The United States and Happiness

Most countries know deep in their bones that life is – for the most part – a painful and unsatisfactory business: misery is the norm, one is born to suffer, the…

On Living in Democracies

When modern societies are in the mood to vaunt their advantages, there is one feature they invariably single out and refer to with special reverence: we, at least, live in democracies.…

Political Emotional Maturity

We are used to recognising signs of emotional immaturity in our fellow adults (and nudging them kindly and appropriately where we can), but we are generally not as practiced at spotting…

On Feeling Offended

It is has become hard to say anything, especially on social media, that won’t upset someone somewhere rather a lot. There’s a myriad of things people can get deeply offended by:…

A Guide to Good Nationalism

Among most intelligent people, feeling proud of one’s country is a deeply suspect emotion, perilously close to jingoism and racism. It has – for several generations – been a mark of…

Why We Do - After All - Care about Politics

We live in societies in which it is hard to count as a good and intelligent adult without seeming to take a deep and fairly constant interest in politics. We have…