Category Archives: History

Marx at 200 Robespierre at 260

This year is the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883). A recent biography of Marx (reviewed here) places him very much as a man of his time. It is a sign of the success of Marx that his legacy is still so debated; it is a sign of his failure that defending Marx involves separating him, and […]

A misconceived attack on libertarianism

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay have produced a Manifesto Against the Enemies of Modernity. There is much to agree with in it but at least one part is thoroughly misconceived, which is the attack on libertarianism. Such an attack is a strange thing to read in such a manifesto, for if any ideology seems a product […]

The dissident right and the race thing

The blogger Zman provides a very useful summary of the dissident right: If you were trying to reduce the main points of the Dissident Right with a few bullet points, it would be: The people in charge have dangerous fantasies about the future of society and the nature of man The mass media is just propaganda for those fantasies […]

Luke Cage: a view from Harlem

With the expansion in cable television, and the even more recent rise of online television, we live in a golden age of television. The range of TV series, including high quality TV series, available is unprecedented. Marvel v DC I have a weakness for police procedurals, crime shows and superhero shows (though not the animated versions). Among […]

The founding falsities of postcolonialism

In his discussion with anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman, evolutionary psychologist and YouTuber Gad Saad offers (at 8.48) the following: By the way, in terms of generative grammar, whenever when I see the word ‘post’ before anything then that raises a flag that it’s bullshit. So post = bullshit; postmodernism, postcolonialism, post-structuralism. So, maybe Chomsky can one day weigh in on why the introduction of post implies that we are […]

Islam as philosophical dead end

Classical (622 to c.940) and early medieval Islam was a civilisation and period with a rich philosophical tradition. Yet Islam became a philosophical dead end, an example of how societies, indeed, an entire civilisation, can stop supporting philosophy as a significant autonomous realm of enquiry. Islam is a civilisation where religion swallowed philosophy, with consequences we are still […]

Sex and gender

This is based on a comment I made here. If you think the bodies are sexed (clearly true) and psyches are sexed (a bit murkier, but broadly true) then it is easy to get more than two genders. Male (male in body and psyche) Female (female in body and psyche) Third (body and psyche don’t match). Plenty of human […]

Black Lives Matter and the destruction of social capital

Recently read the following comment: A second example i’ll give is Black Lives Matter. One is labeled racist/white supremacist/white nationalist/nazi if you say “no, All Lives Matter.” But the problem isn’t a devaluation or disrespect to the grievance (at least in all instances as it is implied) — it’s the selection of the name. … In […]

The persistence of (belief in) socialism

I find the persistence of belief in socialism surprising (an example here), particularly given that Venezuela and North Korea both, in their different ways, display, yet again, the disastrous results in poverty, human misery and tyranny of “actually existing socialism”: that is, state domination of the economy. The lesson of Venezuela is, if anything, even stronger, as it is an […]

Sicilian Diary

From time-to-time, I indulge in a bit of travel writing, although I haven’t done it for a while. This week’s Speccie features yours truly travel writing on Sicily, one of my favourite places in the world and a place where I once worked on an archeological dig. ‘Muslims will not blow anyone up here,’ the proprietor […]