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

Hiding in plain sight: The resurrection of grand theory through intellectual history

It is often said that grand theory is dead, while intellectual history lives. At the 'end of history' following the Cold War, anticipated by several 'ends' of history since the philosopher Hegel proclaimed Napoleon and himself the ends of political and philosophical history in the early nineteenth century, it became intellectually illegitimate to construct a … Continue reading Hiding in plain sight: The resurrection of grand theory through intellectual history

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

The upside-down narrative of HAMILTON

After Stephen Sondheim’s jazz-influenced era of musical theatre and Jonathan Larson’s rock-infused follow-up, Lin-Manuel Miranda took the world by storm with a third age of musicals, drawing on hip hop in the ‘90s and early ‘00s to make the hits In the Heights and Hamilton in the late ‘00s to mid ‘10s. The latter combined … Continue reading The upside-down narrative of HAMILTON

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

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