13 ways of looking at a bureaucrat

"Psychoanalysts don't usually write essays; they tend to write lectures or papers or chapters, or what are called, perhaps optimistically, contributions." Adam Phillips "Coda: up to a point" in One Way or Another: New and Selected Essays If Phillips' invitation, masked in the form of a provocation, is true of psychoanalysis, how much more true... Continue Reading →


The eternal triangle: love, art and work

It seems that after all Sigmund Freud did not say that the goal of therapy or the standard of a successful life was: to love and to work. Erik Erikson did once report Freud saying something along those lines, but the memory of disciples is unreliable. The closest expression in Freud's voluminous writings to this... Continue Reading →

The revolutionary

Revolutionary lost its threat as a word sometime in recent decades. Revolutionary is now just another exaggeration from the advertisers in today's commerce-drowned world. But I recall within decades people who still lived their lives by this creed. It is said that the splendidly delusive Australian Marxist or Maoist revolutionary and historian, Humphrey McQueen truly... Continue Reading →

On reading ambitions

It should be known that the above-mentioned hidalgo, during the periods when he was idle - which was most of the year - devoted himself to reading romances of chivalry with such eagerness and pleasure that he almost completely neglected the hunt, and even the administration of his estate. His curiosity and folly got to... Continue Reading →

Massacres in history

As the violence and brewing disorder of our times disturbs us, we can readily fall into a comforting delusion: either our liberal minds have conquered the violent instincts of the human animal, or our modern ideologies (whether Nazism, Marxism, Imperialism, Neo-Conservatism or Islamism) or our powerful nation states have a peculiar talent for blood-curdling murder... Continue Reading →

The unravelling of empires

US and western leaders have to find better ways to satisfy their people‚Äôs demands. It looks, however, as though the UK still lacks a clear idea of how it is going to function after Brexit, the eurozone remains fragile, and some of the people Mr Trump plans to appoint, as well as Republicans in Congress,... Continue Reading →

Travelling in Vietnam

I have not posted for a month because I have been travelling on a family holiday to Vietnam, with some side trips to Angkor  Wat in Cambodia and the beach in Northern New South Wales. The trip itself was a rite of passage, marking the end of childhood as both our children have now finished... Continue Reading →

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