Articles: History

Post-neoliberalism

In my last post One Hundred Years, I looked back at our last century (1917-2017), essentially telling a story of disintegration, disorientation, contradiction, and collapse. As the new year begins, I want to look forward, focusing on what is positive, coherent, and possible. My biggest recommendation these days is to read Paul Mason’s book PostCapitalism. And if you don’t have time for that, skip to the end, where he lays out a realizable Project Zero which involves…


One Hundred Years

One of my favorite books about history is Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence: From 1500 to the Present: Five Hundred Years of Western Culture Life. It’s an impressive career summation, published in 2001 when Barzun was in his nineties. I love how he looks telescopically at broad historical trends, while also zooming into the messy details of specific times and places along the way. In the past two years, the long decline that Barzun observed has…


The future of consulting

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of consulting lately. This is a bit of an occupational hazard… I’ve been a consultant for almost 20 years, based in San Francisco, and I’ve run my own practice for eight years and counting. A long time ago I remember telling a colleague: “The consulting space is massive: multi-billions of dollars globally. Even if it were to shrink by 50%, there’d still be money on the table for those…


The Re-creation

A renaissance is a time of collapse and renewal—though when we’re living through one day-to-day, the collapses might be easier to perceive. The years 2000-2001 saw some particularly powerful images: the turning of the century clock, the fall of the World Trade Center, the slow-motion crash of the stock market as the dot-com bubble burst. And there have been other collapses since, including an escalating series of environmental disasters and the debt-driven meltdown of the Great Recession.…