Epicurus and politics

Epicurus was a strong advocate for the idea that people should reach and carry out agreements and promote fellowship and common sense cooperation. This implied a contractual form of government. Epicurus and his followers disapproved of agitation for social change because they saw political struggle as creating unnecessary stress. On the contrary, they advocated civic …

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Why I dislike Hillary Clinton less now.

Over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign, and certainly in its immediate aftermath, I had a distinct dislike for Hillary Clinton. I regarded her as yet another centrist, ‘neoliberal’ shill whose cautious approach to governing was ill-suited to a country clearly in need of radical reform. Particularly in contrast to her primary opponent and …

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Should Epicureans approve of cannabis?

Brendan O’Neill is perhaps one of my least favourite British columnists. I disagree with him on almost everything, from Brexit to student politics and the populist right. But his article this week is really interesting. O’Neill laments the effect of legalised cannabis on the culture of Los Angeles. He decries how it has become all …

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Universal Basic Income

I’m aware the topics I’ve been posting on have been very wonkish and policy-orientated recently. I’ll do something less serious next time, but I thought I’d give my take on an increasingly popular idea amongst economics. Also be warned, the post is necessarily lengthy.  Perhaps the most glaring contradiction of present-day ‘late’ capitalism is the …

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The under-taxation of tech companies and online retailers

As a general rule, I don’t believe in high taxes. Partly because I believe they make economies less vibrant by discouraging investment and reducing disposable income. But also because of the principle that people, for the most part, have a right to keep what they have earned. Governments should only take what is necessary to …

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Priti Patel and Israel

A friend of mine recently asked me to respond to this article, http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/priti-patel-tool-of-the-zionist-lobby-resigns.html#more. It concerns the resignation of British International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, following revelations that she met with the Israeli Prime Minister and members of the Israeli army without disclosing it to the British Prime Minister, only to attempt to cover it up once …

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The best news sources

Despite significant advances in media and communication technology, high quality journalism remains something hard to come by. Newspaper revenues are in decline, caused by a shift to reading the news online. To make matters worse, many people choose to get their news via social media, eschewing the need to visit news websites at all. As …

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The Americanisation of British politics

In my previous post, I talked about how British culture is becoming more American, and how this is largely to the country’s detriment. Unfortunately British politics is also being Americanised, and the effects are similarly harmful. Here are a few examples: The first is an increasing political polarisation, and as a consequence, an increasingly adversarial …

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The Americanisation of British culture

One of my first posts on this blog was about how contrary to popular perception, Britain is not the polite and civil country Americans imagine it to be. http://hanrott.com/blog/the-plight-of-british-civility/. In my view, Americans watch far too much Downton Abbey and don’t realise how ugly things have become here. In reality, Britain is increasingly American- your average …

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Regional inequality

There’s been a lot of attention given to income and wealth inequality in politics recently. In particular, left wing populists like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders blame income inequality for the rise of authoritarian populism. The political establishment has pursued ‘neoliberal’ economic policies, which have only enriched the wealthiest at the expense of the wider …

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City vs Country- an Epicurean perspective

Here in the English speaking world, we’re all familiar of the tale of the city mouse and the country mouse: the city mouse invites the country mouse to his house. While containing riches beyond the country’s mouse’s dreams, it also contains terrifying dangers, like the cat. In the end, the country mouse decides his own …

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