The European Project Is Dead

Something I noticed a day or so back:

Jean-Claude Juncker has vowed that no matter how bad terrorism or the migrant crisis gets, the European Union (EU) will never give up on open borders. The European Commission president said terrorism could be countered with better intelligence-sharing between member states.

On France 2’s Four Truths programme this morning, Mr. Juncker said “a lot of initiatives” will be required to strengthen security in the EU. After a bloody month for Europe in which the continent has seen multiple Islamic terror attacks — four in the last week in Germany alone — the EU president insisted better communication between member states would solve the problem.

I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems to me that, with a series of atrocities in both France and Germany over the past week or so, the EU has entered by far its deepest crisis yet. But the EU leadership seems oblivious of it.

Juncker is really saying that maintaining open borders – a key feature of the EU project – is more important than any amount of terrorism, which can be countered with “better intelligence-sharing”.

But open borders are what’s been causing much of the terrorism.

And does he really think that “better intelligence-sharing” would have prevented somebody from driving a truck through a crowd in Nice, killing 84 people? Or prevented a priest in Rouen being murdered yesterday? There probably wasn’t any intelligence available about either event (“Hello. Mohamed here. I’m just phoning to confirm that the big event will be happening tonight in Nice, using the truck I hired, if Allah is willing.”). Add that there is an almost comical reluctance to accurately describe these events.

The reason for the attack seems perfectly clear – an attack on Christians at mass by Muslim jihadists hardly needs parsing, does it? – as indeed the French prime minister, Manuel Valls, observed when he said on Twitter that the ‘barbaric’ attack was a blow to Catholics and the whole of France. ‘We will stand together,’ he said. How, exactly? Yet most of the reports at this point, led by the French interior minister, Pierre-Henry Brandet, say the motivation for the hostage taking was ‘unclear’… but it’s all too clear, surely?

Bombing Syria, President Hollande’s usual preference, won’t help either.

Last November, Angela Merkel was telling gunless Germany to fight suicide bombers with their values.

What kind of insane rhetoric is Angela Merkel speaking? Has she lost her mind? At the onset of the terrorist attack on France, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers the most bizarre statement to her people:

“We believe in the right of everyone to seek his fortune and live, to the respect for the other and tolerance. We know that our free life is stronger than any terrorist. Let’s give the terrorists the answer by living our values confidently. And as we affirm these values throughout Europe. Now more than ever.”

At the same time, attempts are being made to minimise the problem, firstly by not reporting mass rapes and sexual assaults, then by not using the words “Islamic terrorism”, and suppressing Islamic names like Mohamed and Ali. It has also emerged that:

French government ‘suppressed gruesome torture’ of Bataclan victims as official inquiry is told some were castrated and had their eyes gouged out by the ISIS killers.

It really rather looks as if the EU leadership has suffered a collective nervous breakdown, and is in a dangerous state of denial of the scale of the crisis it faces:

Western democracies are now frequently experiencing political events that were previously considered unthinkable, at least by their political elites.

What’s happening was indeed unthinkable, and it would appear that it continues to be unthinkable. Most likely, in a Brussels where political life largely consists of a long series of meetings, punctuated by lavish dinners, none of them – Merkel, Hollande, Juncker, Valls, and all the rest of them – has the faintest clue what to do, and are trying to pretend that it’s not happening. They’re paralysed. And in the process they are demonstrating to everyone their incompetence and lack of leadership.

I can only conclude that the whole lot of them are set to be swept away in the next few months, if not the next few weeks. And if they’re not removed by political uprisings of one kind or other, I would expect a military coup to oust them, and promote realistic, hard-nosed generals in their place.

We are watching the demise of the EU unfolding before our eyes. The dream is over. The European ‘project’ is dead. Events have caught up with it on a variety of fronts, and radical new thinking and radical new policies (of an order of magnitude which the current European political class are manifestly incapable) are urgently needed right now.

Brexit (and all the other Grexits and Spexits) no longer matters. Nor do the treaties of Rome, Maastricht, and Lisbon. They’re all past history. We have entered a violent new world.

