On human frailty in governing

Today I am reposting this piece from July 2019, following the 2019 Australian election. It is newly relevant today as the American republic wrestles with how to save its crumbling political institutions from the oligarchs, their corrupt parasites and mercenaries, and its failing imperial war faction. As Edward Erler asks in The American Mind, Is … Continue reading On human frailty in governing

Our barren, deformed political society

And if and when Trump is no longer President, all the ills of political system can no longer be blamed on Trump. For four years now – in America but also through viral spread around the world – all the ills of our deformed, barren political society have been personified in a metonymic myth: Donald … Continue reading Our barren, deformed political society

To govern does not equal to change

In 2016 following the vote on Brexit, an American political journalist wrote: "But what if progressivism isn't inevitable at all? What if people will always be inclined by nature to love their own — themselves, their families, their neighbors, members of their churches, their fellow citizens, their country — more than they love the placeless … Continue reading To govern does not equal to change

The Crisis in Australian Politics 2010-2013 (reposted)

As described in the previous post, Free speech for public servants and Osip Mandelstam, I am reposting here an extended set of posts that I originally posted in three parts on the Happy Pessimist blog (no longer online) in 2013. The Crisis in Australian Politics 2010-2013 07 Apr 2013 (originally posted on The Happy Pessimist … Continue reading The Crisis in Australian Politics 2010-2013 (reposted)

Free speech for public servants and Osip Mandelstam

During the week the High Court of Australia passed judgement on a case in which a public servant was sacked for an anonymous tweet, critical of government but made in her private life, that was said to breach a code of conduct for government employees. The lower courts had found that this action was an … Continue reading Free speech for public servants and Osip Mandelstam

My wordpress 11th anniversary retrospective: 3 dilemmas of government

I am continuing my blogging retrospective today by reposting a small think-piece from The Happy Pessimist blog. If I have done my digital erasure correctly, you will not find any record of this blog online. I wrote it using the avatar pseudonym of Antonio Possevino, a Jesuit priest, diplomat and missionary of the 16th century. … Continue reading My wordpress 11th anniversary retrospective: 3 dilemmas of government

The meaning of a coup

Barely a week ago Australia was gripped in political drama - a clumsily organised coup was unseating a Prime Minister. News stations had rolling 24/7 coverage of panels of journalists talking to unfolding events. Breathlessly they read out texts from conspirators on-air, while claiming no part in the fiasco that has become Australian politics.  There … Continue reading The meaning of a coup