On wealth

There is no wealth but life. John Ruskin, Unto This Last I’m going to start an occasional series of essays enquiring into economics by examining the notion of wealth. Adam Smith himself defined economics as “the science of wealth” and his most famous book is entitled An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of theContinue reading “On wealth”

On slogans

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four The word slogan comes to us from Scottish Gaelic, and its original meaning was battle-cry. As such, its basic function is a declaration of group identity. The meaning of what is being yelled is less important than the fact that all ofContinue reading “On slogans”

On festivity

“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind” The day before this post was published, up here in the northern hemisphere we had the 2020 Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. At these latitudes, the day doesn’t get noticeably longer until December 25th, which notContinue reading “On festivity”

On putting people into boxes

Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. President George W. Bush There is much talk nowadays about polarisation, in politics and in society more generally. This is often blamed on social media, and the algorithms that tend to show you more of the same rather than anything likely to challenge yourContinue reading “On putting people into boxes”