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

The uniqueness of genius

I’ve been thinking about genius. It is often said that genius is unique. But what does this mean? On the origins of genius: Plato and Aristotle in Raphael’s School of Athens. The uniqueness of a genius lies precisely, I argue, in their ability to see past their own uniqueness. While everyone else looks at the … Continue reading The uniqueness of genius

Why Only a Labour Government Can Reduce Anti-Semitism

An article from 2019 based on a Cambridge politics long essay (awarded a first) on the question of whether there is a causal connection between globalisation (defined as the geo-temporal expansion of institutional disunity and distributional inequality, as defined below) and antisemitism (also defined below) in history. What causes anti-Semitism? It’s a question not often … Continue reading Why Only a Labour Government Can Reduce Anti-Semitism

My February prophecy of the evolution of the crisis with Russia and China, and my hopes for the future of music and politics

In February on the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I wrote a piece which prophesied the recent turn towards more American antagonism towards China and more suspicion of the strategy of aggression towards Russia fuelled by Nato’s expansion. Now prominent academics are speaking out — using the language I used at the time, namely … Continue reading My February prophecy of the evolution of the crisis with Russia and China, and my hopes for the future of music and politics

The realist school: An emerging paradigm

First published on 14 June 2022. Sometimes, intellectual thought undergoes a rupture that cannot be stopped. It does not matter how much you resist the conceptual tsunami, or how far you run. It will tear down what you know, and force any remaining ideas to cluster around the victorious Noah’s ark of the God-given intellectual … Continue reading The realist school: An emerging paradigm

The Rings of Power, the Harfoots and the Babylonian Exile

What’s the point of living if we aren’t living good? Malva Harfoot, Rings of Power. A lot of people make fun of Rings of Power. But we compare it with the past. We don’t see how it leads into the future. We think Rings of Power echoes Lord Of the Rings. But it is nothing … Continue reading The Rings of Power, the Harfoots and the Babylonian Exile

The evolution of political positions

In order to grasp the concept of the evolution of political ideas, let me consider a concrete case. The accelerationist case, from University of Cambridge. I was a centrist Liberal Democrat in my school years. Then I studied philosophy largely on my own, and became a left-wing Labour supporter in my undergraduate years, studying politics. … Continue reading The evolution of political positions

On history and morality: The two theories

An undergraduate essay, which I recently revisited at the conclusion of my first postgraduate degree. If we are to formulate a theory of everything, the theory may come in (at least) two parts. The first theory addresses what is, and the second considers what ought to be. The first is the theory of history, and … Continue reading On history and morality: The two theories