Category Archives: Political theory

Sam Harris, idolater of reason, outs himself

Too much wit outwits itself Folk saying quoted by Hegel 1 I stumbled upon this extraordinary exchange between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein, late the night before last and though, I was supposed to be going to sleep, I couldn’t stop till I’d … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Philosophy, Political theory | 15 Comments

Brexit Scenarios and some Advice for Brexiteers

Brexit is the main political issue in the UK, competing with sex for the attention of the public. It is a daily gamble whether the news headline is about some politician fondling a knee 55 years ago or a row … Continue reading

Posted in bubble, Cultural Critique, Democracy, Geeky Musings, Humour, Political theory, Politics - international, Social, Society | 11 Comments

Our countries need us.

Humanity is at a high point. What our ancestors dreamed of is slowly becoming a reality: a world without hunger in which the vast majority of mankind live peaceful and long lives. We are not there yet, but in Europe, … Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Critique, Democracy, Economics and public policy, Education, Ethics, History, Inequality, Information, Life, Literature, Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national, Religion, Science, Social Policy, Society | 10 Comments

How to tax the platform economy?

In the engine room of nation states, ie the tax departments, the coming battle with platform providers is taking shape. Uber, airbnb, facebook, linkedin, ebay, jobseek, and a myriad of specialised platform providers facilitate micro-trades that are largely untaxed by … Continue reading

Posted in Death and taxes, Economics and public policy, Employment, Information, Innovation, Intellectual Monopoly Privileges, Intellectual Property, IT and Internet, Law, Political theory, Politics - international, Politics - national, Public and Private Goods, regulation, Social | 20 Comments

Getting the right decision democratically – by John Burnheim

In many areas of policy, particularly where relatively homogeneous communities deliberate about matters within their everyday experience, the informal processes of discussion in the community can, and often do, lead to changes in public opinion that in turn lead to … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Philosophy, Political theory | 6 Comments

The poverty of voting

A post by John Burnheim. About ten months ago, John Burnheim wrote to me in terms I’ve reproduced on this blog previously. John was one of the early movers in academia exploring the limitations of electoral democracy with his book Is Democracy Possible … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Information, Philosophy, Political theory | 16 Comments

Evidence-based policy: why is progress so slow and what can be done about it

Here’s a presentation I gave at the anniversary of Australian Policy Online which has been cunningly rebranded under its old acronym as Analysis and Policy Observatory.  I gave a similar one at Kings College London a few weeks previously. Note that some of … Continue reading

Posted in Bullshit, Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Philosophy, Political theory, regulation | 12 Comments