New article

I have a new article on The Quarterly Review website looking at why we seemingly accept politicians who do things we do not approve of.

http://www.quarterly-review.org/in-praise-of-inattention/

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New article

I have a new article at The Quarterly Review  entitled ‘Conservative libertarianism arguing against principles in politics. You can read the article a http://www.quarterly-review.org/libertarian-conservatism/

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Keeping Things Close

My book Keeping Things Close  is now available at the special price of £7.50 directly from the publishers. See http://www.arktos.com/our-authors/peter-king.html

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Conservatism or liberalism?

I have a new article at The Quarterly Review where I contrast conservatism and liberalism. Read the article at http://www.quarterly-review.org/conservatism-and-liberalism/

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The false allure of radicalism

I have a new article published by The Quarterly Review on their website. It looks at the false allure of radicalism and argues for a more traditional view based on a Burkean scepticism about change. You can read it at: http://www.quarterly-review.org/radicalisms-glittering-allure/

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Some thoughts on bombing

It is often said that the decision to go to war is the hardest one a politician can ever make, and I certainly do not doubt the sincerity of anyone who spoke in the Commons yesterday. Some of the speeches were very good, particularly those of Margaret Beckett and Hillary Benn in favour of the motion. One could appreciate the forensic skill of both Angus Robertson and Alex Salmond as they argued against intervention.

But there was also something more than a little troubling about the whole event. Here was a bunch of comfortable men and women, debating in a safe and protected place far away from the troubles they were intending to solve. Most spoke with authority and with the assurance of a deep knowledge of the subject, which some may indeed have. But still, the debate was about intervening in another country and with unknown consequences for those poor benighted people who are now in the way of our bombs. Of course, those who opposed the bombing were just as sure of their views and just as confident in their ability to know what was best for those in a far away place. Very few of those who took part in the debate acknowledged their ignorance, partial or otherwise. Nor was their much of a recognition of our right to intervene in the affairs of others.

It is this point – that it is none of our business – that offers the most pervasive argument against military intervention. What right have we to become involved and impose ourselves on others? Is it hubris or simply misguided intentions? Problems that are far away appear to be much more simple than those we can see close to. As such, it is actually a lot easier to go to war in a far away place and convince ourselves that we are doing some good. But it is not for us to involve ourselves in the affairs of others. Instead we should be focusing on what is close to us and on what we can, with some greater degree of certainty, affect. We have enough problems of our own to focus on. But then, perhaps because these problems are of our making, we actually find them the hardest things to tackle.

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New book out

My latest book Here and Now is just out. It is published by Arktos (www.arktos.com) and available for £11 from the publishers and Amazon. The books consists of a series of essays on conservatism, antimodernism and the state of the world today. So pretty much everything.

here&now-cover-2

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This is the cover for my new book due out in a couple of weeks

KTC cover

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New book: ‘Keeping Things Close’

All being well the good folks at Arktos will be publishing my new book at the end of June. Here’s the blurb:

“We do not love what we do not know. We love what is close to us – the people, objects and memories – and do so because they matter most to us. We trust the things that are familiar and seek to nurture and protect them. Our lives are habitual, based on routine. They have meaning because of regularity, the continuity of known faces and the ability to exclude others. We depend on a few others who we are committed to, and who are committed to us. We wish to include them in our lives, to be included by them, and to do this we have to be able to exclude others.

This book presents a particular vision of conservatism: one that is primarily concerned with just carrying on, for continuing as we are. Most of us, most of the time, live quiet and ordinary lives, and are quite happy that we do. We do not experience great upheaval or flux, nor do we wish to. We do not relish unpredictability and when it does come we hope it is the exception rather than the rule. Likewise, we are not habitual rule-breakers. We are happy to play the game by the rules. We simply want to lead our lives, care for our loved ones and be able to set our own goals.

The essays in this book show how we are able to make sense of a complex world consisting largely of strangers, who, being already preoccupied with their own things, have little time for us. And the fact that they generally ignore us makes our lives possible. We are nurtured by those things we are able to keep close.”

Details on price to follow but it will be available via Amazon and Arktos.

 

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First thoughts on the May 2015 election

I work in a politics department and so I am surrounded by people of the left. Much of the discussions I have been on the edge of over the last few months, as we moved towards the 2015 General Election, was why was the Labour so timid and why could it not be properly left wing. I have made myself rather unpopular by providing a one-word answer: democracy. I have told my colleagues that achieving socialism in a country like Britain is impossible as long as people are allowed to express their preference through the ballot box. Perhaps it is not surprising that this view fails to gain much traction amongst my colleagues, who regardless of setbacks still persist with the myth that socialism is what people really want. As a result they concoct ever more elaborate explanations as to why the people choose wrongly: it is due to the media, the education system, hegemonic class relations, and whatever else is currently fashionable.

But what cannot be admitted is that many of Britons, perhaps now a clear majority are small ‘c’ conservatives. These are not people who have any wish to labels themselves as such, and they would certainly not seek to join a political party: that would be a very unconservative thing to do. Instead they quietly focus on what matters and this is mainly what is already familiar. When there is an election they will start to engage at the end – only when they must – makes their choice, vote and then get back to what matters. They know that what they are able to do after the election is exactly what they were able to do before it. The sun still shines, the earth still spins, bills need to be paid, meals prepared. In short, life goes on. Most people are not angry, but then neither do they expect politicians to be able to do much. They have low expectations and instead seek to rely on their own resources and use what is around them for comfort.

It is easy to portray this attitude as stupid, ignorant or lazy. It provides all too ready fodder for those who wish to argue that the people are being deluded. But these views are wrong. Most people are not stupid. Rather they are too sensible to be drawn into things that do not matter to them. They know there was no crisis or imminent threat. They know what tomorrow will bring and that it will be there because of their own efforts and not because of someone else’s theories, ideas or principles. And this, I have to say, is really very comforting. At least until they take the vote away.

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