The great Russian film, Russian Ark, is a deep meditation on the treasures of culture and the tragedies of history. Will there be an American Ark 100 years from now?
So Biden’s remarks were not a gaffe, not a slip. They are not words of petty anger, even if they are the simmering resentment of Captain Ahab’s obsessive revenge. Biden's remarks are more boastful than angry, though they have that edge too. Biden is angrily defending his inflated image of his own prowess as political leader and foreign policy leader, and indeed the infinite 'possiblilities' of America.
I took a deep dive into the history of the idea of global reserve currency in the podcast this week. This episode was provoked by the outcry in America about other nations that showed the audacity to trade in their own national currencies rather than the US dollar.
I have released two new podcasts on the crises in America and the challenges of a multipolar world for Australia.
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.
We are not entering World War III, I think, I hope, I insist on believing. But we are entering the final phase of the Hundred Years Cold War of the Anglo-American Powers against Russia. My forecast is that the system of power that has led this war will collapse, perhaps surprisngly quickly, but likely over five to ten years. Seven great fault lines are cracking open during the Ukraine crisis that will shape the social, political, cultural and international orders we navigate through.
A holiday of regeneration. The crisis in Europe, Ukraine, the failure of American diplomacy and the end of NATO. The Siege of Leningrad, Vladimir Putin, Operation Barbarossa, and Dmitri Likhachev on the Russian Soul. Elena Shvarts and the Flora of Ukraine. Russian Ark and the survival of culture in the floating hermitage of the Neva.
Dominic Lieven, Napoleon vs Russia, and the eastward expansion of NATO. The Hundred Years Cold War. Mary Sarotte, Not One Inch, James Baker and Mikhail Gorbachev. Totalitarianism and public health.
Beowulf, polyphony and Mikhail Bakhtin. RussiaGate indictments approach the spider. Peter Frankopan and Fiona Hill. Jordan B Peterson. Elena Shvarts. Jonathon Sumption on how fear has undone democracy.
Emily Dickinson, Vaclav Havel, Revolution in Military Affairs, the fall of the Anglo-American Ascendancy, Vale Angelo Codevilla, Boris Pasternak
The fall of Kabul has raised questions for Australia about the reliability of its alliance with the United States of America. Will the fall of Kabul and the rise of Eurasia provoke the same questioning of foreign policy by Australia?
The latest episode of The Burning Archive Podcast is out and available on all the usual platforms, including Apple and Spotify. America’s defeat in Afghanistan has provoked an imperial crisis. This imperial crisis is not just a geostrategic or diplomatic game. It is a crisis of the ideas driving the empire - American culture, society and politics - its core… Continue reading Podcast #17 – Letter to America: you are not the captain now
In 1700 Charles II, King of Spain and Emperor presiding over a vast global empire, died without a child and without a clear successor. His death triggered a great war over geostrategic control of the possessions of the declining Spanish Empire by rival dynasties and rival great states. France and Spain were diminished, and the… Continue reading The Looming War of the American Succession
The latest episode of The Burning Archive Podcast is out and available on all the usual platforms, including Apple and Spotify. America's capitulation in Afghanistan has provoked an humanitarian disaster, an imperial crisis, and a change in the balance of power between great states in Eurasia. The crisis threatens not only American prestige in the world but some of the… Continue reading Podcast #15 – Imperial Crisis in Afghanistan and the World Island
I have released a special episode of The Burning Archive podcast on the situation in Afghanistan. It is available on all the usual platforms, including Apple and Spotify. In this special episode, The Burning Archive makes some fast history, and reflects on the meaning of the capitulation of the American Empire in Afghanistan. There are eight quick takes… Continue reading Podcast #14 – Afghanistan and the end of America’s 43 Year War
This year, 2021, may be remembered as a pivot year in world history. Not because of the pandemic. Not only because of the protracted crisis of the American republic. But because of the changed balance of power in international relations brought about by the decrepitude of the American Atlanticist Alliance and the strengthening of the… Continue reading The World Island vs The Atlantic
Thus , in a few blitzkrieg weeks, after the Americans declared they would "draw down their civilian footprint" to meet a publicity deadline of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban have exposed American power and control in Afghanistan as a projection of illusion, a Potemkin Province of an anxious empire in decline.
A tragic sense of history does not limit the depth of the fall of the mighty and flawed, nor does it pretend that prevailing orders degrade in a slow, controlled and managed decline. Collapse of political orders, institutions, empires and cultures as often comes quickly, almost suddenly, and rarely with expert forecasts pre-loaded. So it… Continue reading America’s Coming Century of Humiliation… begins
There are few funny stories to emerge from American politics over the last two months, especially during the constitutional embarrassment of the latest faux and cursed impeachment. There is, however, one story that stands out as laugh-out-loud funny, and symptomatic of the cultural decay, which has been a constant theme of this blog since its… Continue reading Sound and fury told by the American cultural “elite”
Today after the distressing events and death in the Capitol building of Washington DC that interrupted the process of confirming electoral college votes, I am reposting this piece from five months ago. It may be more relevant today than then. I would place my bets on fragmentation or collapse at this stage *** Original Post… Continue reading America’s fate: civil war, fragmentation or collapse?