A Coat of Varnish, Part 7

Whose Fault is the Ukraine War?

[Post-Cold War], many American elites embraced a vision of a US-led ‘liberal international order’ which could theoretically integrate the entire world… into a single, globalized whole. Stephen Kotkin, Princeton University read more »

A Coat of Varnish, Part 6

Will ESG Finally Grow Up?

ESG is a huge, gross gravy train for fund managers, consultants, and marzipan layer technocrats of various flavors. The whole thing is rotten. If you work in the space, your choices are to be a useless idiot trolling in the trenches for what you think is a good cause, be a feckless knave in it just for the money, or find something else to do. Robert Armstrong in the Financial Times read more »

A Coat of Varnish, Part 3

Let’s Talk Nukes

If a third world war is such a crippling worry, how can the premise of NATO be credible? Its effectiveness has always depended on the belief that NATO is indeed prepared to run the risk of nuclear war. Martin Wolf in the Financial Times read more »

A Coat of Varnish

I love quoting myself (it means I have to write less new stuff), so here is something I wrote in these pages about five years ago (okay, it’s slightly modified from then): read more »

On Agency, Part 12

Last week we examined the introduction into American law of so-called “group rights” and the failure of that collective agency movement to improve the lives of African-Americans – America’s most disadvantaged group. read more »

On Agency, Part 11

In my discussion of the extraordinarily high individual human agency in America I have deliberately omitted – until now – an important caveat: not everyone in the US has historically been, or is today, vouchsafed the same degree of agency. read more »

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