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My First Think Tank - The Freedom Institute

Prior to the creation of this blog, badman has worked the floor over on Indymedia Ireland. One of my favourite targets of criticism was traditionally The Freedom Institute.

The Freedom Institute is a "think tank" set up by a bunch of rich kids in University College Dublin. I think they call it a "public policy research institute" or some similarly grandiose title. In any case, whatever they call it, it's one of those things in life, like bad haircuts or the royal family, that simply demands ridicule.

After reading a few of their "reports", I quickly realised just how embarrassingly bad their "research" was. Each and every one of their reports followed the same predictable pattern. State intervention and anything that could be vaguely considered to be an impediment to the power of rich people to do whatever the hell they like is bad. This is all we need to know about all problems in the world. A particularly embarrassing application of this doctrine sees them reqularly equate all politics to the left of genghis khan with the nazis. Just today, one of their members fellow travellers (who must be about 14 considering his decision to call himself "wulfbeorn" and decorate his site with howling wolves) is equating Sinn Fein with the Nazis on the basis that Sinn Fein's health policy mentions the word "equality" and so does a piece of Nazi rhetoric. Brilliant.

Another amusing bit of nonsense saw them attribute the famine in ethiopia to the fact that ethiopia was "socialist". Their evidence for this claim was that the USA had experienced similar droughts without the same disasterous consequences! Are they sure they've considered all possible differences between the two situations before coming to this conclusion? They don't say.

Rather than being anything similar to a body which carries out research, the freedom institute is a sort of "billionaire boy's club". A bunch of precocious, spoiled, rich-kid undergraduates who have an absolutely unshakeable faith in their own cleverness compared to the rest of the species. Their other defining attitude is that they absolutely detest any argument that might suggest that they are not utterly deserving of their own privilege, indeed they really think that they ought to be applauded for it. Some strange coincidence of the planets must have occured to bring a critical mass of precocious pups with extreme forms of these symptoms together. Such traits are commonly found in dilute form among the pupils of the half-dozen most prominent boys school (and they are virtually all boys) but their delusions of grandeur are normally limited to a bit of pompous posing in the student's union, the debating societies or one of the campus publications. It is rare that it extends to the ridiculous levels of establishing a think-tank, manned by under-graduates who don't even possess the skills to carry out basic research.

In typical vainglorious fashion, they doled out grandiose-sounding titles to their entire membership. Richard Waghorne, one of their members with the greatest willingness to pontificate on subjects about which he is ill-informed, was their "Spokesman on Economics & Infrastructure".

More mocking of the freedom institute to come

In typical vainglorious fashion, they doled out grandiose-sounding titles to their entire membership. Richard Waghorne, one of their members with the greatest willingness to pontificate on subjects about which he is ill-informed, was their "Spokesman on Economics & Infrastructure".

"Badman", I believe you and I are about to become friends.

'Another amusing bit of nonsense saw them attribute the famine in ethiopia to the fact that ethiopia was "socialist". Their evidence for this claim was that the USA had experienced similar droughts without the same disasterous consequences! Are they sure they've considered all possible differences between the two situations before coming to this conclusion? They don't say'

Not that I disagree with your overarching thesis on the so
called Freedom Institute, but who are you, if you don't mind me asking, to criticise? What's your great explanation for Ethiopian famine, badman? Where's the basis for your recently-sprouted authority? Or are you just the type who shouts names and runs away?

Hi anonymous,

In order for one to point out how ridiculous a theory is, one does not necessarily have to profer a better theory.

Thus, for example, anybody who puts forward a theory of quantum gravity based upon the global population of teddy bears will get laughed at, despite the fact that we have no suitable theory.

Having made the above disclaimer, I will tentatively offer the opinion that:
a) drought
b) war
c) being one of the poorest countries in the world

all had more impact that "socialism" on the ethiopian famine. I know it's not rocket science, but my authority is very recently sprouted after all.

"Used to?" Looks like you're still working for the indymedia cretins. you have the same IP address as their PAIR servers.

Silly cow.

you have the same IP address as their PAIR servers

Gawd. Before you make conspira-tastic claims, you should learn a teensie bit about technology.

This blog is hosted by blogger.com and last time I checked indymedia hadn't yet mounted a takeover bid of google (which owns blogger). I seriously doubt if google run their services off servers that are shared with indymedia. Idiot.

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