Archives for September 2009

Book Review: Vaclav Smil – Global Catastrophes and Trends

Smil, Vaclav – Global Catastrophes and Trends (2008) Category: futurism, climate change, geopolitics, catastrophes; Rating: 5/5 Summary: Google Books Vaclav Smil, an energy theorist and language connoisseur, brings his talents to bear on this idiosyncratic, incisive and balanced book on the global future. From the outset, he outlines his skepticism in universal theories of history […]

Russia’s Demographic Resilience II

As little as a few months ago, alarmist commentators were forecasting Russia’s demographic doom. They predicted a wave of abortions that would strip down its post-2006 fertility gains, and a prolonged period of fertility postponement that would have longterm effects deep into its dark Putinist future. Meanwhile, there would be a renewed pandemic of vodka […]

Shifting Winds: The End Of Pax Americana

Every once in a while, there occurs a major shift in the international arena. The First World War and its consequences were the seminal change of the last century, collapsing ancient empires and ushering in a new era of ethno-nationalist clashes, political radicalism and emerging powers challenging the established order of Versailles, forces that were […]

The Genesis of Total War

In the summer of 1914, the world was integrated as never before. Despite its simmering tensions and conscript armies, the European continent had open borders, a shared respect for private property and rule of law, and dynastic ties that bound its monarchs together – most poignantly represented by the pageantry surrounding the funeral of Edward […]

The Struggle between Europe and Mankind

Though Nikolai Trubetzkoy (1890-1938) remains more famous for his contributions to the field of linguistics, his other great achievement was as one of the founding fathers of the Eurasian movement. Riding on the dark wave of disillusionment sweeping the world in the wake of the First World War, he penned the seminal essay Europe and Man […]

Book Review: John Scott – Behind the Urals

Scott, John – Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia’s City of Steel (1941) Category: history, Soviet Union, Stalin; Rating: 5/5 Fear and Fervor under Stalinist Industrialization The Great Depression of the 1930’s, with its iconic images of well-dressed bourgeoisie in soup lines and gaunt figures with hopeless eyes from the Dust Bowl, challenged the […]

America’s Liberty Cycles

This is my first follow-up post to The Belief Matrix, in which I attempted to advance a universal model for civilizational responses to subsistence crises (The Malthusian Loop) and the Western challenge (The Sisyphean Loop).  The first country I’ll apply this too is the US, because doing so will allow me to make several important […]