Liberalism is an ideology—a system of thought. It has a centrepiece: the individual, defined by liberalism as a free-floating unit, separate from other units. It has two basic contradictions: The politico-moral contradiction; and The public-private contradiction. Meet Immanuel Kant: A founding liberal These contradictions arise from two factors. Liberalism: Accepts the early-modern separation between politics … Continue reading The foundational contradictions of liberalism
Below is the text to my ‘three-minute thesis’, delivered at Selwyn College on Thursday 4 March 2020. My thesis concerns a crucial gap in Marx’s theory of history. Karl Marx is known as a lover of the state. Under socialism, the state would do away with profit-driven markets through public ownership of production. Marx’s theory … Continue reading The theory of history: What Marx missed
Despite the fuss people are making about climate change, nothing seems to change. Global emissions continue to rise, and governments continue to remain pretty passive. What can we do? As individual 'consumers'--not much. Only 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the stuff linked to individual consumer habits--like flying, meat-eating, or driving. The bulk … Continue reading How do you solve a problem like the climate?
Tomorrow, something important's happening. Though it has become a cliché, clichés are sometimes true, and this one is: tomorrow's general election will define the UK's future. Here's why. The NHS: At risk of privatisation (Creative Commons) If Boris's Conservatives win a majority--even if Boris himself loses his seat--the Conservatives will go through with their manifesto … Continue reading The fork in the path: The stakes of the UK general election tomorrow
We’ve walked along history’s road. We’re naked and freezing—but at least we can see with our eyes. Then, we are blindfolded, taken to another part of the road, and given a warm coat. Once, we had pain and knowledge. Now, we have pleasure and ignorance. Once, we were chattel slaves, and we were told as … Continue reading A winter’s tale: The allegory of the house of freedom
What causes antisemitism? It’s a question not often asked by a media class obsessed with politicians’ use of language, and not their actual policies. It also implies a long view of history. But it’s a question we must ask if we are determined to reduce this horrible prejudice. Then, we could ask what party in … Continue reading Why a Labour government would reduce antisemitism
Yesterday, I gave the opening speech at the Cambridge Union for the proposition, 'This House Would Vote Labour'. Here's what I said (abridged). I hope you will join me in voting and/or campaigning for Labour in the coming UK General Election--because Labour will help everyone, not just the the billionaire class: We’ve reached the fork … Continue reading Vote Labour: My speech at the Cambridge Union