The moral cowardice of moderate conservatism in Britain.

Historically speaking, but especially since when George Bush Jr became president in 2000, British conservatives have regarded themselves as more reasonable than their American cousins. Unlike the Republicans, British conservatives have no desire to allow mass gun ownership. They firmly believe in universal healthcare, even if they want the private sector to play a role …

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The moral cowardice of moderate conservatism in America.

Part 1 of a series on the failures of the world’s moderate conservatives. I’ll be covering Britain tomorrow, so look out for that. It’s a massive understatement to say we aren’t big fans of Donald Trump here on the Epicurus Blog. Everything from his bigotry, to his vulgarity, his dishonesty, as well as what little …

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The dangers of joining a political party

Here on the Epicurus Blog, we deviate from Epicurean orthodoxy insofar as we see an interest in politics as not necessarily inadvisable. Provided you don’t become consumed by politics, to the detriment of your social life and cultured activities, politics can be an innocent interest- a bit like physics. Epicurus saw politics as a source …

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Why Liberal Zionism is now an oxymoron: Confessions of a former Liberal Zionist

I used to consider myself a staunch Zionist. I thought the creation of Israel was a necessary good. Necessary, because the Holocaust demonstrated that anti-Semitism was entrenched part of the world, even in an advanced industrialised country with a strong liberal tradition like Germany. And good, because Israel has become an immensely successful country, with …

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The Epicurean solutions to climate change

Climate change is without doubt the biggest threat facing the world. Although it doesn’t mean the end of civilisation just yet, the adverse effects of climate change are getting progressively worse. Extreme weather is becoming more frequent. Crop yields in many parts of the developing world are becoming more common. Drought has become a routine …

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The future of the Euro

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the Eurozone economy is growing surprisingly well. The countries of Southern Europe are recovering strongly from the recession and sovereign debt crisis, and now all of them are growing at a faster rate than an increasingly lethargic Britain. However, there is a broad consensus that the Eurozone is vulnerable …

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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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Some brief thoughts on Catalonian independence

A few weeks ago, the Spanish region of Catalonia held an independence referendum. The region’s distinct language and culture, as well as its prosperity relative to the rest of Spain, has made independence an enticing prospect for centuries. Moreover, the repression of the Catalan way of life under Franco has only increased animosity against the …

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