I have removed the search box because it was not working but the search box in the title bar seems to.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Basis of All Reality

I know what I am not: I’m not a materialist. Materialists maintain that matter and energy are all that exist. This seems to me absurd in the extreme – aesthetics and morals are chopped away; they don’t exist in a materialist framework. Intentionality disappears: matter is not about anything. Materialists have a poor universe to think about and it is no surprise that they think very poorly.

Keith Ward is an incisive thinker, philosopher, theologian and priest. He has helped me to think about what I am – an idealist.

I am absolutely convinced that I am conscious. Consciousness has been called the hard question. It is not that hard. If I am not conscious, I do not exist. The ‘I’ that I call me is a figment. How can we ever have a conversation if neither of us exists?

Consciousness is my fundamental reality. Through my consciousness I receive all ‘sense data’. To some extent, I construct the world through sense data. Without consciousness I would not even be. I could not act.

Ludwig von Mises, the greatest of modern economists, titled his magnum opus Human Action. Free will is what makes us human. My philosophy, my theology, my Catholicism are all congruent. I exist. I act.

The project of post-modernism is to persuade us that we do not exist – good luck! As it happens, post-modernism is about persuading us that what we know is true is not only untrue but meaningless.
Islam is so much easier to deal with – it is self-evidently crap. Mohammed received ‘revelations’ that he was God’s messenger. He liked that. He also liked it when the revelations told him that he could do whatever he wanted. I’d like that.

If my consciousness is the foundation of my reality, then Consciousness is the foundation of all reality.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Muslim Apologists

Anjem Chowdury is sort of honest. Repulsive but honest. He takes his Islam seriously. He wants Islam to prevail over Christianity, Human Rights and Democracy. He hopes that, in time, all non-muslims will exist only as dhimmis. If you don’t know what a dhimmi is, God help us.

George W Bush, David Cameron and Barack Obama are totally dishonest. They bleat that Islam is a religion of peace. Islam conquered the largely Christian middle east in the centuries after Mohammed. Islam has never been peaceful, has never pretended to be peaceful. When Islam held sway in Andalucía, there was a degree of tolerance. Whenever Islam has perceived itself to be under threat, the gloves have come off. Bush, Cameron and Obama are thoroughly cynical. They know this. They know that Islam is a violent and aggressive programme. But they pretend it is not so. This is political correctness in its most pitiful and abject form. They are beneath contempt. They are the apologists for islamist violence. Even the islamo-fascists despise them. ISIS makes no pretence that Islam is peaceful – they too are honest. Honest fiends.

Some time this year we can expect another major islamist outrage – there have been 24,000 since 9/11. People breathing now will be dead at the hands of muslims. Those muslims will crow that they are justified – by the Koran: and they are absolutely right.

Boko Haram is as extreme as any muslim group. Nobody can deny that BH can quote the Koran and the Hadith to justify their revolting cruelty. Nobody does. ISIS, the caliphate, is 100% mainstream. Fortunately for us, most muslims are luke-warm. They would rather get on with work and family – God bless them.

Are we in a 1930s mindset? Where is our Churchill?

These bastards are killing us. They kill us in London, in Boston, in New York, in Paris, in Mumbai, in Nigeria, in Syria, in Argentina, in Egypt, in Israel, in Libya – all over the world. Our ‘leaders’ refuse to recognise the common factor. May they be tormented and sleepless. Government has one purpose: to protect the citizen. Our leaders won’t even define the enemy.

You will wake up one morning soon and the islamists will have slaughtered 10s or 100s or 1000s of people in Europe, Africa or North America. Minutes later Cameron or Obama will be on the air to warn us against blaming muslims – who else should we blame?

Muslims are more honest than our leaders. God help us.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Gaining Ground

Perhaps this is wishful thinking; but I do believe that what some call ‘the freedom philosophy’ is making progress. This may be, of course, because I actively seek these guys out – so winsome do I find their ideas. The free market, or libertarian think tanks are stuffed with extraordinarily clever men and women, extraordinarily capable of making the case for more individual freedom and less state interference. The US is blessed with dozens of such institutions and we have a few in the UK. I’ll give a partial list at the bottom of this post. I was at least into my fifties before I was even aware that they existed. Mea culpa.

