In the December edition of New English Review, the good doctor gets philosophical as he observes a bricklayer in his neighborhood working without the proper protective gear. And thus, another excellent Dalrymple musing is born.
In a way, this bore out Dostoyevsky’s insight, that we would prefer a path in life that would bring us misery provided it was our own way, to a way that would bring us perfect happiness if it were someone else’s. There is a contradiction here, of course, for if we chafed under a regime of perfect happiness, it could not have been a regime of perfect happiness. Nevertheless, the insight is a real one: the complex perversity of Man.