Manuel Barcia: Niall Ferguson Does a Romney

tags: economics, Niall Ferguson, Al Jazeera, financial meltdown, Mitt Romney, 47 percent



Dr. Manuel Barcia is Deputy Director at the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Leeds.

Over the past few years as gays, lesbians and transsexuals made social gains across the world, they have found themselves at the end of all sorts of accusations from those who see these advances as a threat to their precious status quo. They have been blamed for earthquakes, hurricanes and terrorist attacks. Now, in a very subtle way, the responsibility for the current economic crisis has been blamed on one of them, the famous and well-respected 20th century economist John Maynard Keynes. 

This time, however, the gay bashing did not come from some religious extremist in the American Midwest or Indonesia, but from Professor Niall Ferguson, a well-known British historian who plies his trade at Harvard University. 

For the sake of disclosure, I have to admit that since I first read Ferguson's work back in the 1990s when I was doing my BA in history at the University of Havana, I have rarely agreed with any of his theses. I have disagreed profoundly with his apologetic studies of emergent imperialisms and, even more, with his opinions about the reasons leading to the crisis we have been plunged into since 2007. Nonetheless, I had respected him as a fellow historian. Now I don't any more. 

I cannot respect his "off-the-cuff" remarks blaming Keynes and his sexual orientation for the current economic crisis. I cannot respect either his spurious attempt to backtracking, which seems more of a damage limitation PR exercise than a truly felt explanation. I am not saying that he is not sorry for what he said; only that he has failed to convince many, including me, that he really is....



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