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SUICIDE OF THE WEST

Posted by on Aug 13, 2019 in Blog | 2 comments

SUICIDE OF THE WEST

WHAT IS DIFFERENT FROM 2006? In 2006 former Culture Minister Chris Smith and I argued that the West was in danger of committing suicide, but the jury was still out.  “Down one road, the road currently bearing more traffic, lies cynicism, unmitigated selfishness, indifference, re-centralization and aggression … Down the other road lies a recovery of our nerve – confidence in ourselves and our culture; emotional unity within America and within Europe, and between Europe and America, and with other European settlements, a society and...

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SUICIDE OF THE WEST

Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 in Blog | 3 comments

SUICIDE OF THE WEST

THE KOCH-SMITH VERSION Last time we peeked at the Jonah Goldberg version of Suicide of the West.  Now it’s time for the version of the same title published thirteen years ago by myself and Chris Smith, the former Labour Culture Minister and now the Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. What is striking is the similarity of message, though of course the words and reasoning are different.  Lord Smith and I made three simple points: First, Western civilization has created something no previous civilization has managed – an immensely rich...

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SUICIDE OF THE WEST

Posted by on Jul 16, 2019 in Blog | 2 comments

SUICIDE OF THE WEST

THE JONAH GOLDBERG VERSION In 2006, Chris Smith, former British Culture Minister and now The Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, and I published Suicide of the West.  In this post I look at the same title published in 2018 by Jonah Goldberg.  It’s a fine book and I hope you will read it.  To whet your appetite – and in case you are sadly too busy to read a wide-ranging, discursive, fat book – I’ve boiled it down to what I think are its four cardinal ideas.  (Direct quotes are in italics. I have sometimes compressed the text without using … marks.)...

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SHOULD WE GIVE UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

Posted by on Jul 2, 2019 in Blog | 4 comments

SHOULD WE GIVE UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

The question came into my mind just now when reading some words written in 1944 from a Nazi prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Where self-respect is abandoned, where the feeling for human quality and the power of reserve decay, chaos is at the door.  Where impudence is tolerated for the sake of material comfort, self-respect is abandoned, the flood-gates are opened … That is a crime against humanity. In other ages it may have been the duty of Christians to champion the equality of all men.  Our duty today, however, is passionately to defend the...

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SUPERIOR STRATEGY = DIFFERENT STRATEGY

Posted by on Jun 18, 2019 in Blog | 5 comments

SUPERIOR STRATEGY = DIFFERENT STRATEGY

One of the pleasures of being an author who’s written several books is that you can occasionally go back and re-read previous works, and, if they are any good, it’s really surprising how much you can teach yourself!  Today I picked up a book of mine I haven’t re-read for ages – it’s called Smart Strategy, and even though I say so myself, it’s quite fun! This post concentrates on an early section whose message is summed up in the equation – superior strategy = different strategy.  I’ve summarized and changed it a bit to pack it into blog-post...

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AN OLDIE & SHORTY BUT GOODY: THE VON MANSTEIN MATRIX

Posted by on Jun 4, 2019 in Blog | 2 comments

AN OLDIE & SHORTY BUT GOODY: THE VON MANSTEIN MATRIX

“There are only four types of officer.  First, there are the lazy, stupid ones.  Leave them alone – they do no harm.  Second, there are the hard-working intelligent ones.  They make excellent staff officers, ensuring that every detail is properly considered.  Third, there are the hard-working, stupid ones.  These people are a menace and must be fired at once.  They create irrelevant work for everybody.  Finally, there are the intelligent lazy ones.  They are suited for the highest office.” If you want to win the rat race, here is some advice...

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THE SUPREME VIRTUE OF ‘HAVING BEEN’

Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Blog | 5 comments

THE SUPREME VIRTUE OF ‘HAVING BEEN’

“Man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness, and overlooks the full granaries of the past, wherein he has salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys, and also his sufferings.  Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.  I should say, having been is the surest kind of being.” My text for this post comes from Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor who developed the “third wave” of psychology after Freud and Adler.  Frankl was the high priest of personal meaning – people are in search of meaning in their lives,...

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11 FUNDAMENTAL BUSINESS CONCEPTS

Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

11 FUNDAMENTAL BUSINESS CONCEPTS

“Conceptual thinking is the skeleton or the framework on which all the other choices are sorted out.  A concept is by its nature an oversimplification.  Yet its fundamental relationships are so powerful and important that they will tend to override all except the most extreme exceptions.” So wrote the Pope of business thinking – Bruce Henderson – in 1977.  “Concepts are simple in statement,” he continued, “but complex in practice.” So true.  In my experience, very few business leaders base their actions on concepts.  But then again, most of...

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CARING & THE POWER OF THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND

Posted by on Apr 23, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

CARING & THE POWER OF THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND

We all carry around with us something of infinite power and creativity. Few of us realize that we do or tap into its power. I’m talking about the unconscious mind – also called the subconscious. In this post I give some examples of how it works, and then turn our attention to the key condition for using this fabulous and neglected asset. The American playwright Neil Simon says, “I don’t write consciously – it is as if the muse sits on my shoulder.” He never knows how a play will end up, he says: “If I knew how it was going to come out in the...

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BOOKS YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 in Blog | 6 comments

BOOKS YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ

I recently had a lot of interest for my post “here”about Philip K Dick’s great book The Man in the High Castle, and I’m always interested in the books that friends read, so here I’m going to give a bunch of authors and books I really rate – a mixed bag of fiction, business, and other non-fiction. Robert Goddard is an English writer of middlebrow, mainly historical, thrillers.  I’ve read all his books and enjoyed the last one, Panic Room, very much.  On the whole, though, I think the earlier ones are better, and I commend Found...

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