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Speech on tax avoidance and evasion

From my speech yesterday on tax avoidance and evasion: The heart of this debate is the question of altruism. My feeling is that Members of all parties often feel that people constructing sophisticated avoidance schemes are insufficiently altruistic. There are a wide range of perspectives on that. Rarely in this country do we hear the cry, “All tax is theft”, but at one extreme there is the rather childish hysteria of objectivism, which totally rejects all altruism, and at the […]

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The altruistic individual in society

In preparation for an article to be published in the Autumn, I just reread The Open Society and Its Enemies – Volume 1: The Spell of Plato. The book traces mankind’s opposition to change and the consequent rise of the myth of destiny, technically, historicism: the belief that history unfolds according to laws which can be discovered. Popper argues that the strain of civilisation causes us to seek to return to a supposed harmonious state of nature, a heroic age […]

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