Kant do charisma: Why Anthony Fantano is wrong about Kanye West

I have for more times than I can recall drawn a distinction between two pillars of modern music: 1. Technique, and 2. Art. Technique relates to instrumental skill and general musical nous. Think musical theory but also the practical application of this theory. What space, then, does this leave for art? Art relates to a … Continue reading Kant do charisma: Why Anthony Fantano is wrong about Kanye West

Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

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 he also thinks that power can … Continue reading Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

Charles III will destroy the monarchy. Make me king instead.

Hear me out. The Crown has descended for centuries down a certain bloodline. But jus sanguinis, as it stands, has little truth and even less validity. We are only who we say we are, and who others think of us. I am King. Augustus, first citizen of the Senate and the People of Rome, who … Continue reading Charles III will destroy the monarchy. Make me king instead.

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

How Nassim Nicholas Taleb stole my blog idea, and did little good with it

In 2017, I began a blog called Principia Politica, which continued until 2019, when this blog began. The blog is still online: principiapolitica.blogspot.com — ‘a commentary on the principles underlying politics and philosophy’. In 2019, would you believe it, Nassim Nicholas Taleb began a project with exactly the same title. And it isn’t the first … Continue reading How Nassim Nicholas Taleb stole my blog idea, and did little good with it

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

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 points of peace, or how to … Continue reading 17 Points: How to make the world safe for all people

Time of Terra: The medieval foundations of modern politics

In my previous writings about modernity, theory, philosophy, art, and evolution, I have somewhat obscured the key to the world in which we live: its origins in medieval Europe. This idea occurred to me, paradoxically, in reflecting on science fiction, such as the tabletop game Warhammer 40,000, which follows influences both from high fantasy (notably, … Continue reading Time of Terra: The medieval foundations of modern politics

Gender is completely meaningless. That’s why we need it.

A lot of critiques of existing divisions of gender roles take for granted the meaningfulness of the term 'gender'. The critiques merely inflate or deflate the meaning, but take for granted the idea that gender can have any meaning at all. Even 'post-gender' accounts seem to take for granted the substantial character of gender performance. … Continue reading Gender is completely meaningless. That’s why we need it.