My name is Charles Richardson. I’ve been thinking and writing about politics for the best part of fifty years; I grew up during the Vietnam War and studied arts and law at Melbourne University. I lived in the United States for four years and earned my PhD from Rutgers University, specialising in ethical theory and political philosophy. Following that I worked as a ministerial adviser in the Victorian government, and later as editorial manager at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney.
I am currently an independent scholar based in Melbourne; my research interests include the history of liberal democratic structures and the comparative study of European party systems. Since 2001 I’ve been a regular contributor to Crikey, where The World is Not Enough started out in 2012; and my work has appeared in numerous other publications and I’ve been featured as a commentator in newspapers, radio and television.
Recently I retired after nearly ten years as a director of Above Quota Elections Pty Ltd, a company that contracts to run elections for non-government organisations, and I do periodic consulting work on electoral matters. (If you think you’re a potential customer, please drop me a line.) I’m not affiliated with any political party, but I live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne and more often than not vote for the Greens.
Politically and philosophically I’m a liberal; I’m committed to the enlightenment project of free thought and free trade. But I try to follow the evidence wherever it leads, and I believe that democracy and free enquiry need to be nourished and supported even if they produce results that we don’t always like.
In an uncertain and dangerous world I remain an optimist. I think that humanity, for all its mistakes and absurdities, has achieved amazing things, and the future is full of potential. We live at an interesting time; a time to be wary, certainly, but not a time to abandon hope.