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 Cease the endless war against the virus

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 #7 – The ordinary virtues of governing well

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 Burning Archive Podcast #6 – The true history of the bureaucracy gang

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 Cultural fragmentation and the collapse of authority in Western democracies

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

The tragedy of the modern university

Jordan Peterson has proposed the creation of an alternative to the modern university that offers free or low-cost education rooted in the true traditions of the liberal humanities, stripped of their post-modern "indoctrination cults." I support this venture. I agree with Peterson's criticisms of the ideological possession of  the shouty professors, who are read by … Continue reading The tragedy of the modern university

Bureaucratic utopianism

Bureaucracy is not meant to be Utopian. After all, is not bureaucracy the home of the conformist, the cynical realists, the domesticator of conflict, the administrator of dreams, the banality of evil? Karl Mannheim wrote in Ideology and Utopia: "The fundamental tendency of all bureaucratic thought is to turn all problems of politics into administration.... … Continue reading Bureaucratic utopianism

Cultural fragmentation and the collapse of authority in Western democracies

During the week I was discussing with a young colleague at work the preparation of a briefing. I gave them some guidance and some encouragement: the briefing did not need to be long, but the words ought to be carefully selected and focussed on what was most important. After all, I said, "Brevity is the … Continue reading Cultural fragmentation and the collapse of authority in Western democracies