The Burning Archive Podcast #8 – Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive

I have posted episode 8 of The Burning Archive Podcast  - Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms. In this episode I discuss cultural decay - the theme of cultural pessimists for centuries, and of this writer for a decade or more, including many posts on this … Continue reading The Burning Archive Podcast #8 – Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive

The persistence of the Mahabharata

One year ago I was about to fly to Bali, as it turned out in the last window of easy international travel before wide COVID travel restrictions. It was a wonderful, relaxing, luxurious and rejuvenating trip. Part of the regrowth came from the direct experience of the cultural traditions that India disseminated over South East … Continue reading The persistence of the Mahabharata

Sound and fury told by the American cultural “elite”

There are few funny stories to emerge from American politics over the last two months, especially during the constitutional embarrassment of the latest faux and cursed impeachment. There is, however, one story that stands out as laugh-out-loud funny, and symptomatic of the cultural decay, which has been a constant theme of this blog since its … Continue reading Sound and fury told by the American cultural “elite”

America’s fate: civil war, fragmentation or collapse?

Today after the distressing events and death in the Capitol building of Washington DC that interrupted the process of confirming electoral college votes, I am reposting this piece from five months ago. It may be more relevant today than then. I would place my bets on fragmentation or collapse at this stage *** Original Post … Continue reading America’s fate: civil war, fragmentation or collapse?

Anomie Today and Cultural Decay

“The former gods are growing old or dying, and others have not been born.... A day will come when our societies once again will know hours of creative effervescence during which new ideals will again spring forth and new formulas emerge to guide humanity for a time"Émile Durkheim Émile Durkheim (1858-1917), the French founder of … Continue reading Anomie Today and Cultural Decay

America’s fate: civil war, fragmentation or collapse?

There is increasing talk of a looming civil war in America. There has even been a website - anewcivilwar.com - established to track the increasing speculation on civil war by both left and right. Two years ago the academic military strategist, Michael Vlahos speculated on the form and likelihood of a Third Civil War. Vlahos … Continue reading America’s fate: civil war, fragmentation or collapse?

The failure of institutions in the pandemic crisis

Yuval Levin argues that the institutions of contemporary society, primarily America in his account, have become degraded. There is a good discussion with Yuval Levin on this topic over at the Hoover Institution Youtube channel. We have lost trust in these institutions, he argues, because simply they have become less trustworthy. Their performance has been … Continue reading The failure of institutions in the pandemic crisis

Where is virtue in dark times?

"It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another; and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our age in Europe and North America and the epoch in which the Roman Empire declined into the Dark Ages. Nonetheless certain parallels there are. … Continue reading Where is virtue in dark times?