Age of Anger

Pankaj Mishra (2017)

Pankaj’s new book might well have been subtitled, ‘An Anthology of Terrorism’.  And at times it’s not the most cohesive one, reading more like a smattering attempt to capture every act of politically subversive violence, and a checkered description of the perpetrators and their inter-relationships, since the Enlightenment.

But looking through this somewhat ramshackle layer of narrative exposes an uncut gem of substance.  Pankaj makes the case that the same fundamental processes that are giving rise to the likes of Brexit, Erdogan, Hofer, Le Pen, Orban, Trump and Wilders simultaneously explain ISIS.  Ressentiment, in a nutshell:

“… where individual dissatisfaction with the actually available degree of freedom constantly collides with elaborate theories and promises of individual freedom and empowerment.”

» Continue reading “Age of Anger”

Leave a Comment

Raiders & Rebels

Frank Sherry (1986)

Highly entertaining and accessible narrative covering the Golden Age of Piracy.

Leave a Comment

The New Wild

Fred Pearce (2015)

fredpearce_thenewwild “Here we face a central paradox of conservation in the 21st century and beyond. Traditional wild lands – the old-growth forests and other historic habitats – will in future be the places most dependent on human intervention for their survival. In a world of climate change, where the old wild is hemmed in by human activity, these ecosystem islands will increasingly resemble museum pieces, time capsules and experimental labs for scientists. They will not be ‘wild’ in any true sense. On the other hand, the novel ecosystems, the make-do-and-mend places, will be the ones able to stand on their own two feet. They will be the new wild.”

Leave a Comment

An Ecological View of History: Japanese Civilization in the World Context

Tadao Umesao (1957)

 tadaoumesao_ecologicalviewofhistory No good. If only it lived up to its title …

Leave a Comment

The Klamath Knot

David Rains Wallace (1983)

davidrainswallace_klamathknot_

Leave a Comment

Global Inequality

Branko Milanovic (2016)

brankomilanovic_globalinequality_

Leave a Comment

Political Order and Political Decay

Francis Fukuyama (2014)

francisfukuyaja_politicalorderandpoliticaldecay To all y’all Wes-Coas homies who tuned me I’d nevah pull off dah Opus let me herewith undiss mahself cause here it iz ya know its true that I got thru.

Respec, y’all.  Respec.

And a Big One goes out to mah main man Fukuyama.  You the man for pullin’ this togetha man, dat some mad Eas-Coas politico-economic skillz mah man.

Peace out.

Leave a Comment

And the Weak Suffer What They Must?

Yanis Varoufakis (2016)

YanisVaroufakis_AndTheWeakSufferWhatTheyMust At times haughty and generally poorly structured, with confusing achronological interludes.  That’s the bad stuff out of the way.  On balance, still a highly worthwhile read, in particular the last two chapters, ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Europe’s Crisis, America’s Future’.  Also a must-read for anyone that seriously wants to take an informed position in the Brexit debate, rather than just follow the dogma – ‘progressive Brexin’ and ‘populist Brexit’ alike!

Leave a Comment

Electricity Supply: The British Experiment

David Porter (2014)

David Porter cover POD 29.7mm_Layout 1 An unashamedly opinionated account of the privatization of the UK energy industry, told from the inside. Highly recommended for market fundamentalists and opponents alike.

Leave a Comment

The New Industrial State

John Kenneth Galbraith (1967)

JohnKennethGalbraith_TheNewIndustrialState .

Leave a Comment