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How should we live?


After debating today with my pastor whether what the world needs is more or less government intervention in the cooperative actions of individuals (ie, the economy), I rediscovered the following from De Tocqueville (1835/1840). The passage paints his vision of a future democratic society, indicating how he foresaw people might live: I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all […]

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Moral Markets and Honest Money


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Revised and updated: reconciling our conflicting views of the market through consistent principle and morality. A Christian friend is an avowed socialist and another associate is determinedly left wing. I asked them recently what socialism meant to them. The answer was essentially “people being good to one another”: kindness, compassion, fairness and justice, even liberty. Who would oppose that? But can force make it so? Though I write with great affection for my friends, when I hear or read “socialism”, […]

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Inflation’s Moral Hazard by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal Summer 2009


But asset inflation—ultimately, the debasement of the currency—as the principal source of wealth corrodes the character of people. It not only undermines the traditional bourgeois virtues but makes them ridiculous and even reverses them. Prudence becomes imprudence, thrift becomes improvidence, sobriety becomes mean-spiritedness, modesty becomes lack of ambition, self-control becomes betrayal of the inner self, patience becomes lack of foresight, steadiness becomes inflexibility: all that was wisdom becomes foolishness. And circumstances force almost everyone to join in the dance. Read […]

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Child stabbings almost double in five years – Telegraph


Via Child stabbings almost double in five years – Telegraph: Youngsters aged under 18 needing hospital treatment for wounds from a knife or sharp object have leapt up by 83 per cent since 2003, NHS figures show. There has also been a sharp rise in the number of children needing hospital treatment for any form of assault, signalling a growing trend in violence against youngsters. But via The Centre for Social Justice: We are thrashing around looking for a strategy […]

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CCF Seminar: knife and gun crime


Updated Tonight, I heard some remarkable and shocking accounts of knife and gun crime in Britain and what is to be done about it. I’ll not repeat the accounts of the crimes themselves: some are too grotesque to publish here. And that is part of the problem. Some young people in some sections of society are today so accustomed to crime and violence that it is difficult to conceive that tougher sentences will deter them. We were told that the […]

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Atlas Shrugged


Yesterday, I finished Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, a book which seems to be enjoying a fashionable resurgence. Atlas Shrugged is, from the jacket: The astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world — and did. … It is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder — and rebirth — of man’s spirit. The novel articulates Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism: objective reality, reason, self-interest and […]

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The Abolition of Man


C S Lewis’ book The Abolition of Man is presented as three lectures examining the ultimate outcome of a philosophy which seeks to abandon the Tao: the body of natural law. In his first lecture, Lewis illustrates the trend of his time to disregard values and emotions: to dismiss them, encouraging instead a subjective approach. He explains that those who lack these values are “men without chests”, not having the trunk which unites intellectual man with animal man. He goes […]

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We’re in danger of entering a new Dark Age – Telegraph


As I was saying to Beth only the other day after reading Roche*: Distracted by celebrity, softened up by the education system, we have also succumbed to what you could call intellectual relativism. We have reached a state of affairs whereby people believe that the validity of their views is determined by the strength with which they hold them, not by any reference to empiricism. And so we hear phrases such as “Well that is your truth – it’s not […]

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Rational Self-Interest — Ayn Rand Lexicon


In exploring Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, I found this: When one speaks of man’s right to exist for his own sake, for his own rational self-interest, most people assume automatically that this means his right to sacrifice others. Such an assumption is a confession of their own belief that to injure, enslave, rob or murder others is in man’s self-interest—which he must selflessly renounce. The idea that man’s self-interest can be served only by a non-sacrificial relationship with others has never […]

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Right, wrong and education


Consider these news stories: Pupils will no longer have to be taught the difference between “right and wrong” under draft plans put forward by England’s exams regulator. via BBC NEWS | Education | ‘Right and wrong’ lessons to end. Parents should avoid telling their children what is “right and wrong” when discussing sex education, according to a new government leaflet. via Parents advised to stay away from ‘right or wrong’ in sex advice – Telegraph. In the context of this […]

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