One reason for my optimism is, paradoxically, the dire state of our public finances. We are so indebted and over-spent that current policies cannot continue. If they cannot, they will not. It is regrettably true that what succeeds our present well-meaning and incompetent leaders (bereft, for the most part of charisma) may be an even more grisly shower. Tyrants do seem to arise in periods of chaos.

A second reason for optimism is the internet. There has never been a time when access to ideas has been more freely available. For sure, the amount of trivia on the internet vastly outweighs the good stuff; but the good stuff is there. Good ideas have intrinsic appeal in spite of the fact that many bad ideas may have the support of superficially appealing assumptions: equality is appealing, as an idea; but the idea that equality can and should be mandated is absurd and repugnant. Sixty seconds of thought reveals this.

The internet is a source of hope in the west. The very fact that the most repulsive regimes do their damnedest to suppress it is cause for rejoicing – not because they suppress it but because they fear it.

Think Tanks

Mises Institute
Cato Institute
Acton Institute
Foundation for Economic Education
American Enterprise Institute
Adam Smith Institute
Henry Jackson Society
Centre for Policy Studies

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Word about Moving

I have now moved into a very satisfactory ground floor flat. It is going to suit me very well. I don’t intend ever to move again.

I’m sure most of you are much too smart to make the following elementary mistake. I thought about the process of packing and got two guys to do it. I thought about the actual move. The guys hired a van and moved me and my boxes into the flat. They then said goodbye. This was dumb because my creakiness meant that I had no chance of unpacking everything and putting it away. Fortunately I bethought myself of a capable and practical friend and her handsome and intelligent son. I now have an internet connection.

There are three parts to moving – not two!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Whose Fault is it?

Hardly any group in society is guiltless. I don’t mean, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. This is indubitably true. I mean that we are up to our top lips in slurry, the liquid mess that runs from cowsheds – and whose fault is that? Firstly, it is governments, whose monetary and fiscal policies gave us to understand that we could borrow, over-spend and disregard the consequences – as they themselves were doing. Secondly, it is electorates, who took the government bribes. Only thirdly is it financial institutions who responded to the government signals that they would be safe from the consequences of bad decisions – they would be bailed-out.

That we live in a wicked dispensation is all too plain. We murder unborn children by the million. We deserve our fate. Murder is the most heinous of sins but all sins have their consequences. The sin of unthriftiness bears the seed of its own punishment. Spending above your means is a sin against yourself. It will find you out. It has.

The same era which saw the rise of capitalism also saw the decline of faith in the western world. But capitalism requires morality, and faith underpins morality. Faith is also a bulwark against stupidity. Catholicism has always been the champion of reason. Reason (or common sense, call it what you will) tells you that you live in a world of causes and effects. It tells you that hoping for the best is not effective against catastrophe if you take it into your head to jump off a ten-storey building. Your very body screams, “Don’t do it!” as you teeter on the brink. Your body is powerless to prevent you from living beyond your means. Reason and morality give you cause to refrain.

The decline of faith and the consequential decline of morality have gathered pace for over two hundred years. It is certainly true that there have been plentiful examples of rich young roués, gambling and spending themselves into ruin. But we are doing it on a societal scale.

Tom Woods is a Catholic. This is not to say that that is why he is right about everything; although, he is right about everything, or as near as makes no difference. But (and be fair!) he and other Austrians did predict the current crisis from first principles, while the mainstream were telling us that everything was just peachy. Don’t you owe it to yourself to hear from people who predicted the current miserable state of affairs? A doctor who correctly diagnoses your problem is probably the guy to go to for a solution (aka cure). Suit yourself.

The great laboratory for ‘progressive’ economics was the decade of the 1930s. The stock market crashed in October 1929. By the spring stocks and jobs were on the way up. FDR and the New Deal kyboshed the recovery and the depression lasted until 1939. Mainstream economists predicted that servicemen returning from WWII would encounter a disastrous job market. 1946 was the single most productive year in US History. Progressives don’t like history – surprise, surprise! Under the New Deal millions of pigs were killed and burnt to keep farm prices up (not to mention other farm produce). In other words, wealth was destroyed in the hopes that it would improve the economy. If these guys had been psychiatrists they would have taken sledge hammers to their patients’ skulls.

