Thomas Sowell, a similarly well-respected conservative academic, could say things that make Ferguson's remarks look innocuous without generating much controversy:
[quote]Incidentally, it is not even clear how many homosexuals actually want marriage, even though gay activists are pushing it.
[quote]What the activists really want is the stamp of acceptance on homosexuality, as a means of spreading that lifestyle, which has become a death style in the era of AIDS.
[quote]They have already succeeded to a remarkable degree in our public schools, where so-called "AIDS education" or other pious titles are put on programs that promote homosexuality. In some cases, gay activists actually come to the schools, not only to promote homosexuality as an idea but even to pass out the addresses of local gay hangouts to the kids.
[quote]There is no limit to what people will do if you let them get away with it. That our schools, which are painfully failing to educate our children to the standards in other countries, have time for promoting homosexuality is truly staggering.
[quote]Every special interest group has an incentive to take something away from society as a whole. Some will be content just to siphon off a share of the taxpayers' money for themselves. Others, however, want to dismantle a part of the structure of values that make a society viable.
Niall Ferguson may have apologized but he has been saying this stuff about Keynes for years!
What's bizarre though is that he apparently has this opinion about Keynes as a gay person yet named Andrew Sullivan as one of his child's godparents.
R65, love your posts. Are there any good books about the gay males of Bloomsbury?
Sullivan and NF were Oxford contemporaries.
I wonder what NF's 'off-the-cuff' view of Alan Turing would be? Less harsh perhaps, since he was the sort of gay genius and wartime national hero who didn't have nearly so good a time as Keynes, and died tragically young under dubious circumstances.
Nonetheless, NF would doubtless only award Turing a beta, since he was childless. NF writes history; Turing (and Keynes) rightly have their place in history, and their reputations will survive NF's grandchildren.
R70, the thugs who comment on Guardian threads are not represenatitve of the average Briton. They are not even supportive of the Labour Party, and far to the left of it. Much of the rabble on those threads would have Labour adopt completely unrealistic policies which would ensure it lost every election.
R76, hm, don't know if there are any good books on the gay males of Bloomsbury. I'm a Virginia Woolf fan, so read a lot about her, which is how I learnt all this stuff about Duncan Grant and David ("Bunny") Garnett. She also kept some great diaries, which have lots of social life detail.
The other trail to follow is the Cambridge one, as many of these Bloomsbury boys were fellow students there, and members of the elite, sort of gay, dining club Apostles.
I don't know of any specific book on Bloomsbury and homosexuality or sexuality in general, which is odd, come to think of it, considering how much sexuality is part of the overall Bloomsbury idea. There are lots of books on Bloomsbury, however, and even more written by the people who were part of Bloomsbury, so that could be a good starting point.
I've not yet read "Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939" by Virginia Nicholson (the daughter of Quentin Bell, Virginia Bell's son and Angelica's brother) but it has flashes of insight. It's on my reading list.
The thing about the Niall Ferguson mentality is that he likes to think of himself as a libertarian and, hence, as having an open-minded view of sexuality and being a cosmopolitan who can count homosexuals as amongst his friends. I think he's totally burnt himself with this comment, however, and it's done irreparable damage to his already fragile reputation.
Quentin Bell's own book on the Bloomsbury Group, "Bloomsbury Recalled", is apparently very candid on the sexuality of many of the people associated with that set, including Keynes. Another one to put on the reading list!
[quote]the thugs who comment on Guardian threads are not represenatitve of the average Briton. They are not even supportive of the Labour Party, and far to the left of it. Much of the rabble on those threads would have Labour adopt completely unrealistic policies which would ensure it lost every election.
Please, they almost all vote Labour, r79. Interesting you refer to them as "thugs" as it betrays your leanings, if anything the charge usually thrown at Guardian readers is that of elitist, out of touch, liberals. But what they say about Ferguson is mostly true, you can't deny that.
R78 - says FAR more about you than Guardian readers..
