This essay, on the crisis facing liberalism, and why it is not the one that Vladimir Putin thinks it is, was my Observer column this week. It was published on 30 June 2019, under the headline ‘Liberalism is facing a crisis. But it’s not what Vladimir Putin thinks’. ‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’ So wrote Francis Fukuyama in his […]
This essay, on the row between Lionel Shriver and Penguin Random House and on what we mean by ‘diversity’, was my Observer column this week. It was published in the Observer, 17 June 2018, under the headline ‘We’re now confusing diversity and equality. Which is our priority?’ What do we mean by diversity? And why is it good – or not? For all the myriad debates about diversity today, such questions are rarely addressed in any depth. The latest hoo-ha […]
Categories: Britain, Culture & Books, Race & Immigration • Tags: adolph reed, conservatism, david lammy, diversity, equality, immigration, inequality, lionel shriver, mslexia, oxford university, penguin random house, racism, sivanandan
Continuing the series of extracts from my books on the theme of historical fears of the masses and of democracy, this third extract from The Meaning of Race explores the late twentieth century ‘underclass’ debate, and what it tells us about the changing character of the perceptions of race and class. The Meaning of Race was published in 1996 and, to a degree, shows its age. It discusses issues specifically of that time; in the 20 years since, much of […]
Categories: Class, Politics, Race & Immigration • Tags: charles murray, conservatism, dangerous classes, elitism, liberalism, michael katz, poverty, race, racial science, the bell curve, underclass, working class
Continuing my series of old book reviews that I am publishing while I am away in South Africa, here is my review of Roger Scruton’s The Uses of Pessimism, originally published in the Observer, 6 June 2011. Review of Roger Scruton, The Uses of Pessimism: And the Dangers of False Hope Observer, 6 June 2010 Two voices echo through Roger Scruton’s new book: those of Edmund Burke and Michael Oakeshott. A nation, wrote Burke, the founder of modern conservatism, ‘is a partnership between those who […]
In the series of extracts that I am running from my almost-finished book on the history of moral thought, I have reached Chapter 13, which looks at the moral ideas of Hegel, Rousseau and Marx, and at the historicisation of ideas of human nature and morality. This extract is taken from the section on Hegel, Rousseau and the debate about freedom and ‘self-realization’.
Categories: History of moral thought • Tags: bradley, conservatism, democracy, edmund burke, hegel, history of moral thought, hobbes, human nature, morality, right hegelians, rousseau, young hegelians