Liquefying the Heartland: an experiment in wild geopolitical speculation

The Great Game, an expression popularized by Rudyard Kipling, was the geopolitical competition which existed between the British and Russian Empires over Central Asia during much of the 19th century. Russia was in the middle of its southward and eastward continental expansion. Britain, on the other hand, was making important advances from India. The two powers had clashed elsewhere, in the Crimean War (1853-1856), and … Continue reading Liquefying the Heartland: an experiment in wild geopolitical speculation

From based to cringe: Tabarnia and badly waged memetic guerrilla

The Spanish War of Succession was a pan-European conflict ignited by the death of Charles II in 1700. Charles II was the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, a product of several generations of endogamic marriage, and is thus popularly seen as the archetype of decadent inbred monarchy. He was called “the Bewitched”, and suffered of many physical illnesses, probably related to some hormone deficiency. The … Continue reading From based to cringe: Tabarnia and badly waged memetic guerrilla

The deconstruction of conventional warfare and cultural banditry

The word guerrilla means “small war” in Spanish. It was first used with its current connotations in the Spanish War of Independence (1808-1814). The conflict is called the Peninsular War in English language historiography, as it started when Spain and France attacked Portugal and its British allies in 1807. With the Spanish crown’s unknowing collaboration, Napoleon surreptitiously invaded Spain while advancing towards Portugal. He took … Continue reading The deconstruction of conventional warfare and cultural banditry

Parrhesia, subversion and piracy: the rise of the cyber-optimists

Parrhesia, from the Greek παρρησία, means literally “to say everything”, to “not hold anything back”. It is used to describe a manner of speaking frankly or boldly, to the point of bringing danger to oneself. The concept was central to the Cynical school of thought, a Greek philosophical movement from around the 4th century BC. The name of this school comes from κύων – kyon … Continue reading Parrhesia, subversion and piracy: the rise of the cyber-optimists

Geopolitical Change Denialism

As we’ve explained before, when a conflict arises, the possible positions to be taken in regards to it, its memetic frame, is previous to the choice of sides by the participants. Geopolitical discussions are no exception. The polarization is magnified by the great amount of information available, the infinite ways in which that information can be interpreted, and the connection geopolitics has to many other … Continue reading Geopolitical Change Denialism

Don Quixote and the Spanish Foreign Legion: on Vox and choosing the right memes

Vox is a rightist party from Spain of which we have already talked about in the past. For many years, Spain has lacked a strong political parties occupying the fringe right space: the right was monolythic, and almost synonymous with the People’s Party (PP). The PP has long been accused by the left of being continuist to the Francoist establishment. Many of its founding politicians … Continue reading Don Quixote and the Spanish Foreign Legion: on Vox and choosing the right memes

CUSC: wokeness, technoutopia, and outdated futures

Today’s the last chapter of this series on the Communist Manifesto. Staying true to the form of the past weeks, this finale will analyze the memetic history of the third and last type of socialism antagonized by Marx and Engels: Critical-Utopian Socialism-Communism. We will call it by its initials CUSC for short, as the movement seems to have initiated the cherished Marxist tradition of giving … Continue reading CUSC: wokeness, technoutopia, and outdated futures

Revolution defanged: Bourgeois Conservative Socialism

In the last posts we talked about Reactionary Socialism and its three variants. Marx and Engels were somewhat appreciative of the critic posed by the reactionaries to the Bourgeois State. They, however, acknowledged that it was “retrograde”; that is, it represented deceleration. As such, it was to be sacrificed in the altar of Progress. Pre-industrial society was not part of the dialectical process, but the … Continue reading Revolution defanged: Bourgeois Conservative Socialism

Men Towards the Ruins: German Socialism

In our last post, we went through two of the strains of Reactionary Socialism described by Marx and Engels, feudal and petty-bourgeois socialism. Today we will discuss a third variant, dubbed German or “true” socialism. This third school of thought is a very peculiar type, specific to the context of post-Enlightenment Germany and its unification process. This period in German history was marked by tension … Continue reading Men Towards the Ruins: German Socialism

Thucydides within: the origins of Reaction

As announced in the last post, the next few installments on our series on Marxist thought will focus on the different schools of Socialism identified and targeted by the Communist Manifesto. Today we will start discussing Reactionary Socialism, which was a powerful ideological adversary to Communism for much of the 19th and the 20th century. In its original form, it was the last refuge of … Continue reading Thucydides within: the origins of Reaction