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Disintegration

Does anyone know what’s happening to the UK Labour party? It seems to me to be in process of terminal disintegration. They had an acrimonious leadership election after the general election last year, and they’re having another one in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

Not that I’m in the least bit bothered. It was, after all, Tony Blair’s Labour government that brought in the UK smoking ban of 1 July 2007, for which 90% of Labour MPs voted – and 95% of Lib Dem MPs. Do you remember the Lib Dems? Silly me, I used to vote Lib Dem as regular as clockwork. But after 95% of them had voted to expel smokers like me from society, I concluded that they were neither Lib nor Dem, and have never voted for them since. I’ve completely lost interest in them. I don’t even know who their current leader is. And I don’t want to know. All I know is that they had about 60 MPs a few years ago, and now they’ve got just 8. I wonder why?

The only UK party that’s still (just about) holding together is the Conservative party. Only about 35% of Conservative MPs voted for the smoking ban. They now have a pro-EU PM with a cabinet full of anti-EU MPs. How long is that likely to last?

It’s not just that the main UK political parties are disintegrating. It’s also that the United Kingdom itself is showing signs of disintegration. Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, clearly wants to hold the both the Conservative party and the UK together. And she probably wants to hold the EU together too.

And, yes, you guessed, the EU is disintegrating as well. The entire ramshackle ‘project’ is on the rocks.

And the situation isn’t much better in the USA, where the wildcard Donald Trump has overthrown the old leadership of the Republican party, and become its new leader and presidential nominee. And the Democratic party is deeply torn between the establishment Hillary Clinton and the radical Bernie Sanders.

In some ways, it’s all a crisis of top down control. Globalisation is all about the attempt to create a top down global world order. The EU is all about top down control of a new European superstate. And political parties and governments are all about top down control of sovereign states. And smoking bans are prime examples of top down control, of top down micromanagement of ordinary people’s lives.

Yet it seems that the more top down control is being exerted, the more the top down controlling organisations are showing signs of disintegration. Less than 10 years after the EU parliament voted for a European-wide smoking ban, the EU is disintegrating. Is it entirely accidental that at least two (Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen) of the leaders of anti-EU parties are overt smokers?

The disintegration is also evident in the media. In the past, the news was top down controlled by media outfits as old as the political parties on which they reported. They defined what was and what wasn’t news. But in the internet era, any number of online news outlets (e.g. Drudge, Huffpo) have emerged. And, armed with mobile phone colour video cameras, absolutely anyone can now be simultaneously reporter, editor, and publisher.  Instead of getting their news from one or two sources, people increasingly get it from hundreds of different sources.

In many ways, the campaign battle between Clinton and Trump is one between the old top down megaphone media and the new dispersed internet media. Hillary Clinton’s campaign more or less owns the US mainstream media, and broadcasts carefully-planned multi-million dollar campaign ads. But the same was true of the Republican establishment, and that didn’t stop Donald Trump trouncing the lot of them. Trump spent next to nothing on the megaphone media, and instead relied on instant responses on Twitter and Facebook and Youtube. It takes the Clinton machine days to respond to events that Trump responds to in minutes. Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton is Cassius Clay versus Sonny Liston.

But if the disintegration is strongest anywhere, it’s right at the bottom, in my experience. Ten years ago, I had a wide circle of long-standing friends. And now they’re all gone, casualties of smoking bans that divided communities and closed pubs and cafes. I’m very far from being the only such casualty, as a survey I helped organise a few years back showed.

And perhaps what we’re seeing is a process of disintegration that started at the bottom of a hitherto-cohesive society, and has now propagated all the way up to the very top. If societies are houses of cards, then all it takes is a few cards knocked out at the bottom for the whole thing to come down in a progressive WTC-style concertina collapse. For when you demonise and marginalise 30% of your political base, it’s not going to be very long before you’ll feel the economic and political and social consequences of doing so.

It’s obvious, really. If you shatter the personal ties of camaraderie and friendship between millions of people, you will also shatter the ties that hold political institutions together. For political institutions – such as political parties or sovereign states – are made up of people. And you don’t need to break all the bonds between everyone to cease to have a cohesive society. You just need to break enough, or weaken enough, to bring the whole card house down.

The top down smoking bans that have been introduced all over the world have been hailed as great successes in the self-congratulatory megaphone media because they didn’t result in immediate riots. But the actual results were far more insidious. The bans shattered social bonds just as effectively as a Boeing 757 shatters the columns inside the World Trade Center building through which it’s ploughing. For a while the badly-weakened building stands, until the fires raging inside weaken enough of the remaining columns and beams to cause them to fail too, so that collapse becomes unstoppable.

