Categories
Research Program

What I’m Reading

  1. Why I Am Not Liberal by Jonathan Bowden (Perth, Australia: Imperium Press, 2020). A transcribed three hour interview from 2009 with the former far right writer, activist and Odinist neopagan, who foreshadowed many of the Alt-Right strategies in 2016.
  2. Marx In Motion: A New Materialist Marx by Thomas Nail (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). A re-evaluation of Karl Marx drawing on his overlooked PhD dissertation. The book’s introduction clearly explains the different currents of Marxist thought and the post-2008 revival of his metapolitics.
  3. Human Terrain Systems and the Moral Prosecution of Warfare by Dan G. Cox (Didactic Press, 2015). My PhD briefly touched on the HTS debate and the controversial use of military anthropology in Iraq. I’m reading up more on the HTS – this defence situates it in terms of Just War theory.
Categories
Research Program

The Passing of Western Civilisation

Neo-Spenglerian fears of Western civilisational decline are core to Alt-Right metapolitics. Kenneth B. Taylor provides a deeper view in a new journal article for Futures. The abstract:

Modern western civilization reached a pinnacle in the last half of the 20th century, spending over 200 years evolving and spreading throughout the world. A robust social contract, technological advancement and pervasive economic success in the context of democracy and capitalism propelled the project. Unfortunately, two underlying pillars of past success developed intensifying negative consequences, hastening socioeconomic decline: insatiable collective wants and global population growth. The rise and decline of civilizations in history is well documented, yet oddly ignored in today’s dialogue. Contemporary civilization is assumed to be immune from forces that shaped cycles of past civilizations—that our age is somehow an exception. For the first time in human history planetary systems that seemed invisible until recently are sending us the message that our civilization is not exceptional, that there are finite limits to the thrust of humanity’s present trajectory. Viable solutions curbing the effects of habitat destruction, diminishing biodiversity and climate change along with rising inequality, debt, conflict and refugee flows are known but unimplementable. The current essay examines underlying causes of socioeconomic deterioration and entrapment, suggesting a comprehensive collective intelligence enterprise be launched to prepare for the global transition facing humanity.

Categories
Research Program

What I’m Reading

  1. What They Teach You At Harvard Business School by Philip Delves Broughton (New York: Penguin, 2009). I first read this book about 15 years ago when I was in Swinburne University’s strategic foresight program, and it was originally titled Ahead of the Curve. Revisiting it I am picking up far more about Harvard Business School’s dynamics and the MBA curriculum.
  2. At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future (Exeter, England: Imprint Academic, 2018). Dutton is editor of the controversial journal Mankind Quarterley and Woodley of Menie has emerged as an influential Life History theorist. Reading this book – and the accompanying journal articles in Intelligence – is giving me a good primer on Data and Decisions skills, and the background debates to the Alt-Right’s emergence.
  3. Managerial Economics: A Game Theoretic Approach by Timothy C.G. Fisher and Robert G. Waschik (New York and London: Routledge, 2002). One of the things that emerged from my PhD‘s working notes was that I needed to study more game theory. This is a good primer on both game theory and managerial economics – the latter the ‘killer app’ of managerial decision-making.
  4. Q: In This World Perfection Is Everything by Christina Dalcher (London: HQ Fiction, 2020). A return to eugenics and social stratification are two motivational drivers of Alt-Right metapolitical thinking. Dalcher’s novel is both a sign that Handmaid’s Tale-style dystopian fiction is popular with both publishers and readers, and that Alt-Right thinking may ‘cross the chasm’ to diffuse from a political subculture into mainstream thinking.
  5. The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future by Jeff Booth (Stanley Press, 2020). Deflation was a key macroeconomic driver of Japan’s ‘lost decades’ and it has also influenced contemporary debates about the post-COVID-19 world. Booth argues that deflation and the falling price of technology infrastructure hold the key to future prosperity. One implication of this is that cost structures are going to fall in price. This was the promise 20-25 years ago of the Dotcom era.