A sustained diatribe against what the author sees as social relativism.
In this 2015 edition of his 1996 book, Dawson (The Quantum Dimension, 2015) proposes that modern society has suffered from the reality-denying principles outlined in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s 1953 work Philosophical Investigations. In that work, according to Dawson, Wittgenstein taught that language is disconnected from reality and that “the appearance of reality is only an artificial linguistic ordering by the mind.” As Dawson sees it, this philosophical concept has filtered into the modern liberal Democratic mindset, fostering an opportunity for people— enabled by the mainstream media—to embrace “unreality” instead of the observable facts. “Political unreality could not exist in a culture in which the language was still firmly tied to objective reality,” Dawson writes, blaming Wittgenstein for the uncoupling of words from the reality they purport to describe. Dawson then goes on to tell his readers about what actually constitutes reality—a fairly standard laundry list of tea-party ammunition: Martin Luther King Jr. is “the father of social fascism” because he created “a nearly pathological fear of and hatred for whites among American blacks” ; “innumerable studies” show that “blacks as a group perform intellectual skills less efficiently than do whites”; Planned Parenthood participates in profound evil; homosexuality is a “perversion” and an “abomination”; etc. Dawson insinuates that, “perhaps not insignificantly,” Wittgenstein was also a homosexual. Never does Dawson’s supposedly objective analysis of reality lead to a conclusion that doesn’t line up perfectly with his conservative ideology. Poor people are parasites, minorities are inferior, women are uppity, animals are either food or trophies, gays are abominations—basically, anyone who isn’t more or less just like the author is warped in some way. Here’s to being warped.
A far-right interpretation of reality that will appeal to readers already shooting at the same targets.