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

From here to immunity: charting COVID from pandemic to endemic

2020 has proven a testing year for the culture and capacity of governments around the world. Many governments have failed. Governments far away and close to home have failed. The State of Victoria in Australia, where I call home, has failed more in proportion to the real spread of the virus among its resident population … Continue reading From here to immunity: charting COVID from pandemic to endemic

Free speech for public servants and Osip Mandelstam

During the week the High Court of Australia passed judgement on a case in which a public servant was sacked for an anonymous tweet, critical of government but made in her private life, that was said to breach a code of conduct for government employees. The lower courts had found that this action was an … Continue reading Free speech for public servants and Osip Mandelstam

Free speech and public service

A minor controversy has broken out in Australia over restrictions on the free speech of public servants. The controversy was prompted by the Australian Public Service Commission issuing revised guidelines on the use of social media by public servants. The guidelines state that "criticising the work, or the administration, of your agency is almost always … Continue reading Free speech and public service