Tag Archives: Ethics

Singapore’s “Broken Windows” Theory of Morals

This is the kind of thing you see, and you go: only in Singapore. It’s a sign outside a disco near the river: It makes me think: unlike the injunction to enjoy in Sentosa, this one should be rather effective. … Continue reading

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The One Thing To Know About Confucius and Houellebecq

People love to sprinkle discussions of Asia and Asian peoples with a touch of Confucius. In reality, even among old Asian hands and scholars, few can tell you much of interest about the old guy: he revered ancestors, he liked … Continue reading

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Ineffective Temples

Early on in EM Forster’s A Passage to India, the narrator describes Chandrapore, where “streets are mean, the temples ineffective.” Terry Eagleton, in his 2013 book “How to read literature,” gives a neo-Marxist reading and says the sentence “almost deliberately … Continue reading

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A New Face in the Snakepit (2)

II- Stalin was smart enough to know that half-measures wouldn’t do. If he had to be a traitor, he would be the most thorough traitor of them all. For that, he had to be a credible mole, and for that … Continue reading

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A Correspondent’s Progress (2)

In the second part of his memoirs, titled The Infernal Grove, Malcolm Muggeridge shows his hand early (by page 19, to be precise) by musing on that strange thing, innocence, which he calls “often a quality of worldly success, as … Continue reading

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Philip Hensher

I’ve praised Philip Hensher in this blog before. I’ll be honest and say that I only read two of his novels, The Northern Clemency (which everyone, including me, think his best) and King of the Badgers, which is great at … Continue reading

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Donald Trump Is Out To Purge You

“The purge” is a very intriguing movie. It presents a near-future America in which crime and violence have been essentially erradicated. There’s one unexpected catch: every year, there are few hours, a long night practically, during which no crime is … Continue reading

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