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

The Human Rights Act, the varieties of exploitation, and the myth of a purely private economy

Even in our enlightened society, we have a peculiarly narrow view of what torture is. Sometimes we refer to the broader view as noted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission: Article 3 of the HRA protects you from mental or physical torture, and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including the risk of facing such … Continue reading The Human Rights Act, the varieties of exploitation, and the myth of a purely private economy

Freedom for all: Why the media’s use of the term ‘modern slavery’ is oddly dehumanising, and downright sinister

I have previously commented on how universities can distract from ongoing workplace exploitation by contrasting our situation with those of our ancestors bound in chattel slavery, from Ancient Greece and Rome (contexts which remain strangely ignored by reports into slavery’s long legacy) to the trans-Saharan (again, an oddly ignored context, seeing as it served as … Continue reading Freedom for all: Why the media’s use of the term ‘modern slavery’ is oddly dehumanising, and downright sinister

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

Survival, community, and freedom: An accelerationist manifesto for conservative civic socialism

The left and its project of equality can seem to have two enemies: the centrist project of liberty and the right-wing project of community. All these moral positions also seem to miss the realist emphasis on survival. But I think there is a way of having our cake and eating it — building a left-wing … Continue reading Survival, community, and freedom: An accelerationist manifesto for conservative civic socialism

How to prevent violence and secure peace

In many ways my lifelong mission is to save the world from two things: war, and slavery. This is a paradox. It is sometimes claimed that freedom and security are opposites, that one must sacrifice one to save the other. I would like to disagree. I think we can have both peace and freedom. Here … Continue reading How to prevent violence and secure peace

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

Hobbes, the Person of the State, and the Beginnings of Balance

In the beginning, there was a simple thing — be that nothing, something, or everything at once. From this simple, eternal implosion of reality exploded the elaborate fantasy of this divided physical realm. Perhaps even then there were seeds of division immanent to the physicality of this world. Before time and space, however, can we … Continue reading Hobbes, the Person of the State, and the Beginnings of Balance

The poetry of power: On the new art forms of the Third Millennium

Our middle world, orbiting a middle star of a middle ring of a middle-sized galaxy, has produced many wondrous creations, even from the bowels of despair. Life first emerged in the deep oceans, and endured through cycles of hot and cold, adapting to each extreme. Eventually, however, the creatures of sea and sky found themselves … Continue reading The poetry of power: On the new art forms of the Third Millennium

Going your own way: A choice worth the consequences

Our society worships the freedom of the individual. But how much freedom do we, as individuals, really have? For we live in a society which ‘cancels’ anyone who has a view of their own, so much so that we imagine the only people who are cancelled are those who express views synonymous with twentieth-century totalitarianism. … Continue reading Going your own way: A choice worth the consequences