Personally, I read the FT - and, GOD, are we soooooooo in the shit thanks to TORY austerity.
Good grief, r80, the commentators at the Guardian's Cif are very hardcore and thuggish and the opinions they express are very from the Labour Party. They may might vote Labour (have you actually done a poll of them?) but most find it too right-wing for them. And you can still not admit that the Guardian actually supported the Iraq war!
(By the way, I am actually allowed to have my own political opinions, and it doesn't make me a bad person just because they don't pass your test. At least I didn't support the Iraq war, like the Guardian did. I read that newspaper assiduously since the 1980s but find that its online edition, in a desperate attempt to get clicks, has become populist and superficial. There is a huge blur between reporting and opinion and investigative reporting only seems to be a secondary concern these days.)
Anyway, for r76. try Lytton Strachey's letters. He was apparently also a lover of Keynes and in love with Duncan Grant. You can read some extracts from a letter to Keynes at the link, about how in 100 years (written in 1906) the "sodomitical", like them, will be better understood. The letters were published a few years ago, edited by Paul Levy.
R81, I read the FT too and pay a subscription for it. I used to read the Guardian but find it has gone really shit in its attempt to transition to the online world. Part of this has been to encourage "open journalism", i.e. its readers write the paper, or parts of it. In my reading experience, this has led to a decline in the quality of the Guardian, which is why I prefer to pay for the FT because at least then I'm paying for an experienced professional journalist to actually do some research, whereas at the Guardian, because they refuse to charge, they are trying to get free copy written, and so you just get lots of polemical opinions instead of good reporting.
And, you don't have to be "rich" to pay for an FT subscription or subscription to any other newspaper. After all, only a few years ago we had to pay for paper copies of newspapers and that worked out more expensive annually than an online subscription.
I don't think the thugs who comment on Guardian threads are "rabble" because "rabble" implies the masses, whereas much of the commentary on Guardian threads is an extremist minority.
In any case, Keynes was a supporter of the Liberal Party.
R65 / R78 thank you v much. I'll read both (Among the Bohemians and the Quentin Bell autobiography).
What an odd assertion. Homosexuality is much more common among the right-wing elite than it is anywhere on the left. The allegiance between gay rights advocates and leftists is entirely contemporary; politics makes strange bedfellows. For gay men at least there has always been a strong instinctual identification with wealth, power, and status.
speak for yourself.
Wow, what a great thing to see Bill Benemann mentioned in here and his wonderful books on gay male history in the USA - get them and read them
R-65 - How can you say that about Bob Massie? I know him personally and he puts enormous work into everyone of his books. I can't imagine anyone saying he isn't a historian - in all my years this is the first time I have seen a comment like that. It's okay, everybody had a right to their opinion.
I don't like Orlando Figes myself... so we all have our preferences.
Nicholas and Alexandra was written a very long time ago an perhaps it was a bit simplistic, but it introduced millions to Russian history and that was a good thing.
I love how effete is one of many thinly disguised euphemisms/synonyms for being gay, flamboyant is another often used in that context.
R90, depends on what you mean by historian. Since you were making a comparison/contrast between him and Niall Ferguson, I thought the point was to show that Ferguson isn't all that as an academic historian. But, Massie isn't an academic historian and he would never be employed in a university, because he doesn't do original research and has no interest in analysis. It's a simple "this happened, then this happened" narrative. He may be a wonderful popular historian and many people who just want to "cuddle up with a good book" seem to love his work, but he is in no way an academic historian. Mind you, this is all based on my great struggle to get through his biography of Peter the Great for the past few months, which I'm afraid to say I find immensely boring.
I don't like Orlando Figes either. Not many people do, however.
R85, you may have missed this reference, in amongst all the blah about the Guardian, but check out Lytton Strachey's Letters, edited by Paul Levy. He was also a lover and correspondent of Keynes and his letters contain all sorts of gossip and reflection about being gay in the Bloomsbury Group and that era.
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