Enjoy seeing a smug, holier-than-thou “public intellectual” being rebutted, point by point?
So do I.
Cross-posted from Andrew Bolt’s blog:
Today, according to the World Health Organization, one-in-five men in the Russian Federation die due to alcohol-related causes, compared with 6.2 percent of all men globally. In her 2000 article “First Steps: AA and Alcoholism in Russia,” Patricia Critchlow estimated that some 20 million Russians are alcoholics in a nation of just 144 million.
Large swathes of Europe must have also started to babble in English from under the table:
THE world drank the equivalent of 6.1 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2005, according to a report from the World Health Organisation… The biggest boozers are mostly found in Europe and in the former Soviet states. Moldovans are the most bibulous, getting through 18.2 litres each, nearly 2 litres more than the Czechs in second place.
Again and again, Hamilton makes spurious links between English-speaking and some sign of depravity or lack of self-control:
Being fat and English-speaking seem to go together.
Once again, the facts contradict Hamilton. From the World Health Organisation:
According to WHO estimates, more than 75% of women over the age of 30 are now overweight in countries as diverse as Barbados, Egypt, Malta, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States. Estimates are similar for men, with over 75% now overweight in, for example, Argentina, Germany, Greece, Kuwait, New Zealand, Samoa, and the United Kingdom. Notably, the Western Pacific islands of Nauru and Tonga have the highest global prevalence of overweight where nine out of every 10 adults are overweight.
Hamilton tries again:
It is now widely believed throughout the West that rich countries are experiencing social fragmentation and “moral decline”. To the extent that this is true, the decline is being led by the Anglophone countries… When English-speakers marry the partnership is more likely to founder.
Once again, the facts contradict his anti-Anglo theory:
Again, Hamilton exaggerates:
Along with television viewing, use of recreational drugs is a response to boredom and anomie. In Anglo countries, cannabis use is much higher than elsewhere.
About 180m people aged between 15 and 64 smoked weed in the past 12 months, compared with around 160m a few years ago. The drug is most popular in New Zealand and Italy.
So it strikes me that Hamilton simply wanted to believe the very worst of English speakers, regardless of the evidence. Indeed, some of the pathologies he seizes upon as evidence of the hazards of English speaking are in fact evidence of greater wealth. And he lets loose on people of Anglophone countries with a stream of abuse that if applied to any other “racial”, ethnic or language group would have him and the ABC (which published his rant) in danger of a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act:
If binge-drinking and obesity are two signifiers of the curse of speaking English, another is television viewing, and the decline in social life that goes with it… Anglo-narcissism … Badly behaved children are to be found everywhere, but they are more likely to have their tantrums in English…
Nations encouraging the introduction of English can expect that, over time, their citizens will become more individualistic, more materialistic and less compassionate. They are also likely to want to watch more television, eat more junk food, become fatter, marry less and divorce more often. Their children will become less disciplined, more likely to need drugs to calm them down, and to binge on alcohol when they reach their teens.