Five highlights from spiked plus

Happy birthday, spiked plus! Our magazine-within-a-magazine for supporters of spiked, is now a bouncing, bonny two-year-old. To mark the occasion, here are a selection of our favourite pieces from the past two years - but there is plenty more to enjoy in the spiked plus archive.

Frank Furedi on communism, music and his secret cult

In spiked plus, we often try to bring our contributors closer to our readers. spiked plus Q&As are a case in point. In this revealing interview from February 2012, Frank Furedi answered no-holds-barred questions from spiked plus subscribers about subjects ranging from the fate of the Revolutionary Communist Party and the meaning of liberalism, to the most pressing of all: what would he choose as his Desert Island Discs?

‘Neuromania stops us from thinking’

One of the most exciting features to have emerged on spiked plus over the past two years has been the ‘On-Air, Off-Message’ audio pod, in which spiked’s Tom Slater probes contributors on the big issues of the day. In this recording from October last year, Professor Raymond Tallis, author of Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity, argues that today’s fixation on neuroscience as the explanation for everything, from morality to art, denigrates what makes us human.

How about a riot against class determinism?

Each edition of spiked plus would not be complete without a regular shard of insight from spiked editor Brendan O’Neill. In this piece, written on the first anniversary of the UK riots in 2012, O’Neill attacks the argument, widely advanced to explain the riots, that people’s social background determines the likely course of their life. As he himself puts it: ‘Of course life is harder for less well-off people, many of whom go to less-than-brilliant schools and aren’t very well-connected. But all of those problems can be transcended, at an individual level by those with ambition and drive, and potentially at a social level, too, through a new independent politics that does away with the cult of victimhood and seeks to raise the horizons of both individuals and society.’

Arguing the toss, spiked style: recycling

Each week, spiked’s associate editor, Rob Lyons, does his very own impression of Socrates – if Socrates had all his arguments in the pub, that is. So for those who want to know how to win an argument on anything from payday loans to the problem with paid-internship campaigners, Lyons is your man. In this dialogue from October last year, Rob offers spiked plus readers the perfect riposte to those who think recycling is unquestionably a good thing.

Five most annoying awareness raising ads

No top five list of spiked plus features would be complete without spiked’s very own ‘bunch of five’ – a regular top five of sometimes good things, sometimes not-so-good things. Here is a particular favourite: awareness-raising campaigns.

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