Traditions beyond politics

For much of my life I have thought about questions of politics and government. How can government respond to any one of dozens of social issues that have occupied my professional life? What can government do? How can a policy issue be presented to political decision-makers in a way that holds their attention, if briefly,... Continue Reading →

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Islam and false lessons from history.

Tony Abbott has provoked outrage in some circles, and proud banner raising in others, by proposing that Islam needed to reform itself, and so undergo something akin to the complex sequences of cultural and institutional changes that led to the formation¬† of politically secular, if morally religious, liberal democracy. Islam, he says, making an argument... Continue Reading →

The return of the venal office and tax-farmer

The French Revolution was in part a revolt against a degraded court, whose profligacy in prestige goods was in stark contrast to its bankruptcy in pursuing national prestige in war, and in part the collapse of authority of a political order, so disabling its most essential task, taxation. The crucial preliminary chapters of any good... Continue Reading →

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