One man’s heaven can be another’s hell. Wilde trusted in the state to appropriate the family while HG Wells favoured sterilisation of the infirm, pan-surveillance and micro-management of citizens’ personal data, criss-crossing government departments through pneumatic tubes.
On The Money
In the London Review of Books John Lanchester envisages the possible disappearance, facilitated by new secure technologies, of money and banks. Would this be a good thing or would it make it even more difficult than it already is to recycle corporate profits for public goods in the shape of schools, hospitals, roads and police services?
No Plaster Saint
James Connolly’s participation in the 1916 Rising was part of a calculated gamble. Glorifying him as an exponent of physical force politics, however, is a corruption of his beliefs and hopes, a travesty of his analysis, a grotesque and impermissible appropriation.
Red, Pink and Blue
Samuel Freeman in ‘The New York Review of Books’ finds Roger Scruton’s inclusion of American progressive liberal thinkers in his general denunciation of hard left theorists unconvincing.
God and Reason
In traditional accounts, Meister Eckhart has usually been presented as a mystical religious thinker. But a new study argues convincingly that this is a misinterpretation and that Eckhart is a ‘philosopher of Christianity’ who explains Christian beliefs through pure reason.
Do Right Man
An initiative sponsored by President Higgins rightly locates ethics as not just a matter of personal behaviour or minimalist professional codes, but as forming the moral fabric of society through values and principles operating within its institutions and practices.
A new study focuses on three generations of women poets, born between 1942 and 1983, exploring commonalities and differences across and within the generations through their engagement with memory, in all its fluidity and instability, as muse.
Picturing the People
Daniel Macdonald’s ‘An Irish Peasant Family Discovering the Blight of their Store’ is perhaps a strange painting for a man wanting to make his career in London to produce. Macdonald’s sympathy for the downtrodden and their culture is unique in his generation.
We Know Nothing
A new book on Irish immigrants in Manchester raises wider issues of anti-immigrant prejudice and racism while helping us to reconceive the geographies of Irishness and the locations and spaces in which a migrant Irish identity has been articulated and sustained.
From On High
Choosing a suitable person in the nineteenth century to write a history of the Irish Anglican church was a complex matter, for identity was not just a matter of religious doctrine: it also related to ethnic and political allegiance and to relations with Catholics and Presbyterians.