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politics

Language Makes Tyrants

Context: Geopolitics is for losers It is always worth considering the extent to which the longer frequency waves as oscillating ebb and tide of history are also those of the communications systems, of the languages and self-validating dialects of ideologically-inflected political narrative. The kinds of ideological and political system that tend to emerge as convergent […]

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politics

Political Chaos

Context: World Politics at the Edge of Chaos: Reflections on Complexity and Global Life I have been deep down a rabbit hole of seeking to apply these complexity thinking insights more broadly for the last few years. One key, kernel and core takeaway is that (we) human beings seem on the whole quite poorly equipped […]

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politics

Self-persecutory Pathology in Autocratic Imperialism

The curious thing about those who seek to leverage political capital from conflict is that this represents an atavistic ideological “business model” that in such a deeply interdependent world, all actions and aggressions return – amplified – to the actor. Even more so, in such an intricately entangled social, economic and technological context in which […]

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politics

The Descent

Paraphrasing what Hemingway wrote on the topic of bankruptcy in “The Sun Also Rises”, it seems that the descent into totalitarianism occurs first gradually, then suddenly.

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culture politics

The Z: Participatory Totalitarianism

It represents a strange and yet sadly common symmetry of politics and ideology that while the chaotically effervescing freedoms of a real world’s media and information systems find the totalitarian state almost entirely impermeable to difference or diversity and truth, the unrepentantly fictional narratives of deception and misdirection broadcast by the totalitarian quite easily emanate […]

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politics

Will China support Putin’s War?

The gambler’s fallacy that doubling down on a bad bet will eventually recoup lost investments can be offset by realising a longer-term payoff in terms of territorial influence and power. Other than feeling a bit melancholy about the oppressed and serially, strategically misled and economically exploited peoples of these nations, I can not help but […]

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politics

Ukraine: The Cost of Peace

If an autocratic system depends so intimately upon the obfuscation and misrepresentation of facts it can only be imagined that a considerable effort is also and currently going into cultivating retrospective, alternative histories as supporting narratives and aspirationally self-validating reference frames for each and all of these acts of aggression. It is unlikely that the […]

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Alien Anthropology history Philosophy politics Psychology

Making Monsters

As an authoritarian regime always and implicitly depends for self-validation upon the presence of external and internal threats, where it does not find them it will manufacture them. This is a narcissistic pathology, writ large. The essential and interior psychological surface as self-definition of an individual (or organisational system as political abstraction of nation) is […]

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politics

Dictatorship: Living in Two Worlds

Dictators of course arrive wearing many diverse kinds of masks and singing all manner of simplistic songs of self-interested nationalism. For those of you out there who find themselves living under such a regime, it must be a really strange experience. It is true that we all tend to desensitise to hardship or suffering after […]

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politics

Democracy, Peace, Complexity

Notice that from a complex systems interpretation, Democracy is always and already much more efficient in the management of (an) inevitably-arising internal dissonance or sophisticated, emergent complexity (i.e. entropy). It is a mandatory property of sustainable system continuity that entropy must be managed and, in a generalised sense, must be offset or displaced to an […]

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politics

Political Illusions

A magician is someone pretends not to have what they have: a trick, a method, a sleight of hand or some sophisticated logical ploy intended to deceive an audience. A charlatan is someone who pretends to have what they do not: competency, knowledge, skill, authority or substantive and sufficient intellect for whatever masquerade they seek […]

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culture history politics

Leadership

People want to be led (just as they want to be deceived). It is a herding instinct and we all surrender to it at times. Even leaders are led – not by others, necessarily, but by the constraints and active self-surveillance that an awareness of the fragility of their tenure as leaders entails. To be […]