Alan Wolfe reviews Terry Eagleton's new book:
“We cannot pass reliable moral judgment on the human species,” he argues, “because we have never been able to observe it other than in desperately deformed conditions.” Lift the burdens imposed by scarcity and poverty, and then we will find that human beings need not kill others to make up for their moral and psychological failings. This seems to me, if I may be so crude as to repair to the language of social science, a non-falsifiable proposition, assuming, as it does, a condition that will never be met. Such futuristic speculation is not what we would expect from a self-proclaimed realist, but logical consistency is not remotely Eagleton’s strength.
Not quite right. '[T]he burdens imposed by scarcity and poverty' have been lifted in parts of Cheshire and Surrey and, no, they don't seem to need to kill each other. Well, not much.