In a sense it’s self-correcting. As political institutions disintegrate, it becomes impossible for them to exert top down control. The disintegration of the EU will mark the end of top down EU control. And the disintegration of the UK, should it happen, will mark the end of top down Westminster control. Control will fall into the hands of more and more and smaller and smaller political institutions.

And then maybe… just maybe, as top down control weakens, you’ll see pubs, desperate for customers, starting to flout smoking bans, because there’s no support for them, and no one left to enforce them.

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GO HOME HEALTH WRITERS, YOU’RE DRUNK

Following on from last night’s post, I’ve been collating a few media reports on the alcohol-causes-7-types-of-cancer story.

ctvnews:

Alcohol causes 7 kinds of cancer, study concludes

Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer. Tough words to swallow, but those are the conclusions of researchers from New Zealand, who say they found that no matter how much you drink, alcohol will increase your risk of cancer.

“There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others,” the authors write in the latest issue of the journal Addiction.

sky:

Alcohol Linked To Seven Types Of Cancer – Study

Alcohol causes at least seven forms of cancer, and people drinking even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to researchers.

Scientists say they are unsure of the exact biological reasons why alcohol causes cancer, but a review of existing research concludes there is strong evidence of a direct, harmful effect from drinking.

Jennie Connor, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, believes alcohol caused about half a million deaths from cancer in 2012 alone – around 6% of cancer deaths around the world.

independent:

Alcohol is a direct cause of at least seven deadly types of cancer and there is “no safe level of drinking”, scientists have warned.

The emergence of “strong evidence” that alcohol is a direct cause of cancer has prompted campaigners to demand an urgent drive to alert drinkers to the risks.

telegraph:

Alcohol linked to at least seven types of cancer, study says, while ‘health benefits are irrelevant’

There is strong evidence that alcohol causes seven types of cancer and probably others, according to a review that dismissed the claimed health benefits as “irrelevant”.

A study of existing research found strong evidence of a direct, harmful effect of drinking, even though scientists are unsure of the exact biological reasons why alcohol causes cancer.

Writing in the journal Addiction, Jennie Connor, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, said alcohol was estimated to have caused about half a million deaths from cancer in 2012 alone – 5.8 percent of cancer deaths worldwide.

The highest risks are from heavy drinking, but even people who drink at low levels are at risk.

guardian:

Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer, finds study

Analysis implicates alcohol in development of breast, liver and other types of cancer and says even moderate consumption is a risk.

Alcohol causes seven forms of cancer, and people consuming even low to moderate amounts are at risk, according to new analysis.

Health experts endorsed the findings and said they showed that ministers should initiate more education campaigns in order to tackle widespread public ignorance about how closely alcohol and cancer are connected. The study sparked renewed calls for regular drinkers to be encouraged to take alcohol-free days, and for alcohol packaging to carry warning labels.

mail:

Drinking alcohol DOES increase your chance of cancer – and even moderate drinkers are at greater risk

It is known that drinking excess alcohol can increase a person’s risk of various cancers.

But now, a new study has revealed even moderate drinkers should be concerned.

Indulging in less than two alcoholic beverages a day, puts drinkers at heightened risk of breast and bowel cancer – two of the most deadly forms of the disease.

Furthermore, experts at the University of Otago, said alcohol is also linked to cancer of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, larynx and liver.

Researchers found alcohol was responsible for 236 cancer deaths in people aged younger than 80 in New Zealand in 2012.

I had thought that with these health scares, researchers were sending out press releases which got printed more or less verbatim by news media hungry for stories.

But this doesn’t seem to be the case with this particular scare story. There doesn’t seem to have been any press release. And it hasn’t been reproduced verbatim.

Instead, it rather looks like the media picked up this story and ran with it. And wrote a whole bunch of different stories. Which says to me that media editorial policy favours stories linking disease with lifestyle. And does so strongly enough to get their staff to write stories rather than reproduce press releases.

Why do the media want to print these scare stories? Don’t they know that a lot of people are sick to death of these stories?

