We have arrived at the end of another year here at KP, making it the 11th since this blog started in January 2009. I am the only one left of the original crew and am the only one who posted this year. Lew is still nominally involved with KP as an administrator but he seems to have moved on to other things and most often dispenses his wisdom in 140 character bites. This has led some to claim that KP has become my personal blog but that is not the case as far as I am concerned. I continue to invite people to join what was initially a social democratic/democratic socialist collective because I am acutely aware of my limitations when it comes to areas outside my fields of supposed expertise. This year I simply had no expressions of interest.
I wrote 48 posts in 2020, an average of 4 per month or once a week. Interestingly, I wrote only two posts in April when we were in full lockdown, something that one would have thought would have been reversed–that I would post more while confined to quarters. Most of what I wrote about was in my areas of interest: international relations, comparative politics, international security, authoritarianism, terrorism, and democratic theory and practice. I did several posts on pandemic-related issues, a few on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terrorist attacks, a couple on Iran and China, with the bulk of the remaining writing devoted to US and NZ-related themes.
I included as a post the Q1-2 Report from the 42 Group, a collective of youngish strategic analysts, and incorporated a number of links to “A View from Afar” podcasts with Selwyn Manning. There were a few personal posts included in the mix, and stylistically speaking I began to weave more personal anecdotes and observations into the narratives. With this year’s output I crossed the personal 600-post milestone and KP passed the 3500 comment threshold, with a total of nearly 961,000 views since it began publication.
The site averaged 84 readers per day, around 2400 per month and 30,686 for the year so far. This continues the decade’s trend of gradual decline in readers, with the last two years showing a levelling in visits to the site. The “regular” readers continue to come back and we have picked up some new ones. Others have left for greener pastures, and from time to time new and old trolls show up to cause mischief. I did not have to blacklist anyone, which is always a good thing.
We shall see what 2021 holds for KP. I have more surgery scheduled early in the year and am not really thinking beyond that in terms of work and writing projects. I am sure that there will be plenty to comment on both here in NZ as well as elsewhere. Post-Drumpf US politics should be a regular source of entertainment and concern. There could be more, even large scale war.
Although I am not one of those who believe that it can only get better next year, I do think that the world may have crested a wave when it comes to governance and material well-being because the pandemic exposed the deep fault lines not only in various forms of government but also in the global system of production and exchange. As I have said repeatedly, there is no turning back to the pre-pandemic status quo and the post-pandemic future will be forced to reckon with the need for deep systemic reforms in how people are ruled and how they contribute to the productive worth of society.
In any event, to each and every one of you who has stopped by to have a read and engage in the occasional discussion, my sincere thanks and best wishes for a peaceful, productive, heathy and happy New Year.