As it happened, I had watched on the weekend the earlier Soviet film, Come and See (1985). Perhaps next Victory Day, Michael Pezzulo should write to his staff, and urge them to watch Come and See.
The poet, the bureaucrat and the émigré
During the week I have been finalising my next book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, and reading some essays and poems of Marina Tvetaeva (1892-1941), the great Russian poet, collected in Art and the Light of Conscience. A strange mix, true, but that is the life of my strange mind.
Money is the root of all collapse today
‘Money/, So they say,’ sing Pink Floyd in Dark Side of the Moon, ‘Is the root of all evil today.’ And money makes the roots of the multipolar world, the power of great states, and the grand illusions of Western dominance in the world.
Statecraft and the Indian tradition of democracy
The story of Arthshastra is similarly fit for the Burning Archive. It was composed some time between the 2rd century BC and 3rd century CE. It was known to be influential until the 12th century, but then was lost or went underground, perhaps due to the Persian, Mughal or Muslim rule over India. It was known of, but considered lost by colonial era scholars. Then in in 1905 a Tamil Brahmin from Tanjore walked into the newly opened Mysore Oriental Library with a copy of the Arthashastra in Sanskrit, written on palm leaves.
My new beginning as an independent author
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.
Two new podcasts on the uses of history in government and decision-making
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 →
Flowers of the Mind 9.
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.
Cease the endless war against the virus
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 →
Burning Archive Podcast #7 – The ordinary virtues of governing well
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 →
Burning Archive Podcast #6 – The true history of the bureaucracy gang
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 →
13 ways of looking at a bureaucrat
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 →
Cultural fragmentation and the collapse of authority in Western democracies
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 →