The Belt and Road to Serfdom

(“The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich Hayek) (1944) [and why it matters now] “While the last resort of a competitive economy is the bailiff, the ultimate sanction of a planned economy is the hangman.”# The Argument In 1933, the year Hitler came to power in Germany, there was a view that the fascists’ National Socialism model (as the joke went, neither nationalist nor socialist) constituted the lees of the empty vessel of capitalism, and that socialism and centrally planned economies represented the vibrant new vintage for the future. That year, Hayek, a Newby at the London School of Economics, wrote…

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Sandro Botticelli

December 17, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY |

(1 March 1445 (?) to 17 May 1510) The great Florentine painter of the early Renaissance, Botticelli was not as technically accomplished as either Leonardo or Michelangelo, but he often excelled those men in the sheer preternatural beauty of his works.  Consider the Birth of Venus, with its anatomical eccentricity and stage-like rendering of form and nature: “The secret is this, that in European painting there has never again been an artist so indifferent to representation and so intent upon presentation.“^ While he painted plenty of religious pictures, he was also inspired to create by works of classical antiquity and…

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Murder by Decree

November 16, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | CRIME, HISTORY, POLITICS |

22 October 2020 Another serving of much-needed food-for-thought from the John Bray Alumni Network of the University of Adelaide: this one from Bill Smith AM, former plod and police prosecutor in Whyalla (country SA) who came to the Big Smoke, got his degree, and found himself immersed in the frustrating but fulfilling world of international criminal justice. Modern crimes against humanity, in reflection of the new world order, have been somewhat inverted in practical application. Whereas a whole new jurisprudence had to be developed in the wake of the crimes of the Nazi regimes, the end of WWII, the development…

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Putin the Fabulist

June 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, POLITICS, WW2 |

Best buddies

The National Interest, a magazine self-described as “America’s voice for strategic realism,” published an article, “The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II” by the totalitarian democrat, Vladimir Putin, on 18 June 2020. The link is: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/vladimir-putin-real-lessons-75th-anniversary-world-war-ii-162982?page=0%2C2 Mr Putin states that “the Nazis were defeated first and foremost by the Soviet people…” One can excuse this as an excess of patriotic zeal, perhaps, but we are not sure whether the other countries that hazarded blood and treasure in that effort would choke on their Weeties at Putin’s breathtaking conceit.  Where, for example, was the Soviet Union when…

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A Bigger Picture

By Malcolm Turnbull (2020) To re-tell a recent joke, with apologies to Frankie Boyle, Turnbull’s memoir is not like Turnbull the man, in 2 respects: it has a spine, and you may not want to put it down. Yes, we’re on record as not being Malcolm fans, for whom this pretty well written and interesting book is designed, though it holds wider interest in following the August path of destiny for Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, a path strewn with garlands and fleeting triumphs, told in a voice of peerless self-confidence, well described by Jonathon Green in the Sydney Morning Herald…

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