The British think tank Demos published this week as a special issue of its journal a collection of essays on British identity called ‘Renewal Britannia’. This is my contribution to the collection, entitled ‘Proud to be British?‘ It was August 2012. I was sitting in the Olympic stadium in London with my daughter. She had red, white and blue braids in her hair and was enthusiastically waving a Union Jack. I thought about when I was her age. Then, I […]
© Art Projects International; Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International, New York . This is the keynote talk I gave at the 2017 Karlsruhe Dialogues on ‘The Pluralistic Society and its Enemies’ on 4 March 2017. It was entitled entitled ‘Can Diversity Embrace Democracy? Can Democracy Acknowledge Diversity?’ If there are two issues that define contemporary political debate, they are those of diversity and democracy. From the migration crisis to radical Islam to multiculturalism, fears about the consequences of […]
Continuing my series of old book reviews that I am publishing while I am away in South Africa, here is my review of Roger Scruton’s The Uses of Pessimism, originally published in the Observer, 6 June 2011. Review of Roger Scruton, The Uses of Pessimism: And the Dangers of False Hope Observer, 6 June 2010 Two voices echo through Roger Scruton’s new book: those of Edmund Burke and Michael Oakeshott. A nation, wrote Burke, the founder of modern conservatism, ‘is a partnership between those who […]
Earlier this week, I posted an essay ‘In defence of diversity’. But if I am in favour of diversity, I am most certainly critical of multiculturalism. I have long argued that while we should value diversity as a form of lived experience, we should scorn multiculturalism as a political policy. So, as a complement to my defence of diversity, here are extracts from a series of essays and talks from over the years which sum up my critique of multicuturalism. […]
Categories: Multiculturalism • Tags: behzti, british asians, british politics, clash of civilizations, cultural diversity, david goodhart, edmund burke, free speech, immigration, integration, multiculturalism, muslims, rushdie affair
In my talk on pluralism and the giving of offence, I mentioned my 1994 essay on Thomas Paine that had been censored by the Independent because I opened it with a quote from The Satanic Verses. Here is that essay, in the form in which it was finally published. And this is the quote from The Satanic Verses that was felt to be too offensive. It describes the moment that Salman, the scribe who writes down the revelations that Mahound receives from […]
In the series of extracts that I am running from my almost-finished book on the history of moral thought, I have reached Chapter 13, which looks at the moral ideas of Hegel, Rousseau and Marx, and at the historicisation of ideas of human nature and morality. This extract is taken from the section on Hegel, Rousseau and the debate about freedom and ‘self-realization’.
Categories: History of moral thought • Tags: bradley, conservatism, democracy, edmund burke, hegel, history of moral thought, hobbes, human nature, morality, right hegelians, rousseau, young hegelians