I have been pretty dormant as of late because the lead up to the end of 2022 involved household Covid, some work demands on me and stresses on my wife (she was caught up in that cluster-F of academic “reorganisation” at a certain NZ university) and the usual holiday preparations. Plus I have been dealing with some health issues, including a somewhat slow recovery from knee replacement surgery. It has been a strange, unhappy year in world affairs for the most part, which gave me this feeling of impending doom for most of it even though we, as a small family with one young child, have weathered things pretty well. We shall see if things get better in 2023.
KP has become a bit of a vanity project of mine, which is a pity. I am the administrator and sole financial supporter of the blog. Lew has decamped to short-format analysis and opinionating, which is a KP loss. I have yet to find anyone who will join KP as a co-blogger who does things like feminism, identity politics, modern Left dynamics in NZ and abroad, etc. Perhaps people are warned off by the experiences of others who came and went but I am happy to consider anyone who can write intelligibly on these type of topics and who does an ego-check before standing on the KP soapbox.
KP have seen its readership numbers slowly descend since Lew left, averaging < 100 views per day. We are now a micro-niche platform, if that. In order to supplement my increasingly scarce posts I have added some of the “A View from Afar” podcasts that I do with Selwyn Manning. Many of the topics are what I would address here anyway, with the added benefit of having Selwyn as an intelligent interlocutor with whom to exchange ideas and opinions.
We did pass the million view mark sometime this year. I did 40 posts, about half of which were AVFA links along with a couple of public notices. We are up to 16,557 comments, of which 2,336 are mine. Since its inception in 2009 KP has published 1, 242 posts, of which 704 are mine. This year the majority of posts received comments although as in previous years those that were NZ-centric got the most attention. Sometimes I feel that I could write about a nuke going off somewhere north of NZ and the response would be “but there was a nice green glow in the evening sky that day and surely the pavlova crisis needs our more immediate attention.” Just kidding.
KP does have a loyal cadre of readers and commentators, for which I am grateful. I say that I part because I have seen a proliferation of “experts” on things that have been addressed here over the years, including violent extremism and terrorism. It is good to have more coverage of political violence in all of its guises and motivations even if there is a sort of reinventing the wheel aspect to all of these new analyses. I say this because I was involved in dealing with the root causes of violent extremism while in US government service in the 1990s and because I have professionally written for 35 years on various aspects of political violence. In any event, 2022 was certainly a year to broaden focus on rightwing extremism in all of its seditious and subversive manifestations, so the expansion of public attention on the subject in general is very much warranted.
This year the focus of most KP posts were international relations and security, including the Ruso-Ukrainian War and PRC machinations in the South Pacific as well as the response to them in the region and beyond. I wrote on a few other things (including the rise of an indigenous socialist president in Chile early in the year) but the trend was to cement the KP as a foreign policy-oriented blog with a NZ perspective.
In any event, KP will continue to chug along for the time being. If anyone has the time, inclination and chutzpah to propose to join me in the endeavour, I am all ears. You will not get rich by doing so but you can get things off your chest and even engage with our small community of dedicated readers on a regular basis as a type of network broadening exercise.
I wish all KP readers a healthy, happy and productive New Year. As for me, I am starting it by outlining my first essay of 2023 titled the Era of Continuous War, which is about how the erosion of international rules, rise of intolerant authoritarian politics that transcend formal government structures both within and across national borders, the advent of sophisticated weapons and new tactics (say, in the use of drones) and the (economic, political, social) dislocations caused by Covid and subsequent pandemics will lead to the 2020s and perhaps beyond being in a state of continuous war involving States, proxies and non-State actors in what will largely be low intensity conflicts of open-ended duration but which have the potential to escalate and widen into something much worse.
And on that optimistic note, I say Cheers to you all!