Category Archives: Essays

Chalk and Cheese: Different Reactions to Teen Deaths in France Reveal Underlying Tensions

Our intrepid doctor covers the tragic events in Crépol, France, last month, where a gang of marauding, knife-wielding North Africans attacked French partygoers, killing a boy of 16, and seriously injuring two others. As could be expected, initially, the weaselly authorities and the complicit, left-liberal media attempted to obfuscate the ethno-religious origins of the vile perpetrators but only managed to further embarrass themselves.

Whether unlawful killing by an agent of the state is morally worse, morally, than an unlawful killing by an unsocialized (or antisocialized) gang of young men, I leave for others to decide, but there’s no doubt that the reaction to the two cases was as chalk to cheese.

Making Democracies?

Over at Law & Liberty, the skeptical doctor reviews a run-of-the-mill, politically correct, liberal book expounding on how political democracies are formed and maintained. Yawn…

Everywhere there is the feeling that the political class has escaped the sovereignty of the people and is now a law unto itself, serving its own interests. This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to change the direction of the ship of state, whoever is nominally in charge.

Europe Incapacitated

Back at Law & Liberty, the good doctor highlights two egregious cases—one in France and one in Belgium—of known Islamic radicals not being expelled by the authorities before committing murderous acts of terrorism.

European countries have huge state apparatuses, but a bloated state is not the same thing as a strong state, any more than a swollen leg is a strong leg. The murder by two Islamist terrorists of a teacher in Arras, in northern France and of two Swedish tourists in Brussels, illustrates the defencelessness of Europe against internal threat.

A Specter Haunting Europe

Over at City Journal, our worried doctor points out the dangers of the Western European political elite’s incompetence, ineffectiveness, and unwillingness to address the main concerns of much of the population.

Geert Wilders is not a fascist, but if his electoral triumph in the Netherlands (relative, not absolute) does not result in genuinely assuaging the discontents of which his triumph is a symptom, it is not unlikely that at least some of his voters will become so disillusioned with, and frustrated by, normal politics that they will look elsewhere for a solution.

Catching a Cloud

The December edition of New English Review features a lengthy Dalrymple discourse on the importance of reading novels in the context of his review of a new Joseph Epstein book.

The novel will cure us of our shallowness and make us aware of the tragic dimension of life, the lack of awareness making tragedy all the more unbearable when it strikes—as it does and always will.

Currency Events

The critical doctor takes on sloppily-dressed tech moguls, the cryptocurrency racket, fiat currency, and even the devastating legacy of Peronism over at Takimag.

I confess to a visceral distaste when I see pictures of the founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao. My distaste is for a reason that some people might find strange: Though he is a billionaire (perhaps soon to be an ex-billionaire), he dresses with studied casualness to make himself appear as if were just any slobbish student. There is here hypocritically combined a ravening appetite for wealth and a desire to appear egalitarian.

Moral Grandiosity of Epic Proportions

Theodore Dalrymple condemns the latest outrageous trend among green extremists: vandalizing works of fine art in public.

Moral grandiosity seems to be of almost epidemic proportions these days. Everyone pronounces on the largest questions and thinks that, by doing so, he has discharged some important moral duty, more important by far than his conduct in the trifling affairs over which he has direct control.

Paris, City of Blight

Over at Quadrant, the good doctor returns to an overcrowded and increasingly shabby Paris and is confronted with illegal migrant squatters, bedbugs, rats, and the looming Olympic Games, “that festival of stupid international rivalry.”

Returning to Paris after an absence of only a few months, I was dismayed by the deterioration it seemed to have undergone in that short time. It struck me as dirty and grossly overcrowded, while the mayor has for a long time been doing everything possible to reduce the city’s beauty in the name of saving the planet. In the former, at least, she is succeeding.