On Changing the World

The world needs to be changed in many urgent ways: the great question is how this change might best occur. The Romantic view is that the world is sick because of…

Why Humanity Destroyed Itself

One day, if human civilisation ever wipes itself out, aliens or one of our successors will cast an eye on our ruined planet and ask themselves what ever happened to homo…

What Community Centres Should Be Like

Although our societies have, in theory, a very high regard for the idea of community, it is telling that, in practice, ‘community centres’ are often the most uninspiring and unlovely of…

What Is Love?

The world is sick for a surprisingly modest-sounding reason: we don’t understand love – and yet we are rather convinced that we do. We talk a lot of love of course,…

On Seduction

Seduction is the attempt to get any set of tricky ideas into the mind of another person using the arts of charm. Though we know the concept of seduction well enough…

Why Pessimism is the Key to Good Government

It might be normal to imagine that a good society would be one in which a majority of people held optimistic views about themselves, their fellow citizens and their prospects for…