India is another great laboratory. Since they abandoned statist economics they have become a great economy. Concomitantly, the number of desperately poor people in India is shrinking. The East has learnt from the West. The West has its head up its arse. The Far East was never predominantly Christian - self-evidently. Perhaps this why Christianity's latest and greatest heresy, Socialism, did not take root. In China it withered and died in little over half a century. Tragically, during the early years of the twentieth century, many of the brightest and best of Asia's youth were contaminated by this heresy, without ever having come into contact with true Christianity. Their countrymen paid the price.

Putting Things Right

We are deeply in debt. Of course we are – we have been spending at an unprecedented rate. The government, especially under Gordon Brown, spent more than it took in. The coalition had to address Labour mismanagement – comme toujours. They are trying to reduce our annual deficits, so far a long way from zero; so we still have a backlog of debt, which is still growing. Any company which behaved like this would be facing ruin – and probably prosecution.

We have to either increase income, by raising taxes (too high already) or cut expenditure. It is plain that we should do the latter; but this is politically problematic – ‘austerity’ is not popular. The new Greek government got itself elected by promising to end austerity. Greece should be renamed La-la Land. The Greeks are facing an abyss.

We and the Greeks got into these messes by ignoring economic reality. The politicians calculated that by the time the birds returned to the roost they would be long gone. O tempora, o mores.

‘Progressive’ politicians think that governments should ‘do good’ whenever and wherever they can. It is plain that they should do less. Everything they do is now is a response to the chaos they themselves have caused. They struggle vainly to put things right. Would that they had done less.

A stroll around Whitehall would reveal to a ten-year-old vast expenditures that ought to be slashed to the bone, or simply discontinued. Of course, our real masters (the bureaucrats) would kick and scream and many of the recipients of hand-outs would have a fit.

We need a constitutional rule that budgets should always be balanced (except, perhaps, in time of war). We also need ‘fair’ (and low) taxation, an end to progressive tax rates. I would like the cabinet and the top mandarins to be given 48 hours to make the necessary cuts or face execution. That would concentrate their minds.

Brains and Minds

The conventional wisdom is that minds are the secretions of brains. It goes something like this…
Our Ultimate Common Ancestor was a single-celled (can I say creature?).

[No materialist scientist has anything to say about how great great great great (etc) grandma came into being.  She was a mindless blob of protoplasm. She was blessed with an astonishingly complex blueprint for her very important proteins, her genome). She was mindless (sorry, grandma) but she contained lots of information. Information is a phenomenon which (according to our uniform and repeated experience) proceeds only from minds. Minds, however, proceed only from brains (according to the theory). Grandma didn’t have a brain. Ergo she didn’t have a mind. Mindless grandma was suffused with information. She reproduced by division in the same way that bacteria do today.]

She and her offspring got more complicated. Various threats in her environment were circumvented by ‘adaptations’ to her genome and to epigenetic information. Epigenetics is the study of how genes are switched on and off. I believe that it is a subject which is destined to grow, to include theories about how a single cell can reproduce itself and become liver cells and bone cells etc. My granddaughter’s skin, hair and eye colouring are (at least partly) determined by her genes. The fact that she is the image of her mother is not genetically determined. That is not to say that she didn’t inherit this resemblance; but it wasn’t through her genes.

The adaptations consisted, essentially, of successive modifications to grandma's original blueprint. According to the theory, billions of adaptations appeared by chance. Some worked; most did not. Grandma’s offspring contrived (or were contrived) to become multi-celled creatures. In the blink of an eye, in the Cambrian Explosion, a plethora of body plans came into being – not one of which have any identifiable ancestors in the record. Eyes appeared, blinking or not. Sex appeared, requiring not one but two simultaneous major adaptations in one species.

Sex is a huge problem for neo-darwinists. It requires the emergence, simultaneously, of two complementary adaptations in one generation.

The story proceeds: trilobites and their contemporaries morphed into invertebrates, vertebrates, reptiles, mammals and birds. As well as kidneys, livers and such, brains came into being. At every stage, in this account, the creature became better adapted to survive. Survival and reproducibility drove the process. We can imagine that on an alien world (according to this account), creatures would appear, very well adapted to their environments, well adapted to survive and reproduce – but utterly incapable of thought. Perhaps even in this world. For billions of years, according to the standard account, thought was not a requisite for survival and reproduction – thought and the grammar of thought, logic.

