The title (“Logic for Democrats”) makes you curious. The discomfort, however, begins when you read the author’s name.
The author of this book has so far been mainly “well-known” for his frequent rude troll attacks in social media – one of his victims was recently Sascha Lobo, one of Germany’s most well-known bloggers and journalists -, often stirred up by his adlatus, an influential, but mediocre journalist in the literary sphere, and by a few articles in a magazine (whose title “Hohe Luft” means “High Air” – although “Heisse Luft”, i.e. “Hot Air” would be more suitable considering the quality and writing style of many essays in that journal).
In his essays in above mentioned magazine, the author frequently falls into exactly those logical fallacies and Kategorienfehler that he likes to attack with inquisitive eagerness and great philistine arrogance, when he has – allegedly! – discovered them in the writing and thinking of others, even intruding again and again the privacy of those who don’t agree with him, despite their warnings and pleads to refrain from that. A virtual stalker and Rechthaber of the most unpleasant category.
That a FB troll of all people feels entitled to write a book on how to discuss political issues with a certain group of people (the populists that are a phenomenon in most Western countries again) came not only to me as a big surprise. It is precisely this subject for which the author is self-evidently not at all equipped, as is obvious from his behaviour in public discussions. There is a lack of basic qualities, such as a minimum of respect for the opponent, or the understanding that sometimes even an opponent may be right, a thought that as it seems would never occur to the author of this book, judging from the verbal crusades and pogroms he is waging on people who haven’t even addressed him in a discussion or with a simple statement. And if the author seriously believes that his book will help in any discussion with populists, then he is completely delusional.
A pity that a renowned publisher gave this author a big stage, and that this book, written in a very blurred style that clearly aims at deceiving the reader regarding the rather poor content is now praised by a part of the German media as a great achievement; that tells me something about the actual state of intellectual life in Germany, I am afraid.
“When the sun of culture stands low, even dwarfs cast long shadows.” (Karl Kraus)
Daniel-Pascal Zorn: Logik für Demokraten, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2017
© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-7. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Dear Mr. Hübner,
this is probably the most brilliant review of an unread book that I’ve ever seen. Could you please reveal to the curious public the name of his »influential, but mediocre« adlatus? I would like to hate him, too.
Dear Mr. Leo, contrary to the two(?) other gentlemen who hide their identity behind aliases, you write to me under your real name. Therefore you deserve an answer. You are mistaken when you speak of a review of an unread book. You are also mistaken when you think that I hate the author or his adlatus. And you are mistaken when you think that I am here to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. I find it highly problematic when someone who is well-known for frequently invading and violating the privacy of people who don’t wish to be bothered by him in Social Media, is writing such a (poorly executed) book. There is no need for you to share my opinion, but that’s fine with me.
Dear Mr. Hübner,
if I deserve an answer, why don’t you give me one to the question I asked?
Dear Mr. Leo, I thought I made it clear that I am not here to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. I am afraid I cannot help you.
Maybe so, dear Mr. Hübner, or maybe you are just a coward fearing the influence of those whom he despises for their mediocrity. Have a wonderful evening!
Dear Mr. Leo, I am afraid you are getting a bit childish now. Anyway, have a nice evening!
Dear Mr. Hübner,
I’d like to commend you for writing such a pristine and beautiful example in the grand art of recommendatio ex negativo. Your wonderful review of Mr. Zorn – for surely, anyone who might have expected a review of his book stood quickly corrected once she read the author’s name – provides a case study, dare a I say, a ‘clinic’ in probing the mindset of one unfortunate soul in those legions of balloon-like egos whose fragile sense of erudite being in the right was consummately deflated by that frightful cave troll, Mr. Zorn. Indeed, how people suffer – SUFFER! I tell you – from the slings and arrows of outrageous logic.
‘Scorned by Zorn’ – this might be a new quality seal by which to identify those fundamentally incapable of learning, when all the opportunity lies as an open field before them.
Such as a book that might be read before it is reviewed. Such as a column, perhaps, on ad hominems, straw men, genetic fallacies or guilting by association – arguments the vacuousness of which is an exercise most easily performed and exposed, as you demonstrate so consistently here. Hot air, indeed. Yet clearly, such foolish notions are beneath those Olympian gods of criticism, like the tremendous Mr. Hübner, who sneer at the petty and – clearly, obviously, self-evidently – unwarranted successes of mere mortals. Successes, too, which can only be explained by the machinations of their equally third-rate yet inexplicably influential stooges from the failing German press and – I think it is safe to say – formerly renowned publishing houses. Be afraid. Be very afraid indeed.
That those who have encountered Zorn and lost to him might wish to smear him, now that he is gaining wider attention does not come as a great surprise.
That, by their words they show they did not learn a thing in smearing him, does. Now, if only we hadn’t the counterfactual claims that, indeed, that pesky gadfly had already empowered others at the front lines on the fight against populism – such as Mrs. Bednarz, another stooge, no doubt – and slews of others. We can only assume that they are similarly completely delusional, as you put it so succsinctly.
Verily, it is an extraordinary task to make one’s own contempt and resentment of another so thoroughly the sole yard-stick of one’s writing that it becomes the opposite of what it wants to achieve: a blazing argument for why a book such as ‘Logic for Democrats’ is not only worthwhile, but necessary.
For this, I thank you.
Nice try, Mr. Zorn. But why do you write under a pseudonym?
despite the dänger of stating the obvious: A fundamental of reviewing a book is widely considered: reviewing *the book*.
Which, unfortunately, you didn t. But with a bit of practice, one of these days you might be able to take that first step into the world of readers. See you there!
Dear sir, despite the danger of stating the obvious. A fundamental of writing comments of blog posts is widely considered: understanding the content and the literary genre (here: a polemic) of the blog post. Which unfortunately, you didn’t. But with a bit of practice, one of these days you might be able to take the first step into the world of writers. But I doubt I ‘ll ever meet you there.
I ll be happy to apologize for my error as soon as you actually *show* me a passage in which you actually topicalize the, uhm, topic: the content of the book. What we don t need clarify to any further extent is that you despise the author.
So: Where *exactly* is my comment not correct?
My apologies, Mr. Anonymus, I have no time for trolls who are hiding behind a pseudonym.
It s Henderson, dear sir,
and, more importantly, there is no such thing as an answer in there. One could almost get the impression that you can t answer this, as there is, actually, no single reference to the book.
And which part of “I have no time for trolls who are hiding behind a pseudonym” is it exactly that you fail to understand, Mr. Anonymus?
So, you have not answered Per Leo and you have not answered me here.
Per Leo called you a coward for that – i ll subscribe to it.
Mr. Anonymus, which part of my last three answers is it that you don’t understand?
PS: You take so much time to reply that you don t have time… this is getting a bit tricky in terms of credibility here…
Mr. Anonymus, which part of my last answer, and the previous one is it that you fail to understand?
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Sehr erheiternd ist der Schluss der Rezension: Ein Zitat eines Denkers, über den Sie vor hundert Jahren ganz genauso geschrieben hätten wie heute über Zorn, und dann ist es auch noch unecht. Chapeau!
Ja, sehr erheiternd: ein unechter Kommerzienrat mit einem unechten Familiennamen vergleicht eine aufgeblasene Null wie Zorn mit Karl Kraus, haha. – Dummheit in Kombination mit Caesarenwahn ist immer eine aparte Kombination, wie Sie erneut aufs Schönste beweisen…