From fission to fusion: The technological germ of a future past

Sociology follows technology. This has always been clear, as much as the following truth: politics follows economics. In language derived from seventeenth-century political theorist James Harrington, the ‘superstructure’ follows the ‘foundation’ of society. According to Harrington’s principle of ‘ballance’, the structure of politics follows the structure of the material world underpinning it. And according to … Continue reading From fission to fusion: The technological germ of a future past

Conservative Marxism: A sketch

In many ways, conservatism is more liberal than liberalism. Marxism just bypasses the whole debate — but if it has an affinity with one side or the other, it is not clear that side is liberalism. Edmund Burke. Karl Marx stands between Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant. There is nothing wrong about bypassing the culture … Continue reading Conservative Marxism: A sketch

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

Marx vs. Luther: Will China and the West clash?

Penned for INK student magazine (print edition) in 2018 during my tenure as politics editor. Imagine yourself in Wittenberg, Saxony, 1517. Western Europe is uniformly Catholic and, reminiscent of the once-mighty Roman Empire, the “Holy Roman Empire” presides over what is now modern Germany. One day, you notice a young theology professor nailing a lengthy … Continue reading Marx vs. Luther: Will China and the West clash?

Darwin, Marx, Mearsheimer: Towards a theory of social evolution

I have an interest in the connection between two theories. At school, I developed an interest in theories of international relations, including Mearsheimer’s structural realist theory of great power politics. At university, I developed an interest in political economy, particularly Marx’s theory in that field. My tentative thesis title was: ‘Darwin, Marx, and the evolving … Continue reading Darwin, Marx, Mearsheimer: Towards a theory of social evolution

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

The theory of history: What Marx missed

Below is the text to my ‘three-minute thesis’, delivered at Selwyn College on Thursday 4 March 2020. My thesis concerns a crucial gap in Marx’s theory of history. Karl Marx is known as a lover of the state. Under socialism, the state would do away with profit-driven markets through public ownership of production. Marx’s theory … Continue reading The theory of history: What Marx missed

Darwin, Marx, and theories of evolution

In 1859, two ground-breaking works of science were published. One is Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’. The other is less obvious, but no less important: Marx’s ‘Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’. While Darwin posited a theory of biological evolution by natural selection, Marx proposed a theory of social evolution … Continue reading Darwin, Marx, and theories of evolution