war

Knee Jerk Hysteria

Most Sudanese citizens of all religious affiliations are desperately poor. As in most other African countries early deaths through malnutrition and disease are so rife that many just count themselves lucky to be alive, let alone benefit from the wonders of Western consumerism, fun culture and post-modern enlightenment (the kind of fuzzy thinking that endows us with some kind of moral superiority over all things ethical). But Sudan has a hidden jewel, the oil reserves in its Southeastern corner known as...

Blaming the Messenger

Spiked Online are at it again, jumping at the chance to blame common atrocities on the spectre of green fascists . To the likes of Frank Füredi and Brendan O'Neill a green fascist is anyone who doesn't believe in their technocratic vision of unlimited human and material growth, if indeed they believe their own propaganda. More is always better and anyone who says otherwise opposes progress . ... A couple of weeks ago a school shooting in the Finnish town of Jokela captured the imagination of the...

On the Wrong Track

A good way to dispel concern about an emerging trend is to set up a phoney debate pitting the views of social conservatives rejecting cultural change against progressive change enthusiasts, e.g. only paranoid Daily Mail readers could possibly oppose the growing encroachment of war-themed video games in mainstream life. Progress is by default associated with trendy young culture with little regard to its key disseminators, while negative reactionism refers to recalcitrant opposition to progress. We thus...

Rewriting History

A few months after Coalition forces successfully secured control of Baghdad and toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square before the world’s media, Tony Blair referred to way future historians will remember the liberation of Iraq. It is certainly possible to construct a version of history in which the US and UK armed forces liberate a country condemned to years of tyranny by a murderous despot and then proceed to build the foundations of a new liberal democracy extending both wealth and...

It's official, Dissent is a Mental Illness

If you obsess with or consider stalking political celebrities, personally I think your fixations and potential actions are both ill-advised and in all likelihood counterproductive. Politicians not only thrive on publicity, the media would be quick to whip up a frenzy of hysteria should anyone attempt to threaten their life. An assassination attempt represents a huge a public relations coup for an unpopular member of the ruling elite. Admittedly some milder comical forms of stalking such as egg-throwing or...

The Brown Broadcasting Corporation

Call me a cynic, but the BBC seems to have transitioned magnificently from its role as a covet apologist for the Blair regime to a smooth public relations operation for the emerging Brown leadership. Such a transition requires no change in logo, editorial control or political outlook. Indeed, as the electorate has grown tired of Blair's persistent hectoring and lecturing on subjects about which he is so obvioulsy ill-informed, Gordon Brown will give the New Labour project a whole new lease of life. Some...

In Association with Pfizer

Someone queried the other day whether any evidence linked Stanley Feldman, co-author of Panic Nation , with Spiked Online. A quick Web search reveals a number of his articles and references in the infamous GMO-promoting, pro-Nuclear, pro-Drug and pseudo-libertarian Web site. But then something caught my attention, right on the front page. Spiked Online are running a What Inspired You? event, purportedly to raise awareness of scientific innovators, but conspicuously sponsored by Pfizer, manufacturer of...

Scientific Orthodoxy and Scientific Fact

Open letter to George Monbiot ... I just read your recent piece (3 May 2007) on Alexander Cockburn's anthropogenic climate change scepticism and his reliance on one scientist. Let me first state that broadly speaking I'm with you on this one. Irrespective of our exact scientific interpretation, it seems obvious that the exponential rise in humanity's overall impact on our planet's delicate environment (consumption and population) has had some effect whose full impact only future generations will...

Something's Changed

Thoughts on Michael Bywater's Big Babies or Why Can't We Just Grow Up ... Originally prepared for a talk and discussion at the South Place Ethical Society Book Club. ... Why do people seem to behave differently these days? Why do young girls appear to be more interested in sex? Why do young boys appear to be more restless and inattentive? Why do so many adults comport themselves like overgrown children, always eager to indulge in new high-tech toys or score with members of the opposite or indeed of...

May the Thought Police be with you!

Over the last week the mainstream media in the UK have focused on two moral issues. The first concerned the televised racial slurs of a working class Londoner raised in a Bermondsey council estate who made her name on Channel Four's Big Brother against a multi-millionaire Bollywood diva. The second drew our attention to the unwillingness of the Catholic and other religious adoption agencies to place children with same sex couples. Campaigns against discrimination on grounds of race or sexual orientation...

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