From this traumatised, divided old Russian Soviet poet, we learn about our own strange freedom.
Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day speech tells stories of how Russia has responded to threats by embracing multi-ethnic, multi-national traditions.
So, it seems reasonable at least to ask: what will happen in the West if Russia wins the war in Ukraine?
Something tells me Chekhov and the innovations in drama he bequeathed to us may appear in my podcast series on the gifts of Russian culture.
Catherine Merridale, Lenin on the Train (2016), which I finished reading last night, is a very fine book. It is a gem, and perhaps ought to be recommended as among the very best introductions to the history of the Russian Revolution.
Last night I saw The Northman, the new film set in the world of the Norse/Vikings and directed by Richard Eggers.
This morning I released the latest Burning Archive podcast. In games, we see a different pre-modern world of work – of artisans, craft skills and guilds. Was this world ever real, and what does this fantasy world of work tell us of our collective memory of work and collective organisation? Join me on this fascinating tour of the history of work, guilds and unions, and the global transformations of ideas of work in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
There is a war across many states to shape the institutions of the multipolar world. The Atlantic elites have declared this war in the name of democracy, and with too little regard for the consequences for the citizens of the world. This conflict will last a long time, maybe five to ten years, unless, that is, there is a rapid collapse of political order in the United States of America. Currently this war is undertaken across all dimensions – military, economic, information/narrative and diplomacy. And the war is most intense on the economic front. But how long will the military proxy war and economic war continue, and will they broaden?
“Everyone was dreaming, ruminating, full of foreboding, feeling his way.” (Nikolai Sukhanov on February 1917 Russian Revolution). Does this not feel a lot like us today? Do we all not feel the world is unfolding in surprising directions, and among our more difficult tasks is to feel our own way through these events?
I took to reading Catherine Merridale, Lenin on the Train (2016) this morning while reclining on a scarlet chaise-longue and bathing in autumnal sunshine. The cat was on my lap, but my attention kept slipping…. [Read More]
War is terrible. War is troubling. War poses difficult questions for us all. This war in Ukraine, which is spreading globally through sanctions, bans, social media and slogans, presents those questions too. This episode of The Burning Archive responds to a listener question that just might help us get closer to peace, and that make […]
So much of the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the tragic encounters of the elites of empires and ethno-linguistic national identities. We are seeing a new version of this struggle between confected social media national identities, concealing troubled and exclusive ethno-lingusitic reasoning, and collapsing imperial orders.