Farewell to The Economist

An Email I sent this weekend:

To: customerhelp@economist.com
Subject: Please cancel my subscription

My Customer Reference Number is …
My address is: …

I have been a subscriber for more than two decades, but your latest cover story (“Globalisation and Politics: The new political divide”) is pure propaganda that I have no interest in financing.

I am saddened to see the decline of a once great publication.

I will be donating my refund to the Trump campaign.

Aside from Technology Review (which is free), The Economist is the only magazine to which I still subscribe after all these years. Or rather, it was.

I am not naïve. As a long-term subscriber, I am well aware of The Economist’s leanings and how they differ from my own. But I expect them to display some vague understanding of both sides of contentious issues, and then to argue their case with facts and intelligent reasoning. Smart people disagreeing with me are among my favorite things to read.

But this… is such blatant and ridiculous propaganda that I am not even sure where to begin a critique. It simply mocks itself from beginning to end.

Oh what the heck; since it is likely the last Economist article I will ever read…

Farewell, left versus right. The contest that matters now is open against closed

There it is, right from the get-go. The proper and well-known terms in this context are “nationalism” and “globalism”. And it is not as though “nationalism” has universally positive connotations; at least, not yet. But just to make sure, they chose value-laden terms tangential to the debate. I mean, really, how could any reasoning person prefer “closed” to “open”? Checkmate!

So far, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has been the anti-globalists’ biggest prize: the vote in June to abandon the world’s most successful free-trade club

Wait, do you mean the super-state with its own flag, anthem, and barely-elected rat-faced bureaucrats hostile to the very concept of nation states whose edicts on every topic (including immigration) override national parliaments? That “free-trade club”?

was won by cynically pandering to voters’ insular instincts

I see. So apparently Brexit won because UK voters were tricked into thinking trade is bad.

Listen, you disingenuous mouthpieces, the UK voted out precisely because the EU is not remotely a “free-trade club” and the electorate knows it. Does that scare you? I think it scares you.

On July 26th two men claiming allegiance to Islamic State slit the throat of an 85-year-old Catholic priest in a church near Rouen. It was the latest in a string of terrorist atrocities in France and Germany. The danger is that a rising sense of insecurity will lead to more electoral victories for closed-world types. This is the gravest risk to the free world since communism. Nothing matters more than countering it.

In other words, the biggest threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists hell-bent on annihilating the people and culture of the West, and who have shown the willingness and ability to infiltrate our societies, is that the wrong kind of politician might get elected.

I have honest-to-god seen parody accounts make this argument more convincingly.

Even so, for Mr Trump to urge Russia to keep hacking Democrats’ e-mails is outrageous.

This is the point where I decided to cancel my subscription.

What Trump has done throughout his campaign — and I mean throughout — is called “trolling the media”. Here is how it works. Trump makes a statement, no matter how ridiculous, and the media reaction is invariably even more ridiculous. (Note: Image is exaggerated but not by much.) The result is free publicity and usually a bump in the polls. It has been fascinating to watch.

This instance was not even very subtle. “Hey I hear Russia has Hillary’s deleted Emails. Maybe they should give them to the FBI!” That’s all? Seriously?

My personal theory for why it works (and keeps working) is that journalists are morons. But I expected better from The Economist.

Sigh. I am bored now, so go read the rest yourself. See if you smile like I did at the word “worryingly”.

Oh, and do not miss the comments sorted by recommendations. I like the one saying that the wall in the cartoon should have a sign reading “Please Use The Door”.

2 comments to Farewell to The Economist

  • I unsubscribed a few years back when I realized that while most articles
    “display some vague understanding of both sides of contentious issues, and then to argue their case with facts and intelligent reasoning”
    articles on subjects I was deeply familiar with were not so.
    They were, at best, simplistic and puerile, and at worst, on par with the same kind of hack journalism available elsewhere.

    And thence the epiphany, why assume that any of the articles on subjects I was *not* familiar with were any better written? I had fallen for writing style, assuming vocabulary and wit were correlated to expertise.

    Sigh…

  • “unsubscribed”.
    Double sigh

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