This week was the beginning of the next stage in my new life, la vita nuova as an independent author. After a ritual week on the liminal beauty of the Bay of Lorne in South-Eastern Australia, I transformed from a government official, wounded and now retired, to become an independent author.
Episode 63 The Lessons of History - The Burning Archive podcast explores how the past is not dead, the past is not even past. But if that is so, what are the uses and lessons of history? How can history be used for guidance in our lives, and to advise governments on the big decisions that shape... Continue Reading →
The escapades of the American Imperial War Faction in the Black Sea. Corruption investigation in Victoria, political patronage, branch stacking, Red Shirts and political decay. Rene Girard on scapegoating. Tennyson's temper of heroic hearts. Regenerated tradition.
Generals, Winston Churchill said, are always prepared to fight the last war. Their early experiences of combat, their intellectual training, the received wisdom interpreting the most recent conflicts - all shape how they read the battlefield. These decisions and the interests of the institutions, which were built during the last war - the war machine,... Continue Reading →
I have posted episode 7 of The Burning Archive Podcast – the ordinary virtues of governing well. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms. In this episode I discuss a possible antidote to political decay; building a strong culture rooted in the ordinary virtues of governing well. Based on traditions of virtue ethics scattered from Confucius... Continue Reading →
I have posted episode 6 of The Burning Archive Podcast, - the true history of the bureaucracy gang. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms. In this episode I discuss the history of the bureaucracy in the UK, USA and Germany, and its relationship to political decay. And I ask,... Continue Reading →
In early 2017 I wrote a series of posts - or let us call them essays - on Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat. I wrote it still aiming to revive a career in the bureaucracy, but perhaps gripped by the fates to know, as I know with high resolution tonight, that poetry and... Continue Reading →
My repost today comes from 22 April 2018, and seems relevant to the difficulties we are experiencing in our distressed republics today. I also posted something of a follow-up post on the Collapsing New Buildings of Government. Cultural fragmentation and the collapse of authority in Western democracies During the week I was discussing with a... Continue Reading →
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 →
Once ten years ago I gave answers to one of those personal profile questionnaires that aimed to help people know more about their colleagues at work. It asked questions like "how would you describe your childhood?" "what film changed your life?" "what are your favourite books?" and so on. I put some effort into it... Continue Reading →
The year is drawing to a close, so time to begin reflecting on what the year's stream of images, texts and events meant to me. Where has this year left me, and what has it left for me to say? I am ending the year in a bit of a slump, one of those periodic... Continue Reading →
amzn.asia/0CNwQ94 from John Dunn, Breaking Democracy's Spell