And then we get to the ‘hard problem’ – consciousness. It is a much harder problem for materialists than for theists. Theists suppose themselves to be conscious, inescapably so. It is a datum, not easy to describe or explain but if you say that I am not conscious, you are telling me that I do not exist. This is not a proposition that I can accept. The materialist ‘solution’ to the hard problem is that consciousness and free will are illusions: I only think that I am thinking! This is worse than incoherent.

Animals have brains – sometimes we eat animal brains. Some animals obviously have memories. Some animal behaviours evince cause and effect processes: press this lever, get this reward. Some animals have memories (maybe most vertebrates). Ruthless scientists train rats and jellyfish to navigate mazes and then remove selective parts of their brains to establish where these learned behaviours are stored. So far, to the best of my knowledge, they have not had much success. So, animal experiments have not revealed where memories are stored. If minds were simply brain activity, this would be very mysterious. The situation is very different from that of computers; we know where the bits and bytes are stored.

Some thinkers have suggested that brains may be physical receivers which allow our minds to interact with the physical world. This idea raises many serious questions but it may account for the apparent reality, which is that brains do not produce minds but that minds use brains. Just as some radios are more sophisticated than others, so some brains enable their controlling minds to operate more effectively. Thus, the brain you are born with may determine, to a degree, whether or not you are a musical prodigy or a mathematical genius.

The hard question is a very interesting question.

Rupert Sheldrake quotes his late friend, Terence McKenna: Modern Science demands one miracle, the coming into being of all matter, energy, space and time. It then promises to explain everything else. Sheldrake lists ten dogmas of modern Science. He finds them all sadly wanting.

The Thomistic scheme makes a lot more sense. Inanimate matter is simply inanimate and soulless. This may or may not be true. Plants have vegetable souls, which determine their composition and shape. Animals have vegetable souls and animal souls. Humans have both and a spirit.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Some Thoughts about Science

The earliest scientists did their Science disinterestedly. They simply wanted the joy of “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”. Kepler did not apply his mighty intellect to planetary orbits because he had it in mind to send a probe to Mars. As it happens, boffins today do send probes into the Solar System – and they couldn’t do so without knowing what Kepler discovered. Kepler and Newton were deeply religious; they were after God’s Truth.

Miraculously, scientific discoveries have led to technological advances, to a degree we had no right to expect. Science and Technology have conferred myriad benefits on our race, for which we ought to be grateful – and I am!

Some of today’s scientists pursue knowledge equally disinterestedly. Quantum Mechanics was not a technological project; but much of today’s technology depends on QM. However, much of what goes on under the heading of scientific research is very far from disinterested. In Medicine, for example, the goal of finding cures is pretty well the exclusive motivation for research. Excellent. Knowledge and the alleviation of suffering go hand in hand. Geneticists are motivated to improve crop yields. Volcanologists study volcanoes with a view to predicting them more accurately and to saving lives. Excellent.

But this is a fallen world and scientists are as fallen as the rest of us. Laden with honours, a scientist who has made a ‘break-through’ will be tempted to resist any ideas which undermine his work. Climatologists at East Anglia were unscrupulous when they vowed to impede the publication of work which went counter to their theories. Huge government grants (and prestige) were at stake. These guys are not disinterested. Perhaps they truly believe that they are saving the planet. They know, for sure, that if their models are shown to be bogus, the funds will dry up.

Science in the twentieth century became unprecedentedly politicised. I don’t think this was a good thing. It has been a very bad thing.

This morning I woke up to hear that a cherished belief of nutritionists and others in the medical sciences has been holed below the water-line. Animal fats, apparently, do not make you fat, nor do they give you heart attacks. A meta-study (ie a study of studies) seriously undermines this school of thought. A couple of generations of academics face the melt-down of their reputations. Needless to say, some are going to fight back.

Perhaps the greatest non-biblical parable of all time is HC Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. Everybody subscribed to the view that the emperor was sumptuously arrayed except one little boy who, not knowing what he was supposed to believe, chose to believe the evidence of his own eyes – “as naked as the day that he was born”.