Not all of the media reports were the same though. The science media seemed more sceptical, and reported that the story was based on an opinion piece:

iflscience:

Study Links Alcohol To Seven Types Of Cancer

Alcohol has long been recognized as a carcinogenic substance, but narrowing down exactly what primarily causes which types of cancer is a tricky task.

A researcher from the University of Otago in New Zealand has scoured through a plethora of pre-existing studies regarding alcohol and cancer, hoping to highlight alcohol’s malevolent role by ruling out other factors. Writing an opinion piece in the journal Addiction, she notes that many strands of research have shown that seven types of cancer can be directly linked to even moderate alcohol consumption: liver, mouth and throat, larynx, esophagus, colon, bowel, and breast.

arstechnica:

GO HOME HEALTH WRITERS, YOU’RE DRUNK —

That time a bunch of journalists confused an opinion piece for a study

Pile of neglected research gets passed off as new data by reporters.

…Dozens of news headlines and reports blared that her new “study” found that alcohol causes cancer, suggesting not only that her conclusion was new, but that Connor herself had reported fresh, objective data and/or analysis supporting the finding—neither of which is true. One report even called her opinion piece a meta-analysis, others suggested that Connor had multiplied, referring to her as “researchers.”

While these errors may appear minor to some, confusing an opinion piece with research is likely to seem disturbing, if not egregious, to those in the scientific community. After all, scientific endeavor is rooted in empiricism and objectivity. And that’s not to mention the problem of potentially passing off years of research as one person’s conclusion, arrived at in a brisk seven-page article with zero data or analyses.

Result: My good opinion of TV and newspaper reporting declined even further. And my good opinion of arstechnica jumped considerably (not sure I’d even heard of it before). And it’s an interesting exercise to compare how different news media treat the same story.

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Alcohol Doesn’t Cause Cancer Either

My Chrome browser has been getting slower and slower under the weight of online ads, so today I installed AdBlock (H/T MJM, or Tom, a few months back). It was dead easy to do, and installed very quickly.

And then, amazingly, all the ads disappeared. And my browser stopped hanging up. Some sites that are particularly ad-heavy – breitbart.com, for example – now load very quickly.

AdBlock is free, but they ask for a voluntary donation towards their five-man team. I was so pleased that I was more than happy to make a donation. They said that only 1% of users ever did that.

Furthermore, I’m more than happy to post this plug for AdBlock on my blog.

Chris Snowdon reports that the following ‘study’ simply doesn’t exist.

alcohol_causes_cancer

I really think that whenever they want to promote some new health scare, they always claim that whatever it is – smoking, alcohol, meat, sugar, salt, butter, chocolate sponge pudding – CAUSES CANCER.

In the end, when more or less everything is claimed to cause cancer, nobody will believe any of the claims – including the granddaddy of them all: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer.

And they’ll stop reading print publications like i (which I think is all that’s left of the Independent) that push these scares. I stopped reading the Independent about 10 years ago when it started running AGW scare stories.

And they’ll start demanding that Tobacco Control Must Be Destroyed, as I regularly do.

 

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EU At The Crossroads

I’ve been wondering today what’s likely to happen in Europe if there carry on being Islamic terrorist attacks every week or every month. Yesterday it was 9 Germans killed, and last week 84 French.

I think there are going to be louder and louder calls on EU governments to crack down on Islam or Islamic fundamentalism – something that multi-culturalist EU governments don’t wish to do. But if EU governments aren’t going to do anything, then EU citizens will start doing it themselves, and start launching counter-terror attacks on Muslims, in what will amount to civil war. And if not that, then Europeans are at very least going to become much more supportive of political parties that take a tough line on Islam, and this will see the demise of the old European political order as far-right (and maybe far-left) parties get stronger.

It’ll essentially be an increasingly angry population against the ineffectual, foot-dragging EU elites. We could see governments being toppled. And the EU disintegrate.

But what practically can be done to prevent resident Islamic terrorist cells from launching attacks on Europeans? One possibility is that Muslims might be required to carry identification papers at all times, and they might have travel/movement restrictions placed on them. They might be confined to ghettos. And increasing numbers of them might be deported.

But if that were to happen, Europe might start to look like Nazi Germany, complete with concentration camps and deportations, except with Muslims replacing Jews and Gypsies. European governments would probably strongly resist doing anything like this, but outraged public opinion might force them anyway. A European fascist state might be created by popular demand.

