I think the crisis in confidence over the legitimacy of the west and its institutions, values and history can be sheeted home to the march of so-called critical theory through our universities – a pernicious ideology that is anti-intellectual and anti-science.
This was emphasised to me by two articles in the Australian Financial Review on 31 March 2021.
The first was a write up of the AFR Banking Summit 2021, which stated
Buy now, pay later pioneers Afterpay and Humm Group say major banks have little choice but to partner with them, given their dominance of the market for younger customers. Afterpay executive vice president Lee Hatton said the fintech juggernaut’s success could be attributed to its understanding of the Millennial psyche …
“[Our product] brings joy, it is actually no longer just about a transaction …”
Wow – there’s a lot of hubris here, and since when does debt bring joy? Is the Millennial psyche so different that the joy of taking on Afterpay debt adds to the experience of buying the ‘ethical’ product? I might have learned economics during the pre-historical period, but surely key concepts like opportunity cost, scarce resources and humans being insatiable still apply? Don’t Millennials want to buy a product at the lowest price they can? Or is it simply that Millennials have a lexicographical preferencing for being seen to be good (that used to be the sin of pride) that they lap up all the claims (supported by that highly reliable source of information – social media) of the various products aimed at them that they can bask in their moral superiority to their forebears.
The other was an article – on the front page no less – about Georgia Geminder (the eldest daughter of supposedly Australia’s third richest woman – don’t get me on to the obsession by people about who is the richest etc, this seems to be antithetical to morality).
Anyhow young Geminder has created a startup for a new toothpaste – and you might ask, why is the AFR promoting such products?
The new toothpaste – priced at a ridiculous $15 for a much smaller tube of toothpaste –
… a range of toothpastes and other products that replace harsh chemicals with natural alternatives
This obsession with ‘natural’ products is profoundly anti-scientific. One of the ‘harsh chemicals’ being removed is flouride. Something that countless clinical trials show substantially reduce the risk of dental caries.
But, no, Geminder whose qualifications apparently include “sociology studies at Monash University” and “a modelling career in LA” is the expert on what Millennials want in their toothpaste. And the experience and packaging is much more important than whether something actually works.
No thank you Georgia. I’ll stick to the traditional toothpaste makers. Natural doesn’t mean safe and effective, nor are ‘harsh chemicals’ unsafe and ineffective. Mercury is natural but I wouldn’t recommend using it as an ingredient in cosmetics as it was during long periods of history.