“Dumbing down” is the modern equivalent of the Roman “bread and circuses” ploy to keep the masses occupied while the governing elite go their own way regardless. This leads to even serious papers such as The Scotsman giving undue prominence to childish pop stars and soap opera “happenings”, while the travails of a certain English football club feature almost daily in TV national news.
What a relief, therefore, to enjoy once again Professor Hugh McLachlan’s enlightened reasoning in his latest essay in your pages (Perspective, 24 January). The professor is a valuable antidote to the biased interpretations of our political class (and their uncritical followers) of life’s various problems.
His latest topic, human rights, is one that most people accept completely at superficial level, without thinking behind the basic proposition. The professor’s views are a direct invitation to consider the matter more critically and without preconceived bias. I personally believe that the very idea of human rights is a direct cause of much of society’s dysfunctions.
I’ve always found Professor McLachlan’s expositions stimulating reading; indeed I keep a copy of all you print. Even relatively fair-minded contributors tend to promote some bias, whereas the professor concerns himself with pure analysis.
Tranent, East Lothian