Saturday, August 10, 2019

Bryan Magee's last interview


On the Prospect site John Maier reports on the last interview Bryan Magee gave - I paid my own tribute to him on the day he died.

As one would hope from a philosopher in the twilight of his years, Maier's interview contains much wisdom.

Here is Magee on his own career and abilities:
"I feel, to take an analogy from card games, I was dealt a good hand - not a wonderful hand, not a marvellous hand - and I think I’ve lived in such a way as to make the most of the hand I’ve got. But, what I basically wish more than anything else is that I’d had better cards."
And he is bracingly honest about his motivation for going into politics:
"[When] people say they went into politics because they wanted to make the world a better place, that’s very foreign to me… I wanted to go into politics because I thought I’d like being in politics.” 
Though, being Magee, he also thought such a career would allow him the time to grapple with philosophical problems.

One does, however, catch a glimpse of the working-class boy from Hoxton in his attitude to authority:
"I don’t accept authority. [He laughed]. I don’t have a problem with it. I just don’t accept it!"

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