The key to providing for our energy needs is technological development, not sterile rows about energy sources.
Tim Black finds little to admire in a self-pitying graduate but something hugely inspiring about a robot.
A year on from the urban riots that rocked English cities, commentators are still trying to work out what caused them. Many have settled on the idea that it was a lethal combination of poverty and lack of social mobility. That is, the rioters’ misfortune at having been born poor, into a class of people that doesn’t have much going for it, drove them to take to the streets to emit a screech of rage. In the words of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, the riots were caused by the ‘social poison’ of inequality and by certain people’s ‘class position’ in this divided England.
Such observations seem radical, or at least sympathetic to the less well-off, with their diagnosis of a class component in social upheavals. But don’t be deceived. Because in fact, in these sorts of discussions the category of ‘class’ is increasingly treated as a natural or inherited trait, like disability, rather than as a social position that is susceptible to supersedence. We are witnessing the rise and rise of what we might call class determinism, where radical observers look upon certain people’s social origins as the deciding factor in everything that will befall them in life. Class is now treated less as social predicament that might be transcended than as something innate, whose inevitable problematic consequences must be managed, ideally by the state.
Welcome to the August issue of spiked plus, a must-have monthly add-on to spiked. Every month, regular donors will receive this magazine within a magazine, featuring essays, columns, readers' interviews with spiked writers and more. It’s our monthly thank-you to those who contribute to spiked's fund drive, a way of bringing closer together the producers and supporters of spiked. If you'd like to read spiked plus, you can start donating regularly here.
Welcome to the August 2012 edition of spiked plus, an exclusive package of content produced especially for regular donors to spiked. If you'd like to read spiked plus, and don't already support spiked, donate at least £5 per month or £50 per year here. We'll then send you a link to create your own password (this may take up to 24 hours).