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

Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen, and the War to End Slavery

The televisual series Game of Thrones is striking for none other than its main character’s quest east of Westeros to end the ancient slave system and enlist the free slaves in a war to reconquer Westeros and return power to the people. Game of Thrones and the war to end slavery. The idea is striking … Continue reading Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen, and the War to End Slavery

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

Grounding for the metaphysics of politics and morals

Written in summer 2020. In 1785, Immanuel Kant wrote a treatise entitled Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, wherein Kant made the case for an ethic of "autonomy", or the individual's responsibility for their own actions as the ultimate moral good. Kant didn't think the physical separation between individuals in the world of experiences, or … Continue reading Grounding for the metaphysics of politics and morals

Everything ends: Explaining the modern world

It’s fashionable to explain today’s world through two prisms: modern politics and modern economics—or the modern state and capitalism. Even the words sound slightly intimidating. So instead of defining them from a dictionary, I would like to give a historical account of how these pillars of the modern world evolved. Meet Niccolò Machiavelli, an early … Continue reading Everything ends: Explaining the modern world

The end of music history? ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and the inimitable genius of Kanye West

2010 was a big year for popular music. Katy Perry released ‘California Girls’ with Snoop Dogg as a feature rapper, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé released the music video to ‘Telephone’, and the Black Eyed Peas released their sixth studio album ‘The Beginning’, after releasing their fifth album ‘The E.N.D.’ (Energy Never Dies) under the same … Continue reading The end of music history? ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and the inimitable genius of Kanye West

The realist school: An emerging paradigm

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 inundation. ‘Après moi, le deluge’, said … Continue reading The realist school: An emerging paradigm

The evolution of theological enlightenment

Lineages of antiquity in the long renaissance: A commentary on the Harringtonian moment The Machiavellian Moment, which ties ancient and modern thought together. Jacob Abolafia’s reading of Spinoza through Flavius Josephus mirrors J. G. A. Pocock’s reading of Harrington through Machiavelli, and Mark Goldie’s reading of Harrington through Hobbesian biblical references, since each account places … Continue reading The evolution of theological enlightenment

The foundational contradictions of liberalism

Liberalism is an ideology—a system of thought. It has a centrepiece: the individual, defined by liberalism as a free-floating unit, separate from other units. It has two basic contradictions: The politico-moral contradiction; and The public-private contradiction. Meet Immanuel Kant: A founding liberal. These contradictions arise from two factors. Liberalism: Accepts the early-modern separation between politics … Continue reading The foundational contradictions of liberalism