Read with me: On Liberty, Part Two

In the last post in this read-along series, we looked at John Stuart Mill’s introduction to On Liberty. In his introduction, Mill laid out the framework for his argument (see Part One here). He introduced several important concepts, not least of which was the “harm principle”, and the need for the government to protect the …

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Review: William Quinn and John Turner, Boom and Bust (2020)

What causes financial bubbles? What pops them? These questions have plagued investors, politicians, and the public more generally for years. In recent memory, we have seen bubbles occur more and more frequently - and more severely, as our experience with the 2008 financial crisis has shown. Understanding why bubbles happen is therefore of paramount concern. …

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On Arguing: What Can We Learn from the Great Debate?

When books begin to have a relevance beyond the initial context of their publication, that is when they become classics. With the coarsening of political discourse in recent years, my mind goes back to when I read Yuval Levin’s The Great Debate. Levin’s book is centred on Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, two of the …

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Review: Michael Spicer, The Secret Political Adviser (2020)

Witty, brash, but with little insight, Michael Spicer’s new book is based on his online satirical sketch show, The Man in the Room Next Door. It is is stylised as a collection of files submitted anonymously to the publisher. The files contain information about a shadowy organisation, Axworthy, and in particular the role of ‘M’, …

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