James Buchan – The truth is, of course…


“The truth is, of course, that history is not completed in modern commerce any more than philosophy is perfected in political economy. In other words, there is nothing timeless or God-given about filling stations and penicillin and plastic bags.”
-James Buchan

James Buchan – For all their current prestige…


“For all their current prestige, Osama bin Laden and the suicide bombers are still regarded in all but the most desperate districts of Gaza or Peshawar as romantics with little chance of more than symbolic victories, however bloody and brutal. That gives both the Middle East and the West a small and distant hope of security.”
-James Buchan

James Buchan – One of the consequences of…


“One of the consequences of the Iranian revolution has been an explosion of history. A country once known only from British consular reports and intrepid travelogues is now awash with historical documents, letters, diaries, grainy video, weblogs and secret police files of questionable authenticity.”
-James Buchan

James Buchan – Whatever else it was, Adolf…


“Whatever else it was, Adolf Hitler’s short-lived regime was also a colossal industrial process by which the wealth and productive power of much of Europe was wrenched from its normal purposes and converted into a machine for killing.”
-James Buchan

James Buchan – Cause and effect, the riddle…


“Cause and effect, the riddle of all history, is a particular devil in financial history and never more so than today, where entire classes of security are collapsing not on public exchanges and stock-tickers but because there are no markets to establish prices this side of nothing.”
-James Buchan

James Buchan – There are signs that the…


“There are signs that the age of petroleum has passed its zenith. Adjusted for inflation, a barrel of crude oil now sells for three times its long-run average. The large western oil companies, which cartellised the industry for much of the 20th century, are now selling more oil than they find, and are thus in the throes of liquidation.”
-James Buchan

James Buchan – Suicidal violence is not the…


“Suicidal violence is not the exclusive property of the Muslim world. Suicide bombings were a tactic of nationalist struggles in 19th-century Europe and Russia, the far east during the second world war and the Vietnam war, and in modern Sri Lanka.”
-James Buchan