Johann Hari

British journalist

Johann Hari (born 21 January 1979) is a British journalist and writer. He was a columnist for The Independent, but left the paper in 2011 after admitting multiple charges of plagiarism and making malicious edits of several of his critics' Wikipedia pages using a pseudonym. He has also been a columnist for the Evening Standard and a regular arts critic on the BBC's Newsnight Review. He is a self-described "European social democrat". Hari won the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2008, but the award was revoked in 2011 after his plagiarism was revealed.

Johann Hari in 2003

Quotes edit

  • The truth emerging from this scattered picture of nuclear proliferation is simple: there is a stronger chance of a nuclear bomb being used now than at almost any point in the Cold War.
  • We are entering a world of rapidly multiplying nuclear stand-offs like this. India vs Pakistan. Iran vs Israel. America vs. China. Within decades, North Korea vs Japan and South Korea. Not one Cold War, but many - and the risk is doubled each time.
  • There is an emerging scientific consensus that global warming is making hurricanes more intense and more destructive. It turns out that Katrina fits into a pattern that scientists and greens have been trying to warn us about for a long time.
  • For all the chatter that Britain has moved beyond class, recent studies have found that it determines the life chances of British people more today than at any point since the Second World War... A child born into a rich family in Britain will almost certainly live and die rich, while a child born into a poor family will almost certainly live and die poor.
  • The lamest defence I could offer - one used by many supporters of the war as they slam into reverse gear - is that I still support the principle of invasion, it's just the Bush administration screwed it up. ... The evidence should have been clear to me all along: the Bush administration would produce disaster.
  • We have been living in an ideological bubble — one of market fundamentalism.

    From the trauma of the Great Depression to 1973, there was a broad consensus across the democratic world that markets were absolutely essential to generate wealth, but they will also cause all sorts of problems if they are left unregulated. Economists like JM Keynes and JK Galbraith taught us that if you abolish markets, you get starvation; but if you abolish all the democratic checks and balances on markets, you get a system that eats itself. Unregulated businesses will cause unsustainable levels of pollution and inequality, and ultimately start pursuing unhinged business models that cause the whole system to collapse.

  • We now have a global business system that is virtually unregulated, with trade unions crippled and politicians largely bought by the super-rich to serve their interests. And what is the result? Inequality has returned to 1920s levels, and movement between the classes has collapsed. We have bank runs unseen in a century. And now even senior Wall Street figures mutter — with only a hint of hyperbole — about a looming Depression and "the worst crisis since 1929." All we need now is rising unemployment and Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald boozily waltzing through Wall Street, and we are back where this story began.
  • The outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe became a symbol of that country's collapse — but who noticed the spread of cholera across Iraq? The McCainiacs chorused that "the surge worked" — but a study by the journal Environment and Planning found the truth. Between 2003 and 2007, Iraq was ripped by a massive ethnic cleansing. The mixed Sunni-Shia areas were destroyed. By the time the surge started, there was nobody left to purge: the country was carved into ethnically homogeneous neighbourhoods. All the surge did was build vast concrete walls between the collapsing hoods, cementing the cleansing. That's success?

About Hari edit

  • Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn't Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as "my mate Johann, who's been doing research for this book". For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.

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