- Antisemitism was anti-capitalist and anti-communist Colin Schindler, History Today
- The invention of money John Lanchester, New Yorker
- Why do we look to Science as a guide for living? Ronald Dworkin, Law & Liberty
- Salman Rushdie’s hyperloquacity Matt Hill, Literary Review
- Why weakly enforced rules? Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias
- What’s changed since Salman Rushdie’s notorious novel? Bruce Fudge, Aeon
- Spacefaring civilization Nick Nielsen, Grand Strategy Annex
- Is the universe pro-life? Bobby Azarian, Quartz
- Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain Nicola Clarke, History Today
- After Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses Kenan Malik, Guardian
- The labor theory of value, explained Branko Milanovic, globalinequality
- The closest exoplanet to Earth could be “highly habitable” Adam Mann, Scientific American
I did once visit Iran when I was 21 years old, during the time of the shah. It was wonderful. I had just graduated from university, and such was the world at that time, 1968, that I was able to drive with a friend from London to South Asia across the world. I mean, try driving across Iran and Afghanistan now! I remember it being a very cosmopolitan, very cultured society. And it always seemed to me that the arrival of Islamic radicalism in that country, of all countries, was particularly tragic because it was so sophisticated a culture — which is not to defend the shah’s regime, which was appalling. But it was one of the tragedies of history that an appalling regime was replaced by a worse one.
At first I found his praise for the Obama administration to be typical of Left-wing establishment figures, but then I remembered that Rushdie is an Indian and had probably had to deal with racist legislation in one form or another while growing up. While the period of colonialism (roughly coinciding with the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of World War I) did indeed open up more places to markets, the Jim Crow-like legal barriers that European states erected no doubt helped to foster part of the suspicious climate that now pervades most globalization skeptics worldwide.
This is a shame for two reasons: Continue reading