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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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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Trump supporters and authoritarianism

“Political pollsters have missed this key component of Trump’s support because they simply don’t include questions about authoritarianism in their polls. In addition to the typical battery of demographic, horse race, thermometer-scale and policy questions, my poll asked a set of four simple survey questions that political scientists have employed since 1992 to measure inclination …

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Is the US military as good as it claims to be?

In June, an American Green Beret was reportedly strangled to death in Mali by U.S. Navy SEALs, allegedly in connection with a shadowy money-skimming scheme. (The military is currently investigating.) In July, The Intercept, the London-based research firm Forensic Architecture, and Amnesty International. revealed that a drone base used by U.S. forces in Cameroon was …

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Endless drone warfare, over- geared, and getting out of hand

America’s robotic killers, the drones that long ago were grimly named Predators (retired this year) and their more advanced cousins, the Reapers (as in Grim…), who have taken a once-illegal American activity, political assassination, and made it the well-respected law of the land and increasingly of huge swaths of the globe. In these years of …

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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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Israel and Palestine. Enough is enough

Just over a hundred years ago, Britain’s foreign secretary Arthur Balfour signed a 67 word long statement that committed Britain for the first time to backing “the establishment in Palestine of a national homeland for the Jewish people”. Israel and its supporters duly celebrated “the anniversary of a foundational moment” in their nation’s history. Palestinian …

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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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The truly sinister strategy of Putin

With all the debate about the direct interference of Russia in the American, French, German and other elections, including Brexit, what has eluded the Press and the commentariat is another sinister, subtle and long-term Russian attack on the West. The civil war in Syria started in March 2011. Russia has had a particular interest in …

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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 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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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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America’s disappearing weaponry

America’s enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have regularly been able to arm themselves with a remarkable range of U.S. weaponry. During the fighting around the city of Tal Afar, the Iraqi military recovered a U.S.-produced FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile and launcher from an Islamic State weapons cache. That’s a weapon capable of taking …

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Epicurus and Political Moderation

We’re a big fan of moderation here on the Epicurus Blog. In fact, it’s one of our core values, as you can see on the banner above. Epicurus stressed that avoiding excess was a key aspect of achieving happiness, and we wholeheartedly agree. Thus, we reject rigid dogmas and are generally utilitarian in our ethics …

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Democracy is built on national pride?

“Warnings about resurgent nationalism come thick and fast these days. Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, denounced it in a recent speech, arguing that true patriots are Europeans. The international lawyer Philippe Sands did likewise in an article that linked neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Daily Mail and Brexit to the “poison of slow-burning …

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