Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

Originally published on 24 September 2022. Seventeenth-century political theorist Thomas Hobbes has a paradoxical attitude to power. On the one hand, he thinks that 'the pursuit of power, after power' is the root and stem of 'Warre', of 'every man, against every man', leaving the 'life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short'. But … Continue reading Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

‘First Time’ and the albums

You were swift with your blade You lacked hesitation Your eyes were like oceans I fell till I drowned - First Time by Edmund Wilson As you may know, dear reader, my views on history and politics as expressed on this blog converge in a strange location or destination: music. And it is music that … Continue reading ‘First Time’ and the albums

Ultrapredators: The demonisation of the working class and the new Jim Crow

I have previously compared class hierarchy to slave systems of times gone by. Indeed, the master/slave dialectic of many societies is the archetypical class division. It denotes a complete asymmetry of power between two classes of people: the rulers, and the ruled. It is no surprise that the ancient concept of tyranny is adapted in … Continue reading Ultrapredators: The demonisation of the working class and the new Jim Crow

The art of questioning: A complete set of predictions for 2023

I would like to give a systematic set of predictions — some general and abstract, some more precise and concrete — for the coming year. I make predictions not principally to make a ‘prophecy’ about the future. Rather, I wish to test, in a very loose way, my analysis of the present by extending current … Continue reading The art of questioning: A complete set of predictions for 2023

Pain or suffering: The responsibilities of man

So much is said Of the misgivings frustrations sadness depression rights of man so little of the Responsibilities of Man A Monster for a Man don’t get me wrong after all is said and done none of us control our destiny unfold but watch as fate unloads its cart of horrors phantoms delights delusios dangerous … Continue reading Pain or suffering: The responsibilities of man

The end of time: The Heidegger-Cassirer debate and the passage from trade to war

First published in August 2022. Philosopher Immanuel Kant is often referred to as the god of modern philosophy. A recent work of intellectual history by Professor Michael Rosen, entitled The Shadow of God: Kant, Hegel, and the passage from heaven to history, considers the end of Christendom and the replacement of its accompanying hegemony of … Continue reading The end of time: The Heidegger-Cassirer debate and the passage from trade to war

Magical materialism: A new theory of reality

First published on 7 July 2022. I've recently been involved in two discussions that seem different but have something in common. On the one hand, I've been thinking about magic, the idea that the laws of physics can be bent to the will of social actors in response to traumatic experience. This is the philosophy … Continue reading Magical materialism: A new theory of reality

17 Points: How to make the world safe for all people

First published in early autumn 2022. In the view that all people depend on peace for their survival and wellbeing, and in the knowledge that peace is at grave risk of breakdown, there are several points that may be well understood by those wise enough to choose peace over war. To that end, the seventeen … Continue reading 17 Points: How to make the world safe for all people

On the Whole

Republished in June 2022. It is common to see the world as fundamentally divided. We think that we are separate from other people, and that people are separate from the natural world. Some philosophers agree. Nature, as early-modern Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza put it, is divided between the properties of thought and matter. Plato thought … Continue reading On the Whole

The tyrant and the totality: Which would win? And how can both lose, and freedom reign?

I would like to consider a paradox. If a tyrant goes to war against a totalitarian regime, in order to destroy it and create a new balanced order, which would win: the temporary tyranny, or the semi-permanent totality? Which would endure — cleansing fire, or watery deluge? The fire is the tyrant’s weapon of choice; … Continue reading The tyrant and the totality: Which would win? And how can both lose, and freedom reign?