Titanic concerns

October 6, 2006

It is an amusing coincidence that the articles by Bill Durodie and Jonathan Rutherford should be printed back to back (Features, September 22). Durodié speaks of nihilism and self-loathing, but the problem with Western intellectuals is less self-loathing than vanity - the moral vanity that oozes from Rutherford's article.

Since the Romantic generation, and certainly since the First World War, the oppositional stance has been the easyJone for Western intellectuals. At no risk to themselves, they can denounce horrors such as "neoliberalism" and be admired for their boldness by the uninquiring.

There is a lesson for us all in the satisfaction with which they regard rearrangements they make among the deckchairs on the Titanic .

David Parker.
Kingston University

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