If They Lose, They Lose. If They Win, They Lose Sean Gabb 6th April 2019 I see no point in writing more about the European Union. If we shout and wave our fists, that may or may not be taken into account. Words are useless. Nothing remains to be said that has not been said.…
A Brief Word on the Brexit Crisis Sean Gabb 31st March 2019 I have not written much on politics this year. My public reason is that I am working on a new edition of Book VI of The Aeneid, and this is already about two hundred pages longer than I expected; and the sales of…
Two years ago, I decided to refuse all further invitations to appear on the broadcast media. There had been a time when I could expect a fair and reasonable debate with whoever was on against me. Quite often, I was paid for appearances. In all cases, my appearance on air brought a noticeable spike in…
How to Judge People by What They Look Like
by Edward Dutton
(Published in The Salisbury Review)
This short book is equally naughty and entertaining. It bounces along, making its points in a light-hearted and generally a witty manner. It is naughty so far as it is a flat challenge to many of the pieties of our age.
We are told never to judge a book by its cover – that the substance of a person, this being character and intelligence, have no measurable relationship to his external form, this being his physical appearance. At the extreme, of looking at correlations between race and intelligence, you can get into serious trouble for disputing this piety. Even moderate dissent earns hostility or just ridicule. Look, for example, at the relevant textbooks. The phlogiston theory is covered as an early theory of combustion, superseded by the truth. Phrenology is denounced as barely short of a moral and intellectual failing. No one thinks ill of Lamarck for this theory of inherited characteristics. Lombroso and his measurement of criminal heads are seen as steps on the road to Auschwitz. Read more
Latin Stories: A GCSE Reader
Henry Cullen, Michael Dormandy, John Taylor
Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2017
ISBN: 978 1 3500 0384 2
Any English speaker who calls Latin easy is either a genius or a fool. It is a synthetic Indo-European language that communicates in ways very different from English. Nouns are divided into at least five classes, each of which has five or six or seven cases – singular and plural – to express meanings that we express by adding prepositions. Pronouns have their own declensions. Except for the perfect passive tenses, verbs are generally inflected. Because the Classical grammar is a snapshot of a language in rapid and profound change, there are duplications and irregularities everywhere. The future tense, in particular, is broken, and has been reconstructed in every language I know that descends from Latin. Add to this an elaborate syntax, an indifference to what we regard as a normal order of words, and a vocabulary that is naturally poor, but expanded by allowing most common words to bear different meanings that must usually be inferred from their context. Read more
Britain: A World Power Again, if by Accident?
(22nd December 2018)
In London, and it seems elsewhere, the political and media consensus is that Britain is in its weakest international position since the late summer of 1940. Because we have a government of fools, we are at the mercy of the French, the Germans, the Spanish, and even the Irish. If we accept Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, we become a colony of the European Union. If we withdraw our notice to quit, we suffer a different though probably equal humiliation. If we leave without any deal, we face some degree of economic disruption. Which of these options is worst may have some bearing on the lack of agreement within our political class – though which brings more or less advantage to any of the individual groups in Parliament also has much bearing.
I disagree with this consensus. I still regard Theresa May as our most incompetent and possibly treasonous Prime Minister in at least living memory. At the same time, we find ourselves with the greatest power to shape our destiny since 1938. It needs only minimal work from our diplomatic establishment, and minimal cooperation among our leading politicians. Let me explain. Read more
“Which if not Victory is Yet Revenge”
Thoughts on the Tory Apocalypse
by Sean Gabb
1st December 2018
As I write, those who demand a second referendum on the European Union seem ever more likely to have their way. Their argument is: that it is now two years since we were asked to vote on leaving; that no one expected the process of leaving to end in the present shambles; that we should be asked what we now think of leaving. These calls are an obvious fraud on the electorate. Since the Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the custom in Europe has been for any unfavourable referendum result to be followed by another vote, in which the preferred result is given. This was done to the French, the Dutch and the Irish. It is now being done to us. Read more