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.

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.

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 →

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 →

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