Saturday, 17 October 2020
The absurd power of the absurd
A curious aspect of the UK coronavirus debacle is how it has highlighted the power of the absurd. The UK government response to the pandemic has been and still is absurd, but by now we should be used to the absurd in public life.
The catastrophic climate change narrative is absurd, as is UK energy policy. Mass immigration in an overcrowded country has been and still is absurd. HS2 in an unpredictably changing world is absurd. BBC funding is absurd. The public utterances of numerous celebrities are absurd. Many MPs are absurd. Many experts and academics are absurd.
The list is so long that being absurd is clearly not in itself a drawback. It even appears to be an advantage in that the absurd shares no common ground with rational discussion. Rational arguments flounder. There may even be some advantage in making an absurd position even more absurd, taking it even further away from the dangers of rational discussion.
Maybe that is the source of its power because simple observation suggest that the absurd may be enormously powerful. In itself that is an absurd position to be in, but again, it doesn’t necessarily matter.