The Tyranny of Equal Opportunity

Over at Law & Liberty, the skeptical doctor comments on a review of a new book that attempts to justify placing stringent limitations on “extreme wealth.”

In a sense, of course, we already have equality of opportunity. There are now no laws in any Western country to prevent anyone from pursuing any career merely by virtue of his or her birth or social origins, though increasingly we seem to be entering a semi-Stalinist world in which admission to certain positions or institutions is to be biassed in favour, and therefore also against, cherished or disfavoured social groups.

Blaming Victims: San Francisco’s Irrational Grocery Store Proposal

Over at The Epoch Times, our favorite doctor ridicules the latest leftist gobbledygook coming from one of the major centers of American progressivism.

But the root cause of crime is easy to discern, at least in the sense of uncovering its necessary condition: that is to say, the decision to commit it. In Western jurisprudence, where there is no mens rea (guilty mind) there is no crime.

New audiobook: Midnight Maxims

Midnight Maxims Audiobook CoverContinuing the issue of many of Theodore Dalrymple’s books in audio format, Midnight Maxims has just been released at Amazon and Audible! Unique among his works, this is a collection of 365 apothegms very much in the tradition of La Rochefoucauld, but with the skeptical doctor’s typical and particular insight. Recommended listening!

Please feel free to review this title at Audible, and let us know in the comments here of any other works which you would particularly like to be made available in this format.

A Pug’s Life

In his weekly Takimag column, our pet-friendly doctor dwells on the appearance and life of his cleaning lady’s pug before pondering his own good fortune.

In fact, this is the central mystery of human existence: how we become what we are, for no inventory of our genetic inheritance and environmental circumstances quite accounts for it. Where human beings are concerned, there is always an unbridgeable gap between what is to be explained and the explanation offered, and I hope that there always will be: For total knowledge would lead to total power, and total power to total oppression.

Heading off the Criminal Urge

Over at Quadrant, Theodore Dalrymple considers criminality, the increasing leniency of most Western justice systems, and the effect of crime on its victims.

Leniency is compassionate, severity cruel: such at any rate is the presumption of the intellectual middle classes, who, perhaps feeling guilty at their own good fortune, often inherited, by comparison with the classes from which criminals are usually drawn, find in making excuses for the latter, and in proposing lenient treatment of them, a way of demonstrating their generosity of spirit.

Trumped-Up Charges

In this week’s Takimag, our judicious doctor weighs in on Donald Trump’s latest politically motivated legal travails in New York City.

The real harm that the case has caused New York is not that done by Mr. Trump’s overestimate of the value of his assets and claims to be making a profit when he was making a loss, but that done by a trial that makes the law nothing but an instrument of political enmity that can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. This is the jurisprudence of tyranny.

Untrue Believers

In his Takimag column, the good doctor calls attention to the latest absurd, woke nonsense emanating from England. ‘Progress’ marches on…

We would like to wish all of our readers around the world a happy, peaceful, and blessed Easter.

One of the great advantages of wokeness is that it allows for both at the same time. A person can make a very decent career out of being passionately devoted to a cause, for causes these days pay very well, or can be made to do so. Doing good works and doing well have become entirely compatible.

Vulgarity as Virtue

In the winter issue of City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple recounts his recent visit to Edinburgh and his unfortunate and jarring encounter with the horrors of modern architecture, as well as the widespread vulgarity on display all around.

Nothing could be more emblematic of the implosion of Scottish (and British) taste than the incapacity of modern architects and government officials to build even a minimally pleasant building on, and appropriate to, the site—in a city whose elegant but simple Georgian architecture is world-renowned.

Waving the Flag, a White One

Over at Australia’s Quadrant, our patriotic doctor considers the difficulties of raising a conscripted army of British or Australian citizens, many of whom are self-serving modern wokeists, rank narcissists, or ‘mental health’ sufferers.

Modern conscientious objection would be different. It would derive not from serious moral thought, but from a shallow and preening self-righteousness and narcissism—with cowardice probably thrown in.