Thursday, 15 March 2012

Arguing the Cause: ACCG's Thought Police on Hating

ACCG's John Hooker fancies himself as a bit of an expert on psychology. He castigates collector Chris Rose for criticising dealers opposed to enquiries into looted antiquities and writes that he has been 'duped' by the preservationists:
It surely does not take a great genius to realize that hate sites are hate sites, regardless of what good they claim to be doing, and that some of the most prominent of the authors of these sites are highly suspect because of their use of generalities, the deliberate use of logical fallacies, and so on. There is really no difference between such people and cultist fanatics who have caused so much devastation to lives throughout history. It is always best to judge people by the way they act, and not what they say. In the seventies I risked my very life fighting against cultists and terrorists. I know them well.
The image of some aged coin collector or dealer risking his life facing archaeobloggers raises a smile. Who are these 'suspect' most prominent authors? Dave Gill, Paul Barford and Nigel Swift (whose blogs receive the most visits which would be one way of measuring 'prominence')? Is Looting Matters a "hate site"? Is this blog really "a hate site"? Heritage Action?

The reasons why I have the views I have on artefact collecting and the artefact trade are well-documented here in over a thousand texts. I would imagine that if the whole lot was based on "logical fallacies" the tens of thousands of collectors would have been able to find a champion to point out where in a consistent and well-argued manner. Where is that opposing view? On Unidroit-L? (Joke), Moneta-L? Giedroyc's posts in Coiney Tabloid? The PAS website ? (joke); in the comments section under my posts? It seems to me that the logic is what is entirely missing in the arguments of the advocates of no-questions-asked collecting.

Again, readers can judge for themselves whether David Gill, Nigel Swift or I base what we say on "generalities". It seems to me that these resources discussing what they do are basing their texts firstly on deep research into the various issues discussed, and the use of concrete examples to illustrate the point. That these are not invented cases is indicated by the fact that each and every post of that nature has a link to a source where (unless those responsible, on learning it is being discussed, hide it - not infrequent among metal detectorists for example) the reader can check that neither Barford, nor Gill, nor Swift are making things up.

Undoubtably this blog at least presents a certain picture of the whole. But that is because it is a blog, the personal view of its author. I do see no-questions-asked collecting as a wholly negative phenomenon. I do think British policies on artefact hunting are damaging and need to change. I do think the PAS is doing too little to address a whole range of issues that it is clear they should, and so on. And that is what I say. I think there are enough advocates of "the good we do" position (including the state-funded PAS) to counterbalance what I say to the contrary, and I do read them myself.

Why would it surprise anyone that given the circumstances (or how after a lot of research into it, I perceive them) I do not write "what a lot of good is done by plundering the archaeological record for collectables for personal entertainment and profit"? I just do not see iot that way myself - and here I explain why. What is "wrong" with that? What is "wrong" with people like Chris Rose reading what I write alongside other reading material and thinking about it and drawing their own conclusions?

What have the ACCG Thought Police got against collectors reading this blog? I would say the material produced by the ACCG contains a fair amount of hate-language, in the case of one of their writers almost certifiably so.

UPDATE 17.03.12: Rose answered Hooker on Unidroit-L, Hooker did not understand the answer. Mr Rose explains it for him:
Your combination of stonewalling anybody who tries to move the debate beyond a tantrum and wild accusations with no basis, well, it is impressive, and is convincing support of my position beyond anything I can say.

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