Friday 28 May 2010

The Big Lie in Action

A Californian coin dealer who has had ample occasion to learn my actual opinion, even if he apparently has a regrettably short attention span and capacity for absorbing and remembering information writes:
Mr. Barford would, consistently with his past excesses, portray such a result as supporting his view that no one should be allowed to collect unprovenanced artifacts.
I suppose it will come as no surprise to anyone that the ideology of "Internationalist coin collecting" incorporates the Big Lie premise (if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough the gullible hoi polloi will come to believe it). But that in itself indicates to whom Welsh and all the rest see themselves as addressing; the intelligent and critical reader will see through the big lies they tell and try to get to the bottom of the issue.

Why would, despite all I write here (and elsewhere) the Big Lie-spreading coin dealers want uncritical collectors to think that what I am saying is that "no one should be allowed to collect unprovenanced artifacts" rather than what I am saying is that an ethical collector would only buy antiquities which have a verifiable collecting history showing they were licitly obtained? A moment's thought will inevitably suggest at least one reason why a certain type of dealer might be concerned to scare collectors off from listening to such talk, to shut such ideas from their minds. To cover up their own shortcomings by distorting what the proponents of ethical collecting are saying to make it sound "radical", when in fact it is nothing of the sort.

Oddly enough Welsh's post is called "Looting: the essence of the lie".

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