Richard King is a freelance writer based in Fremantle, Western Australia. He is the author of On Offence: The Politics of Indignation (2013). His website is The Bloody Crossroads
All essays by Richard King
The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?
by Michael J. Sandel
Published September 2020
Head Hand Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century
by David Goodhart
Published November 2020
Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care
by Madeleine Bunting
Published October 2020
What we missed told us something about what we are: not the calculating units of neoliberal legend, but social beings first and foremost, whose sociality – whose embodied sociality – is the precondition of our individuality. We missed each other, in other words.
The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics
by John B. Judis
Columbia Global Reports
Published October, 2016
The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction
by Mark Lilla
New York Review Books
Published September, 2016
What Is Populism?
by Jan-Werner Müller
University of Pennsylvania Press
Published August, 2016
Why did people vote for Trump? That is the question we should be asking ourselves, and it’s one that’s given extra urgency by the fact that his ascendency is not an isolated case, but the most spectacular instance of a more general phenomenon. In Europe, a veritable basket of deplorables is now angling for the votes of the disaffected. If liberals and leftwingers are serious about wresting momentum from them, they will have to understand their appeal.’
The Libertarian Alternative
by Chris Berg
Published May, 2016
Worth Fighting For: Insights and Reflections
by Andrew Bolt
Published June, 2016
Faith, Love and Australia: The Conservative Case for Same-Sex Marriage
by Paul Ritchie
Published July, 2016
‘So where might the new configurations of conservative and libertarian lie? Well, one product on offer in the marketplace of ideas that has grown in popularity recently is the tendency of certain conservatives to take the kind of classical ideas espoused by Chris Berg and the IPA and treat them, not as good ideas in themselves, but as characteristic of Australia in a way that draws a thick black line between the proverbial them and us.’ Richard King on three new books about right-libertarianism and conservatism.’
A Voice Still Heard: Selected Essays of Irving Howe
by Nina Howe (editor)
Yale University Press
Published January, 2015
Disciplined Hope: A Voice Still Heard: Selected Essays of Irving Howe
If Howe’s primary target in ‘This Age of Conformity’ was the incipient neoconservative milieu, by the mid 1960s he had turned his attention to, and trained his guns on, the embryonic New Left. In his 1965 essay ‘New Styles in “Leftism”’, he isolates and analyses some emergent trends on the progressive side of politics, and finds little cause for celebration.
Comrade Tressell’s Problem Novel
After reading The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists, George Orwell was left ‘with the feeling that a considerable novelist was lost in this young working-man whom society could not bother to keep alive’. True enough, though I would add that this loss is felt not just in the absence of a second or third book but within the pages of the one we have.
Religion without God
by Ronald Dworkin
Harvard University Press
Published October, 2013
Bad Faith: Religion without God by Ronald Dworkin
This short but ambitious book is more revealing of its author’s shortcomings than anything I have read by him. Notwithstanding its posthumous publication and the fact that, had he lived a bit longer, Dworkin may have sharpened up his arguments, I emerged from it with a powerful sense that he was pulling a philosophical fast one.
The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present
by David Runciman
Princeton University Press
Published October, 2013
The Last Vote: The Threats to Western Democracy
by Philip Coggan
Published October, 2013
A dangerous cynicism: The Confidence Trap & The Last Vote
Electorates are not enamoured of the idea that the nation state now has such limited power over its destiny. Democracies dependent on foreign creditors; massive multinational companies subject to few democratic controls; an international financial market with the power to decide the strength of currencies – these things sit uneasily with the idea that a nation should be able to determine its own fate and the fate of its people.
The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths
by John Gray
Published March, 2013
Prophet of gloom: The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths
Notwithstanding the occasional gnomic aside to the effect that no science is untouched by magic, Gray has hitherto upheld the distinction between scientific progress, which is a fact of history, and human progress, which is a modern myth. But in his new book, The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths, this distinction begins perceptibly to blur.
All essays featuring Richard King
On Offence: The Politics of Indignation
by Richard King
Published September, 2013
The last shot in the war: On Offence by Richard King
It cannot escape notice that, by King’s telling, things really start to go screwy when a much wider range of people get access not merely to politics, but to the political self-expression that was hitherto the preserve of the author… his sometimes acute analysis of particular deployments of notions of offence treats them as akin to an act of state censorship, a charge the Right relies on almost obsessively.