Monday, 9 February 2015

This Woman is Brilliant

Anne Bradley speaks profound truths as clearly as anyone. Here she is giving a lecture at Grove City College, a hot-bed of excellence. The lecture is a wonderful amalgam of theology and economics. She quotes a Nobel Prize winner, Robert Lucas. I had never heard of him; but I will learn more. Nowadays they give Nobel Prizes to the likes of Paul Krugman (and Al Gore). It really makes me want to weep.

The lecture is just over an hour long. It is not original in content; but it is startling in clarity.


Nobody is against Justice. Indeed, most of us would maintain that Justice is the foundation of Morality. The Hebrews taught that God is just. Plato tells us that Socrates spoke at length about Justice.

The Christian concept of Justice is that every man should be accorded his deserts. Bad deeds deserve punishment; good deeds deserve reward. Christians believe that perfect Justice is not attainable in this world – certainly not by the efforts of humans. The Christian concept of Justice is the same as the Hebraic. It is bleak. We all do evil; therefore we all deserve punishment. Unlike all other religions, Christianity teaches that, although God is all-just, He is also all-merciful – so much so that He Himself paid the price, suffered the punishment for our sins. It is the Ultimate Free Lunch; all we have to do is to say, yes please.

We Free Marketeers believe that Capitalism is based on Justice. What is mine is mine and I cannot be dispossessed of it. I am free to exchange what is mine for what is yours, provided that we both freely agree. That’s it! If I acquire capital, by saving, by borrowing or by inheritance, I am free to mix in my ingenuity and labour, and thereby make a profit – if I am lucky. If I need more labour than my arms, legs and brain can supply, I am free to engage with you to supply me with yours, provided that we agree the price, your wages. This is the only way prices and wages can be determined. Von Mises explains that the information supplied by prices is missing in a socialist economy. Such economies are therefore not able to supply the wants of society. There are gluts, or, more likely, shortages. Capitalism is simple, efficient and just. Socialism is tortuous, inefficient and unjust. Soviet economists subscribed to Sears Roebuck. They had no mechanism for determining prices for themselves

Free Marketeers are very likely to be Libertarians, who believe that the one societal rule is that it is wrong to initiate violence against another. Many free marketeers often also feel an obligation to alleviate ignorance and suffering when they can. Indeed, we are commanded to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Socialism is based on violence. All are dispossessed by the state by dint of the threat of violence.  In a so-called mixed economy the state allows us to keep some of our own property. The horror of ‘progressive’ taxation is not that the rich pay more but that they pay disproportionately more. There is not even a scintilla of moral justification for this. A tragic side-effect is that the rich are actively discouraged from contributing to charity, although many do any way.

We have, of late, invented a plethora of new flavours of Justice: most notably ‘Social Justice’ and even, absurdly, ‘Climate Justice’. How long do you have to reflect before coming to the conclusion that these are completely bogus ideas? Everything that needs to be said about Justice in society is said by ‘Justice’. Justice is about deserts – rewards and punishments, good and evil. “If a man will not work, he shall not eat”, says St Paul – this is Justice. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, says Karl Marx. This is definitionally unjust. It sounds OK; but it imposes an obligation on everyone else – backed up by the threat of violence.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Logic and Islam

Being an incomparably fair-minded person, I listen frequently to speeches, interviews, arguments and debates featuring people whose views are different from mine: eg Atheists, Socialists and Muslims. Atheists and Socialists, to be sure, use bad arguments; indeed, Christians sometimes do. But Muslims use arguments which are simply baffling.

[Digression on Socialism…
Socialist states do not work. Venezuela is a basket case. They have vast resources of oil – but they can’t provide toilet paper for Venezuelans. They refuse to admit that human beings, human creativity and human energy are the most valuable resource of all. China, despite the horrendous history of Chinese Communism, now allows entrepreneurs to flourish. Some have become billionaires and every Chinese can now wipe his bum.
Thomas Sowell says that there are no solutions, only trade-offs. I say that the communist trade-off amounts to this: on the one hand, poverty, famines, prison camps and forced abortions; on the other hand, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Not much of a deal, I think.]

Take the “miracle of the Koran”. There are hours of this stuff on YouTube. It’s a sort of numerology. So-called scholars pore over the text, counting words, letters, verses and what not. They uncover what they claim to be numerical patterns: for example, multiples of the number 19 are alleged to proliferate. So what? I dare say that I could, if I were stupid enough to waste my time, find the number 37 over and over in the Gospel of St John – and if I did, so what?

