Category Archives: Essays


Over at The Critic, Theodore Dalrymple recounts a disingenuous and outright misleading sentence uttered by a psychologist at a dinner party that he recently attended.

The solution to this problem, of course, is value-neutral language, for it is stigma that makes the world go haywire. Change the words and you change the thing, either for the better or the worse. 

The Mirage of Utopia (Or Being Free to Be Ourselves)

Over at The Epoch Times, the dubious doctor highlights the standard errors of the diehard utopian—from Marx to the typical post-modern feminist.

There’s no sense here of the tragic, of the radical imperfectability of our existence. It isn’t all history that weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living, but the search for utopia.

Collecting Misery

In the December issue of New Criterion, our favorite doctor reviews the curious postcard collection of a French sociologist, which focuses on the monstrous public housing projects built after World War II.

Regardless of whether one views these housing projects as a heroic attempt to improve the standard of living of the lower classes or an exercise in totalitarian planning and social control, it is important that a record of the recent past should be preserved—if, at any rate, one considers the past as important in itself, whatever the use made of our knowledge of it.

The Woke Chokehold

In this week’s Takimag, the skeptical doctor points to yet another example of the barbaric and heinous woke mob’s pervasive ideology on the cultural life of the Western world.

The woke will not be satisfied until every cultural institution is examined microscopically for the moral purity of those who founded it, according to their latest and current moral certitudes—which, of course, may change, usually in the direction of more stringency and stridency. There is no such institution that can pass their test.

We were appalled (rightly) when the Taliban blew up the statues of Buddha in Bamiyan and ISIS destroyed Palmyra, but we have our own Taliban, the woke, eager to experience the joys of destruction in the name of absolute good—as defined by themselves.

In the Road Bloody

The December edition of New English Review showcases another thoughtful essay from our philosophical doctor relating to war, Buddhism, Burma, and human nature.

Moreover, to see development as an unequivocally beneficial process suddenly struck me as false, or at least simplistic. If development were to occur in Rangoon, I thought, it would turn it into an impoverished Bangkok, with higher levels of consumption than at present, but also with the kind of traffic jams that have such a deleterious effect on the quality of life. Speed, noise, pollution, continual agitation in daily life, aggravated ambition with its natural corollary, frustration, would follow. Then would come painful nostalgia, the awareness that one had destroyed what one had not even realised that one valued.

The Ravages of Cultural Termites

Our concerned doctor points out the deep penetration of the cultural Marxist Woke ideology in British publishing houses over at Law & Liberty.

The very tininess of the scale of the activities of publishers’ editorial staff is what is sinister about them, for it suggests the thoroughness with which the march through the institutions has been carried out. No wonder that the simplest of tasks or duties of the public administration in Britain (and no doubt in other countries) are now matters of ideological contestation and are therefore not carried out with diligence, leaving decay to work its way through society.

A Cloud of Unknowing

In his weekly Takimag column, the critical doctor continues elaborating on last week’s topic related to financial shenanigans, fraudulent schemes, and the many follies and foibles of Mr. Bankman-Fried.

We see from this photograph that Bankman-Fried is a man of principle: He is not prepared to make himself any less of a slob just because the people he is meeting are eminent, or formerly eminent. His genius places himself above such paltry considerations as respect for others. It is the duty of others to accept him as he is; anything else would be lèse-ego, a serious crime these days.

The Slippery Slope of Medical Assistance in Dying

Our dubious doctor takes issue with a leading Canadian medical society that has been advocating for physician-assisted “putting down” of patients, thus undoubtedly violating the first rule of medicine.

This year the college has suggested that under no circumstances should doctors put the fact that a patient has been medically assisted to die on his or her death certificate, thus making it mandatory for doctors to lie about a matter, namely cause of death, that has traditionally been regarded as rather important.

My Sister’s Keeper

In his Law & Liberty column, Dr. Dalrymple masterfully mocks the mad experiment—published in the British Medical Journal—to bribe pregnant women to not smoke during their pregnancy.

Another method to reduce inequalities in early life would be to induce non-smoking pregnant women to take up the habit, perhaps by offering them free cigarettes, thereby making the health of their children a little more equal to that of smoking mothers.