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
And if and when Trump is no longer President, all the ills of political system can no longer be blamed on Trump. For four years now – in America but also through viral spread around the world – all the ills of our deformed, barren political society have been personified in a metonymic myth: Donald … Continue reading Our barren, deformed political society
The third impeachment of an American President in my living memory is now drawing to a close: Nixon in 1973-74, Clinton in 1998-99, and Trump in 2019-20. Nixon used government agents to break into the offices of his political opponents and install bugs to spy on them, and then covered up the crime. Clinton's rampant … Continue reading The impeachment curse
As described in the previous post, Free speech for public servants and Osip Mandelstam, I am reposting here an extended set of posts that I originally posted in three parts on the Happy Pessimist blog (no longer online) in 2013. The Crisis in Australian Politics 2010-2013 07 Apr 2013 (originally posted on The Happy Pessimist … Continue reading The Crisis in Australian Politics 2010-2013 (reposted)
Today I am posting the last (for now) of my reposts from earlier, retired blogs. This post comes from 2010 and is a reflection on Vaclav Havel's thought, then still alive, and comment on the defeat of the masters of the universe in the global financial crisis. As it happens I read Havel's famous long … Continue reading On the virtue of not knowing (WordPress anniversary repost)
I am continuing my blogging retrospective today by reposting a small think-piece from The Happy Pessimist blog. If I have done my digital erasure correctly, you will not find any record of this blog online. I wrote it using the avatar pseudonym of Antonio Possevino, a Jesuit priest, diplomat and missionary of the 16th century. … Continue reading My wordpress 11th anniversary retrospective: 3 dilemmas of government
My old boss and sometime mentor, Terry Moran, has given an oration in which he sets out a diagnosis and remedy for the troubles of government and democracy today. Terry is the former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia, and, less impressively, the Victorian Premier's Department where I worked with … Continue reading Do we repair our republics with big ideas or ordinary virtues?
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