A paper that came out in 2014 by two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, made the argument that with the rise of a more diverse and egalitarian culture, particularly in the academic world, combined with the rise of powerful administrative sectors therein, a new form of social morality has emerged that they referred to… Continue reading Don’t be a victim! Beyond the culture of entitlement and anxiety
One of the accusations thrown at postmodern theorists and activists, such as the purveyors of identity politics is that they are advocates of relativism and deniers of facts. I am going to argue that this is actually their greatest virtue. They go downhill from there on in, as they seek to impose their own brand… Continue reading From certainty to dialogue: furthering the project of modernity
The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. (Karl Marx) The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. (Friedrich August von Hayek) The right to private property… Continue reading The Importance of Ownership
As outlined in part 2 of this essay, equity as part of the EDI agenda represents a thoroughly dishonest and dangerous process of institutional capture, which subverts the historical trend of the rising freedom and empowerment of individuals, but also dissolves the natural bonds of affinity and sociality between individuals in organisations by a subtle… Continue reading Equity Explained, Part 3: A Return to Fairness
The recent decision by Austria to mandate vaccinations for all its citizens, followed now by Germany and the Czech Republic, is the latest turn of the ratchet in the process by which democracies collapse into authoritarian, even fascist, states. It is one thing when a dictatorship is imposed on an unwilling population by a minority;… Continue reading The Totalitarian Ratchet: how fear, ignorance and disgust is eroding the democratic spirit and presages an ominous future.
The concept of freedom, which has held sway in the West for at least the past 250 years and been a feature, particularly in the English-speaking world, for much longer, is now under attack on multiple fronts.
Once, driving in a foreign land many years ago, I passed a person walking alone on a dark, unlit country road. As random, irrational violent thoughts cross all our minds from time to time, I had an unbidden image of attacking them. Instead of just dismissing the impulse through fear, anger or humour, as those… Continue reading Compassion and politics: a dangerous mix
Don Trubshaw There have been voices raised against the flow in recent weeks, decrying the imposition of authoritarian measures in an attempt to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. Some see in this the death of freedom. While I am sympathetic to these voices, I believe that the present crisis is only exposing a fundamental… Continue reading Are we witnessing the death of freedom?
Since antiquity, and particularly after Plato, philosophers have pondered on the question of the absolute values, of truth, beauty and goodness. Now, just as then, there have been advocates of their status as real, as well as sceptics. The twentieth century was mostly a sceptical period, although I predict a revival of interest presently, given… Continue reading Individualism and Absolute Values: the Fundamentals of a Free Society
In A Theory of Justice John Rawls conducted a famous thought experiment. He asked, if we were to imagine, behind a ‘veil of ignorance’, being born into a world in a position somewhere on the scale of unalloyed privilege and crushing poverty, what would be the type of social system we would advocate. Rawls assumed… Continue reading The Just Society: Equality or Freedom?