Simon Duffy

Thoughts, Bemusements & Arguments

Simon Duffy

Thoughts, Bemusements & Arguments

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The Inquisition - A Truly Modern Institution

13th March 2014

As Arendt and Foucault noticed, the sign of a truly modern institution is that it refuses to accept merely outward signs of conformity.

The Cancer of English Anti-Semitism

12th March 2014

As Arendt observes the final cruel blow is to rob people of any role - as either exploited or exploiter.

What is Neoliberalism Good For?

11th March 2014

Even many of the extreme advocates of neoliberalism don't really pretend to take their own theory that seriously.

Use and Abuse of Standards

21st February 2014

If you regulate systems by exams you end up corrupting educational standards.

The Devolution of Blame

20th February 2014

Emilie Whitaker's term "blame devolution" perfectly describes modern management.

What Would Aristotle Make of Modern Britain?

15th February 2014

Aristotle would not identify the United Kingdom as any kind of meaningful democracy.

Living Forever

14th February 2014

Life of course (by which I also mean death) is designed to balance things out. To allow the new to replace the old.

Measurements

29th January 2014

Measuring has always been political.

The Emptiness Within

16th January 2014

To the religious this paradox is resolved through faith and an acknowledgement of the mystery of certain fundamental truths - but to the non-religious this seems like a cop-out.

Diverse People Need Diverse Communities

14th January 2014

Dante understood that it is good we are all different; but dangerous that we don't find our true fate.

The First Welfare State

12th January 2014

There is nothing 'natural' about the welfare state and it takes work to get a good one.

Do You Deserve Your Gifts?

Do You Deserve Your Gifts?

29th November 2013

If you think your gifts entitle you to a better deal then ask yourself who gave you those gifts. It was certainly not yourself.

We Fell Asleep

We Fell Asleep

23rd November 2013

A poetic reflection on our times.

Beyond Rights - Citizenship in the Welfare State

20th November 2013

It seems like a new form of aristocratic rule has evolved within the welfare state itself.

Modest Reasons for Hope

15th November 2013

Progress is not inevitable. Elites can maintain their grip on power for centuries.

Making Citizenship Real

14th November 2013

If we want citizenship to be real - for everyone - then we must transform how our society works.

Spending is a Poor Proxy for Justice

11th November 2013

The size of the welfare state is a poor measure of its value.

How Do We Defend the Welfare State?

31st October 2013

Sometimes critics of the welfare state seem to be against the welfare state, but it often turns out that they are really offering different visions of the welfare state.

The Welfare State and Citizenship in Political Theory

27th October 2013

The idea of citizenship does not belong to any one political theory. If taken seriously it would temper the extreme and anti-democratic nature of all the main political theories.

Citizenship as a Moral Ideal

25th October 2013

Passport-Citizenship is a corruption of citizenship - it empties citizenship of its real value. Citizenship is a critical moral ideal and is essential to the development of a fair society.

Simply an Unfortunate Human Being

23rd October 2013

It is hard to imagine the kind of oppression that makes the camp or the institution welcome.

The Blood Money of Charity or Why Entitlements Matter

The Blood Money of Charity or Why Entitlements Matter

7th October 2013

We should not be afraid of the language of entitlements for entitlements give meaning to the idea of rights.

Dog Fox Field

26th September 2013

Reflections on Les Murray's poem Dog Fox Field

Securing the Good for All

24th September 2013

Reflections on the wisdom of Jane Addams