Category Archives: History

God defend New Zealand

No folks, that is not a joke. Listening to it on occasion over the years, I’ve grown fond of the New Zealand National Anthem. The tune is classic national anthem. That is to say it manages to fuse both aspiration … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Indigenous, Politics - national, Race and indigenous | 15 Comments

Common features of the Covistance

I am co-writing a book on the Great Panic to explain what happened and what can be done to avoid a repeat. In the course of our research for that book, me and co-authors are scouring websites in the rest … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus crisis, Cultural Critique, Health, History, Humour, Social, Society, Terror | 61 Comments

Stefan Zweig on killing your darlings and getting to the point

Just in case people aren’t sick of my extracts from SZ. I liked this. It very much describes my own approach – right down to one of the main temperamental drivers – however much I fall short of the aspiration, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature | 5 Comments

Pyramids of lies: Some more from Stefan Zweig

I continue listening to Stefan Zweig’s description of the disasters of the twentieth century a passage of which I’ll reproduce below. My big essay on the Productivity Commission’s Draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy represented a bit of intellectual progress for me. … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 13 Comments

The more things change … Stefan Zweig on the difference in mood attending the outbreak the two World Wars

I’ve been listening to The World of Yesterday, the memoirs Stefan Zweig. Zweig was probably the best-known author in 1930s Europe and produced a mountain of material. Essays, fiction, history, poetry, translations, you name it. Today few know of him, … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 3 Comments

Founding brothers: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

Writing about sortition, equality and merit, I spent a good part of today reading the last chapter of a book I read a decade or so ago on the relationship John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had in their dotage  – … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, History, Philosophy, Political theory | 3 Comments

Guest post from Gene Tunny: Freeing Fiscal Policy from political tinkering – podcast discussion with Nicholas Gruen

This podcast is quite a lively exploration of a proposal of mine that is – frightenly – a quarter of a century old! Below is Gene Tunny’s introduction to his podcast interview with me. NG Last month, in a Financial … Continue reading

Posted in Economics and public policy, History | 4 Comments