Long-form essay
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Anti-racism and the long shadow of the 1970s

The essay was originally published by Unherd on August 3rd 2020. Last month, following a bout of online outrage, the National Museum of African American History and Culture removed an infographic from its website. Carrying the title “Aspects and assumptions of whiteness and white culture in the United States,” the offending chart presented a list of … Continue reading Anti-racism and the long shadow of the 1970s

Why I’m not giving up on my ego

This spring, I finally got round to reading Derek Parfit’s famous work, Reasons and Persons. Published in 1984, the book is often cited as a key inspiration for subsequent developments in moral philosophy, notably the field of population ethics and the Effective Altruism movement. (Both of which, incidentally, are closely associated with Oxford University, the institution … Continue reading Why I’m not giving up on my ego

The left’s obsession with symbols has gone too far

The article was originally published by Arc Digital on June 20th 2020. Protest is a symbolic form of politics. It is about sending messages. It turns public space — both physical and now virtual — into an arena where frustrations not satisfied by the formal political system are expressed with slogans, banners, and bodies. But … Continue reading The left’s obsession with symbols has gone too far

The politics of crisis is not going away any time soon

This essay was originally published by Palladium magazine on June 10th 2020 A pattern emerges when surveying the vast commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic. At its center is a distinctive image of crisis: the image of a cruel but instructive spotlight laying bare the flaws of contemporary society. Crisis, we read, has “revealed,” “illuminated,” “clarified,” … Continue reading The politics of crisis is not going away any time soon