The global economy was forged in the 18th century under European empires that committed genocides in the Americas and Africa, instituted mass slavery, and colonialism. This is the story.
Following Alexander Woodside’s book Lost Modernities, we talk about the Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese Mandarinates, the peculiarities and pitfalls of a system based on competitive examinations, the interplay of meritocracy and feudalism, and the relevance of it all to today’s debates about standardized testing and education more generally.
Dave Power and I talk about enlightened despots and the “greats”: Peter, Catherine, Frederick, Akbar, Abbas, Shivaji, Sejeong, as well as the Sikh Empire and the Ayuttaya Kingdom.
With David Power. If the quintessential absolute monarchy was Louis XIV, the quintessential constitutional monarchy is England after the Glorious Revolution. We talk about King Charles losing his head and foreshadow (following Gerald Horne) the dire consequences of this for Africa and Africans as it enabled a massive expansion of the slave trade. For our anarchist listeners, we’ve also got Guy Fawkes, the gunpowder treason, the Diggers, and the Levelers.
The transition of European kingdoms from feudalism to absolute monarchy, with Russia, Prussia, and of course France under Louis XIV as examples. We open with some discussion of state formation, mentioning Plato’s The Republic, Chanakya’s Arthasastra, and Charles Tilly’s Coercion, Capital and European States.
In the first episode of our Modern Civilizations Course, a quick tour of the world around 1492 – Aztec, Inka, Ming China, Ottoman Turk, Mughal India, Kongo Kingdom, Haudenosonee Confederacy, and a breakdown of some European polities.
Introducing the Civilizations Series. We’re going to go through the canon of a “Modern Western Civilizations” history course, but we’re going to fix it – we’re going to put the people’s, the east, and the global south in and re-center your civilizations history. This first episode is a short introduction to our plan. I’m joined by retired history teacher David Power.
In today’s video I review the insights in Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections, as well as gems from leftist psychologists like Bruce Levine, Paul Moloney, and Gabor Mate. If you’re quarantined and feeling low, here’s a leftist take on why.
Brian Dominick is the author of Present as Prologue: A GenZero Novella, which describes the first phase of a youth-led, high-tech revolution in America. We talk about youth liberation, education, capitalism, and the liberatory possibilities and limitations of technological change. Interesting discussion about the idea of youth as a class.