The New Aristocrats: A cultural and economic analysis of the new status signalling

A new report, released today by the Adam Smith Institute, argues virtue signalling has made widely-held ideas like ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and conspicuous consumption completely outdated. Rather than trying to one-up one another by buying Bentleys, Rolexes and fur coats, the modern social climber is more likely to try and show their ‘authenticity’ […]

Why you should never give your money to a foundation

Some advice for those lucky enough to enrich the species with a decent idea and thus gain possession of some portion of that wealth created: never donate that wealth to a foundation. Because such, over time, always but always end up being run by the same social justice warriors that caused the problems of poverty […]

Mr Corbyn and the deaf philosopher

Jeremy Corbyn captivated the Labour Conference with his calls for a kinder politics and a caring society.  His audience enthusiastically applauded the idea of seeking fairness and compassion.  This is not surprising, since these are all aims that would be shared and expressed by many, if not most, people across the political spectrum.  David Cameron […]

Freedom makes us nicer.

Human imperfection can be counted upon as surely as death and taxes. Despite this, study after study seems to confirm that most of us are rather decent fellows when push comes to shove. I am willing to wager that a desire to do good, whatever that may be, is an evolved trait innate in the […]

Heraclitus v. Parmenides – Flux v. Stasis

I gave the opening lecture at Freedom Week at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge last week.  My theme was “Flux versus Stasis,” and I contrasted the views of Parmenides and Heraclitus, two of the Presocratic philosophers.  Parmenides took the view that nothing changes in reality; only our senses convey the appearance of change.  Heraclitus, by […]