Podcast #20 Six Asides about the Powerless

Vaclav Havel was a Czech writer and dissident who later became, after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the President of his country. This episode continues the The Burning Archive podcast's commemoration of his writing, ideas and the model of his way of living in truth remains meaningful to us today. This episode looks at the essays, "The Power of the Powerless" (1978), "Six Asides about Culture" (1984), and "Politics and Conscience" (1984), the memoir, To the Castle and Back, and Havel's work for a better world after leaving the Czech Presidency in 2003.

Podcast #19 – Vaclav Havel’s Letter to a Locked Down World

This episode of The Burning Archive podcast explores how Havel's writing, ideas and the model of his way of living in truth remains meaningful to us today. This episode sets out the main events of Havel's life and the ideas of his political essays. It looks in depth at the "Letter to Gustav Husak" (1975), and its uncanny evocation of aspects of our lives today in a locked down world.

Letter from Melbourne: mirror to the post-democratic world

Things are very serious here in Australia. There is a mental health crisis. We have endured a state of emergency since March 2020. Normal rules of government decision making have not applied. We have pursued a medical utopia of COVID Zero at stunning cost. It is really something that should never happen again, and hopefully, at the right time in the right way by the right people, will be deeply investigated and reflected on.

Podcast #17 – Letter to America: you are not the captain now

The latest episode of The Burning Archive Podcast is out and available on all the usual platforms, including Apple and Spotify. America’s defeat in Afghanistan has provoked an imperial crisis. This imperial crisis is not just a geostrategic or diplomatic game. It is a crisis of the ideas driving the empire - American culture, society and politics - its core … Continue reading Podcast #17 – Letter to America: you are not the captain now

Report from a besieged city (Melbourne)

And again, now in September, I repost this act of refusal to submit to despair. ***** Alas three months later, another report from the besieged city of Melbourne - locked down, its people "fleeing the Qin." **** Today 12 February, Melbourne and all the citizens of Victoria have been thrown, with eleven hours notice, again … Continue reading Report from a besieged city (Melbourne)

The World Island vs The Atlantic

This year, 2021, may be remembered as a pivot year in world history. Not because of the pandemic. Not only because of the protracted crisis of the American republic. But because of the changed balance of power in international relations brought about by the decrepitude of the American Atlanticist Alliance and the strengthening of the … Continue reading The World Island vs The Atlantic

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

Writing between the lines

"Persecution cannot prevent even public expression of the heterodox truth, for a man of independent thought can utter his views in public and remain unharmed, provided he moves with circumspection. He can even utter them in print without incurring any danger, provided he is capable of writing between the lines."Leo Strauss, "persecution and the art … Continue reading Writing between the lines