In whose interests are such developments? If the Islamic State is the principal promoter of terror attacks, its goal would seem to be to neutralise the EU by fomenting civil war and the overthrow of European governments. But if (as some people are suggesting) the current wave of attacks are all false flag attacks, the goal might instead be to create a single European fascist state, as EU citizens demand (and get) strong state countermeasures in response to a perceived existential threat.

So the wave of terror attacks might result in either the disintegration of the EU, or its fusion into a single fascist state.

It may all hinge on who gets elected as the next US president. If it’s Hillary Clinton, then the US government will continue promoting a stronger EU, and the EU will likely fuse into a monolithic fascist state. If it’s Donald Trump, he’ll almost certainly promote a Europe of sovereign nation states, and we’ll see the disintegration of the EU.

Related are former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Paul Craig Roberts’ views on Brexit, set out in the video below. He thinks that, unless it leaves immediately, Britain will be punished for voting to leave, with the Brexit leaders (Boris Johnson, etc) defamed, and with a run on the pound and UK stocks. He advises not waiting 2 years to leave the EU, but getting out now. The longer it’s delayed, the more certain retribution will be, and Britons will be made to regret voting for Brexit.

But again, it seems to me that it all depends who’s going to be the next US president. If it’s Donald Trump, Brexit will happen. If it’s Hillary Clinton, it won’t.

I continue to think, as I have for much of the past year, that Donald Trump will be elected as the next US president. I think he’s a much stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton, in more or less every way. I also think that Hillary Clinton is the continuity candidate offering business as usual, and Trump is the only candidate who is likely to bring the kind of change that is wanted not only by his Republican grass root supporters, but also Democratic Bernie supporters (many of whom won’t vote for Hillary).

But in this respect, in other writings and videos Paul Craig Roberts has said that a Trump presidency would most likely be hamstrung by a Congress that forces continuity backers into key positions in his administration.

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France To Ban Gauloises And Gitanes

H/T Walt for this report:

Smokers fume as France mulls ban on ‘too cool’ Gitanes and Gauloises

gauloises_gitanes

The news was enough to have French smokers choking on their morning cigarette: France is considering banning some tobacco brands because they are just too cool.

Among those threatened are Gitanes and Gauloises, beloved of Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Serge Gainsbourg, who was said to puff through five packets of filterless Gitanes a day.

The ban, which could also cover the Lucky Strike, Marlboro Gold, Vogue and Fortuna brands, is the logical conclusion of a new public health law – based on a European directive – which stipulates tobacco products “must not include any element that contributes to the promotion of tobacco or give an erroneous impression of certain characteristics”.

Reporting the ban, Le Figaro said that while the directive was “relatively vague”, it clearly covered anything suggesting “masculinity or femininity, physical slimness, youth or sociability”.

I think that if I were French I’d be getting very seriously pissed off with the French government.

This is a government that’s waging a cultural war against its own people. It’s taking French cultural icons – and what else are Gauloises and Gitanes but French cultural icons? – and attempting to suppress them.

The French people have had to suffer a lot in recent months. For it’s very much the French people who have come under attack in recent months. Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan, and now Nice, have all seen ordinary French people coming under murderous attack. Because all these attacks have been aimed at them. Not at the French government. Not at the French armed forces. Not at the French police. It’s all been aimed at ordinary people.

And the government does next to nothing about it. They’ve even been told that they’re going to have “to learn to live with terrorism.” And now the government is launching a cultural attack on ordinary people. They’re going to have to live with terrorism, but they can’t be allowed to live with smoking.

The French government may as well be on the same side as the Islamic terrorists.

And, in fact, given that the Islamic State is even more antismoking than the French government and the EU, the French government arguably really is on the side of the terrorists. It shares the same goals, and it treats ordinary people with the same contempt.

 

One good thing about the Front National’s Marine Le Pen is that she’s a smoker. I hope she smokes Gauloises. Or Gitanes. I think that if I were French I’d vote for her. What else do I need to know about her?

