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

First published on 30 June 2022. 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 … Continue reading A critique of cathedralism: Why conspiracy theory doesn’t make sense of contemporary capitalism

Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen, and the War to End Slavery

The televisual series Game of Thrones is striking for none other than its main character’s quest east of Westeros to end the ancient slave system and enlist the free slaves in a war to reconquer Westeros and return power to the people. Game of Thrones and the war to end slavery. The idea is striking … Continue reading Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen, and the War to End Slavery

The medieval mysteries of ‘Attack of the Clones’

‘Impossible to see, the future is,’ notes Yoda in political discussions with the Chancellor of the Republic, reasoning, ‘the dark side clouds everything’ — an ironic admission in front of the secret Sith lord who had already seized the reigns of democratic power. The Chancellor’s next steps involved translating political power into military might — … Continue reading The medieval mysteries of ‘Attack of the Clones’

Grounding for the metaphysics of politics and morals

Written in summer 2020. In 1785, Immanuel Kant wrote a treatise entitled Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, wherein Kant made the case for an ethic of "autonomy", or the individual's responsibility for their own actions as the ultimate moral good. Kant didn't think the physical separation between individuals in the world of experiences, or … Continue reading Grounding for the metaphysics of politics and morals

The evolution of theological enlightenment

Lineages of antiquity in the long renaissance: A commentary on the Harringtonian moment The Machiavellian Moment, which ties ancient and modern thought together. Jacob Abolafia’s reading of Spinoza through Flavius Josephus mirrors J. G. A. Pocock’s reading of Harrington through Machiavelli, and Mark Goldie’s reading of Harrington through Hobbesian biblical references, since each account places … Continue reading The evolution of theological enlightenment

The foundational contradictions of liberalism

Liberalism is an ideology—a system of thought. It has a centrepiece: the individual, defined by liberalism as a free-floating unit, separate from other units. It has two basic contradictions: The politico-moral contradiction; and The public-private contradiction. Meet Immanuel Kant: A founding liberal. These contradictions arise from two factors. Liberalism: Accepts the early-modern separation between politics … Continue reading The foundational contradictions of liberalism