Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a calculated blunder

There is much dispute over the function of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan: was it a moment of madness, or a signal decision of brilliance? Now U.S.-China relations are fraying on a range of issues, from climate change to military technology, is more tension really needed? Yes, it is — but this almost completely misses the … Continue reading Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a calculated blunder

The tragedy of power and the vices of the body

The virtues of the soul are many: peace, serenity, goodness, wisdom, love, intelligence, knowledge, bliss — to name a few. The vices of the body are innumerable: anxiety, loathing, pride, hate, lust, ignorance, misery — to name but some. The mask of Dionysus, the spirit of tragedy. Power seems to bridge between body and soul, … Continue reading The tragedy of power and the vices of the body

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

The activity of ideas and ‘The Time of Angels’

The British TV show Doctor Who has gone through many mutations in its fast-paced run since its 2005 reboot. One of the most interesting variants of the show was presented in 2010, that year of intriguing contrasts and magnificent extravagance, in a double episode entitled ‘The Time of Angels’. The show revolves around the concept … Continue reading The activity of ideas and ‘The Time of Angels’

The poetry of power: On the new art forms of the Third Millennium

Our middle world, orbiting a middle star of a middle ring of a middle-sized galaxy, has produced many wondrous creations, even from the bowels of despair. Life first emerged in the deep oceans, and endured through cycles of hot and cold, adapting to each extreme. Eventually, however, the creatures of sea and sky found themselves … Continue reading The poetry of power: On the new art forms of the Third Millennium

Nietzsche, Foucault, and the bridge of power

Mass culture has ironically deemed the central ill of western civilisation as ‘the lust for power’. The alternative is human affection and interpersonal love, in the form of familial or friendly ties, or, alternatively, transactional commercial deals. Power, however, is dangerous because it is impersonal, abstract, and therefore a potential alternative to the ruling abstraction: … Continue reading Nietzsche, Foucault, and the bridge of power

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

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