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Michael Sandel and his Simpsons doppelganger.

Political philosopher Michael Sandel was this month unveiled by the BBC as its 2009 Reith lecturer. Widely respected for his communitarian ideas, Sandel is also noted for his willingness to grapple with tricky policy issues like organ donation and the ethics of biotechnology. Surely unbeknownst to Auntie, though, the learned professor is less well-known as an inspiration—physical, if not philosophical—for one of the most nefarious, amoral and anti-communitarian characters in fiction: one Montgomery Burns, the nuclear power magnate in The…

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