reading list
books

This week’s reading list starts with a video of a lecture by Sir Roger Scruton on ‘Tradition, Culture and Citizenship’. It is thought-provoking.
The second piece is by Ross Douthat at the New York Times. Douthat, a conservative, puts the sexual harassment storm in the context of the sexual revolution and sees it as a correction to it. But he does not seeing it improve the dire relations between the sexes and in particular it will not stop the ‘baby bust’.



Douthat: ‘The cascade of revelations about powerful men is a continuation of this mitigation and correction process. But so far the process has not substituted successful marriages for failing ones, healthy relationships for exploitative ones, new courtship scripts for the ones torn up 50 years ago. Instead as Weinsteinian or Polanskian excesses have been corrected, we’ve increased singlehood, sterility and loneliness. We’ve achieved the goal of fewer divorces by having many fewer marriages. We’ve reduced promiscuity by substituting smartphones and pornography. We’ve leveled off out-of-wedlock births by entering into a major baby bust.’
He is not optimistic for the future.

In the National Review, David French explains the huge importance of the Supreme Court case concerning the First Amendment Rights of a baker and whether he should be compelled to participate in a gay marriage by baking the cake. It sounds trivial, but is one of the most important cases to come before the Supreme Court in recent decades.

Finally, Theodore Dalrymple at City Journal explains the ridiculousness of a BBC item covering homelessness.
Dalrymple notes how the question of two mothers with children came to live in such difficult circumstances was never put. He concludes: ‘While it is perfectly true that no child should be brought up in such degraded and degrading circumstances, at least not nowadays, the blame for it was placed entirely on society, meaning the state and the taxpayers. The only solution offered was for the state to be more generous towards unfortunates such as the two young mothers. That this turned children into de facto tools of extortion, and that it made everyone responsible for the welfare of children except their parents, apparently did not occur to the producers of the news story. They passed on to other subjects, secure in the glow off their own sanctity.’

Sanctity indeed.