Ta-dah! John’s gospel is a miracle.

The astonishing thing about this rubbish is that they somehow think that it is convincing. The Koran is also said to contain “scientific” facts undiscovered by scientists until 1400 years after The Angel Gabriel’s revelations to Mohammed. A tedious Google search will find scads of this stuff. Every so-called fact apparently manifests (and proves) the truth of Islam. Patent nonsense, for example, that the sun sets in a muddy puddle or that water cannot be contaminated, is never taken to cast doubt on either the Koran or Mohammed’s pronouncements.

Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientific minds in history, was obsessed with numerology. Christian theologians have never taken this obsession seriously.

My fear is that by attacking Islam I undermine “religion” and thereby Christianity. Christopher Hitchens went after God and religion after 9/11. He and I blame Islam for 9/11 – how could you not? For me, bad religion is as bad as no religion (or indeed materialism). I refuse to be categorised as “religious” if it puts me in the same category as Islam.

As you may have realised, I do not accord Islam the status of religion. Islam is essentially Shari’ah. It is a political system. My position is that Islam makes people do bad things. It is a bad system. The arguments made in its defence are characteristically very poor. Its dismal history is the result of dismal theology.

It bears saying, again, that many Muslims are good people. Many Muslims are better people than many who call themselves Christians. Many Muslims are better people than they would be but for their belief in an all-seeing God.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Modern Christians are very poor evangelists. Catholic churches are better attended than C of E and other protestant churches (with the possible exception of the charismatic churches). Even Catholics, though, rely on family traditions to keep the numbers up – and the numbers are not good.

Most Christians in the UK are shy about talking about their faith and I think this is deplorable. One reason is that the attacks upon it from the new atheists are so vicious. The faith that is being attacked is a lamentable parody of Christianity. Dawkins calls himself and his fellow atheists “brights”, implying that Christians are just silly. Christianity is portrayed as being like belief in Father Christmas or the tooth fairy. This is a very stupid argument because belief in Father Christmas and the tooth fairy are beliefs out of which everyone grows.

There are no absolute proofs of Christianity, not even for the existence of God. For the truth of Christian doctrines like the Trinity and the Incarnation the situation is worse. But believing in Christianity is not just silly. There are many good reasons to believe. Faith is not simply credulity.

One sort of reason for believing Christianity to be true can be arrived at by looking at its fruits. The reverse argument can be made about Socialism (a quasi-religion) or Islam (a legal system with a pinch of theology). The fruits of Christianity include Science (which only ever developed in Christendom), Parliamentary Democracy (likewise), Human Rights (likewise also), Capitalism, Paradise Lost and medieval cathedrals – oh, and the Abolition of Slavery. To be sure, many post Christian societies pay lip service to these fruits. Also, to be sure, these fruits did not ripen suddenly in the first century in the Roman Empire. The ripening happened gradually in Christian Medieval Europe.

Incidentally, the Middle Ages have recently been enjoying a rehabilitation among historians; the “Dark Ages” slur is one which most historians would now be embarrassed to utter, unless perhaps in connection with the epoch ushered in by the so-called Enlightenment and the French Revolution. What could be darker than the catastrophe of the First World War, from which we are still experiencing aftershocks.

In short, everything we most value is the product of Christendom, and arguably of Christianity.

This is not a silly tooth fairy system of belief. It is insulting to human intelligence to even suggest it.

Christians have been very heartened by scientific discoveries in the twentieth century. Big Bang cosmology and the discovery of DNA as well as the discovery of the astonishingly fine-tuned nature of the Universe, while not proving Christianity to be true, are entirely consistent with Christian theology. Moreover, historians have destroyed the myth that there was once a great war between Christianity and Science and that Science won. It didn't happen.

In my view, this is a very bad time to be a Materialist. It’s also a bad time to be ashamed of Christianity.

One very good reason to believe in the Christian doctrine of the Fall is that stupid ideas, such as Materialism and Socialism, are so widely accepted. The fruits of Socialism, for example, are manifestly pernicious – blindingly so. A little thought and as much observation as you like ought to convince you. A moral compass is helpful too.