I have a new article just published in the journal, Standpoint:

John Constable, "The poor need the rich to be always with us", Standpoint 103 (July/August 2018), 30–33.

 As an indication of its content I reproduce here the first paragraph, which is an abstract of the whole:

A narrow emphasis on the short-run, personal and hedonistic benefits of economically liberal policies has impeded their uptake and is encouraging growing resistance worldwide. – Corbynism is not an isolated phenomenon, but part of a global trend. Addressing this threat does not require new liberal economic theory, the underlying principles of which, though poorly applied, are well understood and known to be robust. What is needed is a change in the psychological framing and language of liberal economic policies. Specifically, it is futile to deny that the wealth differentials produced by liberal markets are as a matter of fact disadvantageous to worse off individuals even in the presence of the rising incomes for all. The worse off know this to be true, and are contemptuous of arguments to the contrary by liberal economists. The evolved human organism gathers resources to secure reproduction, and in that process it is genetically functional to resent and attempt to prevent competitors acquiring differential levels of available resources. Bluntly, rich people secure the future of their families more effectively, and this is obvious to all of us. Given that reality, political effort should be concentrated on the equally valid but less manifest truth that individual lifetime wealth differentials and their very real disadvantages are more than offset by the long-run, extra-personal, benefits returned to an individual’s direct and collateral descendants through societies that are resilient to natural disaster and shock due to high aggregate, societal wealth. Advocates could show that this argument is sincere by recommending policies that facilitate the transfer of wealth between generations and within families, with a particular emphasis on those currently of lower net worth. In order to reconcile ourselves to short run individual wealth differentials we must be allowed to build families with long term interests.

It would not be unreasonable to expect that most academic study will be prove to be worthless for the student. Years devoted to Heidegger may produce only a progressively greater personal folly, for example. (I choose Heidegger for the same reason that the logical-positivists chose him, but you may replace his name with that of any author you think particularly half-baked.)

Yet it is not at all pointless for a society to have many scholars and enthusiasts working on such unpromising topics. Indeed, it is one of the ways that a population of minds gleans through its detritus for lost jewels. The particular researcher pays such a high personal price for this work that they always believe themselves to have found treasure. It is thus that a creature protects itself against despair. Of course, to an observer things may seem rather different, but it would be churlish of anyone to say "You have been wasting your time", for this hapless and deluded drudge has been saving yours.

People who never stop talking think their companions very dull.

While tasting the world's diversity on short wave I came across an English church service in the midst of the Dutch comedians and the French North African commentators. So beautiful, until the priest began to speak.

The British do not write aphorisms, only jokes. Since Oscar Wilde they have believed that wit is both cruel and funny, while the profound is dull, and the dull profound. We have come very far since the seventeenth century.

Physical grace is essential for a good after dinner speaker. He must be able to rise to to his feet and sit again in one flowing movement of twenty minutes.

Mixed company is preferable, of course. – One knows what people are up to.

He says he's a bad cook, which isn't true, but he says it so vehemently that in the end you have to say he's a good cook, which isn't true either.

The Acliotic people could not be brought to understand law, and a great many other things, because their language did not have a tense in which they could refer to the past, and while it was, of course, possible to do things, it was impossible to say that they had been done.

The mediocrity cultivates himself for himself, since no one else is interested, and why should they be? It is the most private life imaginable.

It is a common belief that nature provides a remedy close to a source of poison, as dock by nettles. – So, the early stages of technology make alcohol as well as anxiety and exhaustion. The wonder of it!

Criticism is never a precise instrument: – In order to hit anything at all you must choose very big targets.

In Aristotle to Zoos (1985, p. 199) the Medawars report J. B. S. Haldane's remark that a chemical compound with the properties of DNA was "inconceivable". Perhaps there is a tinge of a sneer, a little delight in the great man's embarrassment. But perhaps he was right enough, at the time. There almost certainly is a limit to what may be conceived by an age, a period. Rationalists should be more tolerant of empiricists, for it is evidence which the material out of which even Rationalism makes it web. – Nothing comes of nothing. What is rationally inconceivable at one moment may, with the advent of further data, become instantly obvious to all who consider the matter.