The birth of the market state

First published in June 2022. In the beginning, there was power. This was the power to sort and arrange the layers of reality into a complex whole, reassembling what had been divided into something resembling unity. In Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, the 'real unity' of the state plays this role, uniting the divided 'Multitude' into a … Continue reading The birth of the market state

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 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 birth of the moral state: On the politics of social strength

The market state is a private state; politics for some. The moral state is a public state; politics for all. The market state destabilises basic necessities, weakening the commonwealth and strengthening private wealth. The moral state stabilises basic necessities, strengthening the common wealth by weakening the wealth of private interests. Lycurgus of Sparta, who founded … Continue reading The birth of the moral state: On the politics of social strength

Fukuyama, the state of India, and SYL’s ‘Sidhu Moose Wala’

At the top of today’s list of trending music videos on YouTube is SYL’s ‘Sidhu Moose Wala’. The production is slick and the lyricism imitative of American hip hop, following the recent move in K-Pop from north of the South China Sea towards rapped, rather than simply sung, lyrics. Indeed, like K-Pop, Indian pop seems … Continue reading Fukuyama, the state of India, and SYL’s ‘Sidhu Moose Wala’

Will history end? Musings on the war of ideas

A legacy piece from 2017. “History” is an ambiguous word, albeit a common one. But defining history’s limits is worthwhile, as we all partake in history’s course every time we speak to a friend, write a letter or send a meme on Facebook. For philosophers Hegel, Kant and Marx, history was the history of ideas. … Continue reading Will history end? Musings on the war of ideas

What we don’t know: Between planning and possibility

The limits of knowledge occupy a central position in political and economic thought. Hayek’s arguments against state control of the economy rested on the limited knowledge of any individual or organisation about the total economic data of a given society. This problem, the problem of what we don’t know, demanded an institution distributed enough to … Continue reading What we don’t know: Between planning and possibility