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Moral Chaos

Something Rush Limbaugh said recently:

I just spoke eloquently, I think, too, about the lack of any moral authority in our culture. There isn’t anybody with any moral authority. Nobody’s allowed to have any. That has been one of the objectives of the left, is to destroy any sense that anybody can define morality. Morality doesn’t exist. What you want to do is what being an American means. And there is no limit to it, and anybody that tries to limit you is a bigot or is prejudiced or is racist or is homophobic or is whatever else. There is no morality. Nobody gets to define what’s right and wrong, because the left knows that if anybody’s able to do that other than them, they’re gonna be on the wrong side much more than they’re gonna be on the right side. And they don’t want that. They hate judgmentalism. They despise it. And that’s what they think of morality. Hence, that’s why we have the culture war. Some simple concepts as right and wrong.

“You don’t get to determine that,” they tell us. That’s not up to you, and it’s not up to anybody, and it’s not up to the Bible, ’cause they don’t believe in the Bible. The Bible is a bunch of phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ rollism. Not the Bible. The Bible is a bunch of gunk. God didn’t exist. That’s just made up by a bunch of people to give them authority and power. They don’t want to think about it. That’s why the environment is God or any other inanimate object becomes the deity, because there is no learned morality that descends from it. Nobody’s allowed to have any. That has been one of the objectives of the left, is to destroy any sense that anybody can define morality.

What he’s pointing out is the decline of Christian moral authority in the face of a cultural attack that seeks to up-end all morality. But I’m not sure that the aim is to allow people to do whatever they want to do. I think that the aim is to replace Christian moral authorities with secular ones – and have scientists and doctors and experts become as unquestionable authorities as bishops and archbishops used to be.

Because that’s what’s actually happening.  Contemporary healthism is a moral crusade against smoking, drinking, and eating. Smoking bans enforce an antismoking morality. The healthist goal of living as long as possible is a simplistic moral goal. Global warming is all about having faith in climate scientists, and doing whatever they say needs to be done.. The people behind it have very strong ideas about what’s right and wrong, although they like to pretend to be impartial scientists.

We’re living in a very dangerous time, when an ancient ethical code – Christianity – is in seemingly terminal decline, and is being superseded by rival ethical codes. Islam – or Islamic fundamentalism – is one. So also Green/environmentalism. And globalism. And all of them are as authoritarian as Christianity ever was. All of them believe that people must be bullied, blackmailed, and scared into conformity.

It’s a world in which absolutely anything can be upturned at any moment. Gay marriage and transgender bathrooms: did anyone see those coming? In fact, did anyone see smoking bans and soda bans and sugar bans and salt bans coming either?

Nor does there seem to be any rationale behind any of these changes. There just seems to be some sort of consensus that is somehow reached,  perhaps in a show of hands in some think tank that I’m not a member of. Gay marriage? Please raise your hands if you’re in favour. Good, we’re all agreed on that one. Transgender bathrooms?

We’re entering a period of moral chaos, as ancient ethical codes are replaced by a rapid succession of contradictory new ones. If you think the world has already been turned upside down,  you ain’t seen nothing yet.

One result of this is likely to be that people will start to begin to think hard about ethics in ways that they have hitherto been disinclined to, because they didn’t need to, because they shared the same values as pretty much everyone else, and didn’t need to defend them. But in a world in which hitherto unquestionable values are being tossed on the bonfire, and replaced with hideous new ones, such complacency will no longer be tenable.

My own belief is that we need to discover the rationality that underlies our ordinary everyday behaviour. I notice that when I go from A to B, I usually adopt the shortest route between the two. In more or less everything I do – whether it’s cooking or cleaning or shaving or shopping  – I’m almost always trying to get it done as quickly as possible. Before I enter a supermarket, I usually have my path through it planned, optimised to collect everything in as short as possible time. I hate it when I suddenly remember something that’s right up the other end, where I’ve just been. And we are continually doing this, all day every day, right down to where we position our cups of tea or coffee, and our knives and forks, and our discarded bedroom slippers. We all seem to share an ethics of Least Action. It’s not often that, instead of showing people short-cuts in doing something, we show them how to do it much more slowly.

Such small concerns may seem trivial by comparison to the pressing ethical questions of the day – abortion, capital punishment, etc -. But perhaps in ethics we might find that if we look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves. And we should start with the least pressing and simplest ethical puzzles, and gradually work up in stages to the more difficult ones – like whether to step into a busy road to let an old man pass, or make him do it instead.

But that’s just a suggestion. I don’t wish to pretend to be any sort of moral authority or expert. Because I’m not. And have no wish to be one.

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