Richard Blake: “Why Byzantium?”


The Joys of Writing Byzantine Historical Fiction
Richard Blake
(
Published on ForWinterNights, July 2014)

As the author of six novels set in seventh century Byzantium, I’m often asked: Why choose that period? There’s always been strong interest within the historical fiction community in Classical Greece, and in Rome a century either side of the birth of Christ, and the western Dark Ages. With very few exceptions – Robert Graves’ Count Belisarius, for example, or Cecelia Holland’s Belt of Gold – Byzantium in any period of its long history is a neglected area. Why, then, did I choose it?

The short answer is that I wanted to be different. I won’t say that there are too many novels set in the other periods mentioned above. There is, even so, a very large number of them. If there is always a market for them, standing out from the crowd requires greater ability than I at first thought I had. And so I began Conspiracies of Rome (2008) I ran at once into difficulties I hadn’t considered, and that could have been shuffled past had I decided on a thriller about the plot to kill Julius Caesar. Solving these difficulties put me through a second education as a writer, and may even have shown that I do possess certain abilities. Before elaborating on this point, however, let me give a longer answer to my question: Why choose Byzantium? Continue reading

Henry George


by James Tuttle
http://c4ss.org/content/29415

Henry George

The following article was written by Kenneth Gregg and published at CLASSical Liberalism, September 4, 2005.

What is necessary for the use of land is not its private ownership, but the security of improvements. It is not necessary to say to a man, ‘this land is yours,’ in order to induce him to cultivate or improve it. It is only necessary to say to him, ‘whatever your labor, or capital produces on this land shall be yours.’ Give a man security that he may reap, and he will sow; assure him of the possession of the house he wants to build, and he will build it. These are the natural rewards of labor. It is for the sake of the reaping that men sow; it is for the sake of possessing houses that men build. The ownership of land has nothing to do with it. –Henry George Continue reading

Is Market Anarchism eclipsing Anarcho-Marxism?


http://attackthesystem.com/2014/07/18/is-market-anarchism-eclipsing-anarcho-marxism/

Is Market Anarchism eclipsing Anarcho-Marxism?

by Keith Preston

It seems to me that in the last couple of years “free market anarchism” in its various forms has grown to the point where it’s now starting to eclipse or even surpass the “anarcho-Marxists” in terms of size and influence. I base this observation on the number of public events sponsored by both, and the online presence of both. Am I right or wrong in this perception? Continue reading

DRIP and Tricks of the Political Trade


by Stewart Cowen
http://www.realstreet.co.uk/2014/07/drip-and-tricks-of-the-political-trade

DRIP and Tricks of the Political Trade

The real reason for the drastic Government reshuffle, according to many commentators, is to deflect our attention from the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill which has been rushed through the Commons after the European Court of Justice decided the current measures were ‘illegal’. But according to The Freedom Association: Continue reading

Attention Economy


by Nick Land
http://www.xenosystems.net/attention-economy/
Attention Economy

rkhs put up a link to this (on Twitter). I suspect it will irritate almost everyone reading this, but it’s worth pushing past that. Even the irritation has significance. The world it introduces, of Internet-era marketing culture, is of self-evident importance to anyone seeking to understand our times — and what they’re tilting into.

Attention Economics is a thing. Wikipedia is (of course) itself a remarkable node in the new economy of attention, packaging information in a way that adapts it to a continuous current of distraction. Its indispensable specialism is low-concentration research resources. Whatever its failings, it’s already all-but impossible to imagine the world working without it. Continue reading

Peace Through Superior Firepower


David Davis

Three and more decades ago, when the Libertarian Alliance kept “The Alternative Bookshop” in Covent Garden, we used to print badges that said useful things to people: rather as if we were Marxists-Turned-Upside-Down – in the words of one of my very perceptive and incisive University chums.


I call this badge to mind [I have kept in the Main Lower Library's Archive Of Objects an example of all the best ones we made] in view of the events of Thursday et-seq. If the Liberal Capitalist West was properly at “Defence-Stations” – and it is not – then it is quite inconceivable that the Russian dictatorship-Junta would even dare to contemplate thinking even privately of destabilizing Ukraine to chew off bits of it – let alone (worse) inveigling traitorous Marxist-sympathisers within Ukraine to do so as its catspaws.


Incidentally we also wouldn’t have more than a light regional but nugatory difficulty with “Islam”: which it is believed is a sort of mysogynistic pre-capitalist desert-survival-guide, but which most of its tacit adherents resignedly accept the Fatwa that it is a “Religion”. For the individual human costs of trying to “leave” it, as prescribed in its Book, don’t bear thinking about.

A major and exact historical parallel, in the same continent, is in front of our noses. In 1938 as you all know, this is when the Third Reich privately egged on the Sudeten-”Germans” under the fascistleftoid Nazi Conrad Henlein, in their efforts to dismember Czechosolvakia. In that instance a major reason was the intended confiscation of Europe’s third largest military organisation, plus the hijacking of Czech and Slovak heavy industry like the Skoda armaments-complex. The Czechoslovak Army alone fielded 43 divisions in that year, not counting its armour-capability.
Eastern Ukraine, as you all know, contains the major part of that country’s industrial and coal mining areas.

I leave you all to draw your own conclusions.

In the meantime, as War Secretary, I’ll ensure that all Anglosphere Nations that wish to “travel with us on the Rad Map For Peace”  – the proper one, not the US Democratic Party one – at the very least, are armed to the teeth, without any sort of restriction.
I’ll also be tearing up the Ottawa Treaty and denouncing it on behalf of the UK, for which I will have defence responsibility. It will be my decision, taken in the UK’s best interests. It’s no other nation’s damn business whether we choose to deploy “airfield denial weapons” or not, for example.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_Treaty

If you can’t laugh at this…


…You’re looking at the wrong libertarian blog.