Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a calculated blunder

There is much dispute over the function of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan: was it a moment of madness, or a signal decision of brilliance? Now U.S.-China relations are fraying on a range of issues, from climate change to military technology, is more tension really needed? Yes, it is — but this almost completely misses the … Continue reading Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a calculated blunder

At the Ends of the World: The War for the Whole has Begun

It is oft said that we are in a period of unparalleled disorder. But the world is remarkably resilient to external pressures, including radical changes to the Earth’s climate wrought by our species’ burning of the dead remnants of ancient sea creatures. The planet is simmering under this man-made frying pan, ready to be cast … Continue reading At the Ends of the World: The War for the Whole has Begun

Principia Musica: The art of politics

I have some claims I would like to defend. These are claims I cannot possibly defend in one blog post. But here are some, which I will elaborate at a future date, subject to revision. Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, writing at the birth of commercial society in the musical eighteenth century. I. Class conflict … Continue reading Principia Musica: The art of politics

How peace causes war

It is a common reaction to warfare in the twenty-first century to express shock, or horror, or surprise. But war is not surprising, or historically shocking, though it is always horrifying, or morally shocking. Let me explain. Alliance blocs of Europe, on the eve of war. In peacetime, competition does not end. Indeed, competition among … Continue reading How peace causes war

The evolution of political language

On the origin of ‘states’: A commentary on From the state of princes to the person of the state by Quentin Skinner Quentin Skinner, leading historian of political language. Rome, as Runciman (1983) argues, was a market society developed enough to be economically dynamic and politically disturbed but not so developed that it assumed a … Continue reading The evolution of political language