The end of music history? ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and the inimitable genius of Kanye West

2010 was a big year for popular music. Katy Perry released ‘California Girls’ with Snoop Dogg as a feature rapper, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé released the music video to ‘Telephone’, and the Black Eyed Peas released their sixth studio album ‘The Beginning’, after releasing their fifth album ‘The E.N.D.’ (Energy Never Dies) under the same … Continue reading The end of music history? ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and the inimitable genius of Kanye West

The birth of the moral state: On the politics of social strength

The market state is a private state; politics for some. The moral state is a public state; politics for all. The market state destabilises basic necessities, weakening the commonwealth and strengthening private wealth. The moral state stabilises basic necessities, strengthening the common wealth by weakening the wealth of private interests. Lycurgus of Sparta, who founded … Continue reading The birth of the moral state: On the politics of social strength

The true musical genius of Taylor Swift

A lot of things are said about clear musical geniuses, like Kanye West, Jacob Collier, and Billie Eilish, including on this blog. But I would like to consider a less obvious choice for contender with established greats like Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, and J. S. Bach. This contender, usually seen as a pretender, is nonetheless … Continue reading The true musical genius of Taylor Swift

A critique of cathedralism: Why conspiracy theory doesn’t make sense of contemporary capitalism

It is popular in universities to denounce conspiracy theories as inherently evil descendants of twentieth-century totalitarianism. I don’t wish to make a judgement on this specific point, because each side is polarised to the point that they deal in different narrations of history. To overcome this empirical war, I suggest philosophy can bring conceptual peace. … Continue reading A critique of cathedralism: Why conspiracy theory doesn’t make sense of contemporary capitalism

Billie Eilish Concert Review: Hiding in the Spotlight

‘I don’t like your tilted stage,’ a song in 2017 went, in a pointed critique of the Saint Pablo tour by Kanye West. The songwriter was Taylor Swift, whose 2018 reputation tour I had the good opportunity of seeing in Wembley Stadium, London. It was a novel experience, fusing musicality and theatricality into a stunning … Continue reading Billie Eilish Concert Review: Hiding in the Spotlight

Fukuyama, the state of India, and SYL’s ‘Sidhu Moose Wala’

At the top of today’s list of trending music videos on YouTube is SYL’s ‘Sidhu Moose Wala’. The production is slick and the lyricism imitative of American hip hop, following the recent move in K-Pop from north of the South China Sea towards rapped, rather than simply sung, lyrics. Indeed, like K-Pop, Indian pop seems … Continue reading Fukuyama, the state of India, and SYL’s ‘Sidhu Moose Wala’

The birth of the market state

In the beginning, there was power. This was the power to sort and arrange the layers of reality into a complex whole, reassembling what had been divided into something resembling unity. In Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, the 'real unity' of the state plays this role, uniting the divided 'Multitude' into a seamless 'Commonwealth' under the leadership … Continue reading The birth of the market state

Why the left is so divided

What does it mean to be ‘left-wing’? Nowadays, buzzwords like ‘oppression’ and ‘inequality’ have replaced the old left-wing theories of ‘exploitation’ and ‘alienation’. Contrary to right-wing mantra, Marxism is out of fashion on the left — who on the left seriously reads Capital and cites the labour theory of value when arguing with right-wingers on … Continue reading Why the left is so divided