Featured post

New set of short stories: Saving the Planet and Other Stories

Dalrymple has written a new set of short stories called Saving the Planet and Other Stories, and it is available at all Amazon sites. The book includes eight stories that reflect various aspects of contemporary society and culture, including frustration with modern officialdom but also both the tragedy and delight of everyday interpersonal conflict — all in quintessential Dalrymple style. It is his fourth collection of short stories.

You can buy it here in the US or here in the UK, or from whatever Amazon site you use.

Older Art Focused on the Beautiful, Modern Art Often Looks at the Disturbing

A comparison between 20th-century and 15th-century art, and the vastly different societies that produced such art, is the main topic of the good doctor’s latest The Epoch Times column.

As a reminder to our readers, it is free to read the “premium” Theodore Dalrymple articles at The Epoch Times after simply registering with an email address. However, if that does not work, please visit the New English Review‘s blog section for Theodore Dalrymple, where you are able to read all of The Epoch Times articles in their entirety.

Notwithstanding the recent disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still very fortunate by the standards of all previously existing human populations. Those, however, are not the standards by which we judge our own condition: instead, we compare it with some ideal normal, a perfection, which never has existed and never will exist.

No End to History

Theodore Dalrymple examines the ongoing conflict between the USA and China in light of the main thesis of Samuel Huntington’s classic book, The Clash of Civilizations, over at Law & Liberty.

Whether or not we call the conflict between the United States and China a clash of civilizations hardly matters because, as Bishop Butler put it, everything is what it is and not another thing. At the very least, however, Huntington’s thesis liberates us from the Pollyanna theory of international relations.

Turgenev’s ‘Fathers and Sons’, a Novel for Today

Another Quadrant essay from the good doctor, this time dealing with Ivan Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons (1861), which seems increasingly relevant in our tumultuous and nihilistic times.

Perhaps one of the ironies of our present conjuncture is that, while multiculturalism is extolled and treated almost as an unimpeachable orthodoxy, so many people lack historical imagination and cannot enter mentally into a world in which people had a different scale of values from their own. The past for them is not another country where they do things differently; it is the same country where they were not as enlightened as we.

The Book Value of a Flyleaf Inscription

Our bibliophile doctor stumbles upon a book in his library dedicated to Marcel Proust’s father, which gets him thinking over at Quadrant.

There is a lot to be said for reading at random, though one will never become scholarly that way. It broadens rather than sharpens the mind and counters the temptation merely to refine by further reading what one already knows. The temptation to remain in an intellectual bubble of one’s own making is very strong.

Biden Will Give Everyone More Money

Over at The Epoch Times, our favorite doctor takes on the misguided, fallacious, neo-Keynesian economic policies of the Harris Administration, and also manages to work in a strong critique of the absurd notion of paying out reparations to black American descendants of slaves.

There is, however, no better way of satisfying a laudable desire to be generous and big-hearted than to give away other people’s money, or even to create it anew from thin air, out of nothing. Even if it shrinks in value as a result, it will be better than nothing.

Full Canvases, Empty Palettes

The skeptical doctor covers art created by mad artists, and the sorry state of the art world in general, after receiving two books on African fabrics in the May issue of New English Review.

In part, also, it is because there has been a collapse in taste and powers of discrimination. We are like the Africans who, in moving from traditional villages to shanty towns, lose their sense of form, design and colour, and gravitate to the meretricious.

Turn On, Tune In, and Shoot Up—In Doorways

The good doctor reviews a new book dealing with the problem of homelessness, particularly in California, over at Law & Liberty.

If that realm disappears, we are left with two choices: anarchy or tyranny, both with a loss of freedom. For the moment, California has chosen anarchy, but tyranny may one day result. No one wants a society in which people behave well because there is a policeman behind every tree if they don’t, or alternatively a society in which there are no standards of acceptable behaviour at all. As this book shows, California, at least in regard to homelessness, has chosen the latter.

Race to the Bottomley

In the May issue of New Criterion, Theodore Dalrymple writes about the life of Horatio Bottomley, a British press baron and famous fraudster who lived from 1860-1933.

Horatio attended debating societies in the East End of London and became an accomplished speaker—or demagogue. He launched a company that published the proceedings of the societies and never looked back from there as a company promoter. In the course of his life he launched at least seventy-seven companies, most of them soon liquidated, restructured, or declared bankrupt, to the great loss of the shareholders but to the great (if only temporary) enrichment of one Horatio Bottomley. In his career, he is estimated to have raised the modern equivalent of two billion dollars, practically all of it lost.

Richard Dawkins Punished for Inviting Us to Think

Our dissenting doctor comes to the defense of the strident atheist, Richard Dawkins, who had an award from 1996 rescinded after an innocuous Twitter post.

Professor Dawkins’ Tweet was clearly an invitation to people to consider the limits of self-identification as a determinant of what people actually are. You cannot be something just because you say that you are, nor have you any right to demand that others should uncritically accept your self-designation.

An Age-Old Story

In his weekly Takimag column, our concerned doctor presents his own modest proposal to right the blatant injustice of women everywhere outliving men. Hear, hear, Dr. D.

For example, I was reading in Le Figaro only yesterday that nearly 58 percent of deaths from Covid in France were of men, and only 42 percent of women. This only brings into sharp relief a fundamental injustice that has gone unaddressed for decades, indeed has been largely unnoticed, namely the fact that women live, on average, several years longer than men. For example, women live just over three and a half years longer in Britain than men; in the U.S., the difference is five years; in France, six; in Russia, ten. Overall in the world, men were the victims of 73 percent of fatal road accidents and 78 percent of homicides.