PALLADIUM 10: Cultural Excellence

PALLADIUM 10: Cultural Excellence, our summer 2023 print edition, is available now to all Palladium members. Subscribe today to receive your copy.

What makes a culture accomplish great things and stand out from history? 

This question of excellence rears up whenever we encounter works of genius or set out to push the limits with our own. It comes to you while walking out of an art gallery or theater. Or, just as likely, while working in a library or on the factory floor. We spend a great deal of our lives working in the shadow of humanity’s great works of culture. But what is it that ultimately makes them happen?

PALLADIUM 10: Cultural Excellence assembles seven essays and two interviews on the ways that a culture achieves greatness. Our heroes design spaceships, buildings, and societies. They conquer the frontiers of art, geography, and knowledge. Inspired by visionaries and predecessors, they master their craft and push on to new heights of accomplishment. Their greatness has founded whole cultures of excellence and their deeds will inspire future generations.

Build on these insights in your ambitions. We hope to hear of your exploits.

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Entrepreneurial Statecraft Gets the Goods by Wolf Tivy. You don’t reshape society by starting a cultural movement. Instead, you need to implement direct action materialism.

A School of Strength and Character by Tanner Greer. Nineteenth-century Americans stunned outsiders with their capacity for self-organizing. By cultivating the virtues of public usefulness, procedural formality, and agentic hierarchy, they created a powerful set of norms for building institutions.

Journey to the Golden Age by Avetis Muradyan. Golden ages leave behind the undying fame of their heroes. It is those who engage them as peers that become capable of initiating a new one.

The Golden Age of Aerospace by Brian Balkus. Postwar America’s aerospace industry combined captured German personnel with manufacturing excellence to accomplish the most incredible engineering feats in history. But process knowledge can be easily lost.

Madame Mao’s Nietzschean Revolution by Dylan Levi King. As Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing helped lead China’s Cultural Revolution with a Nietzschean philosophy of art. Through revolutionary operas and ballets, she sought a heroic consciousness that could transform society.

Who is the Art World For? By David Gelland. Art today often aims to shock rather than inspire. How did that change happen?Working from the hinterlands, they defeated two foreign empires.

“At the Edge of Life” with Pietro Boselli. A model, mechanical engineer, and adventurer, Boselli discusses the value of many sources of experience, trusting your instincts, and death-defying solo trips into the unknown.

What Genius Looks Like by Ginevra Davis. Mathematician James Glimm’s secret is that “genius needs to work hard.” But the healthy and productive way he lives resembles a normal life that anyone can learn from.

“A Pride in the Craft” With Bill Bensley. American architect Bill Bensley knew that he would have to go to Asia if he wanted to undertake ambitious, maximalist projects. But polishing the craft was the way he got to the point he could begin attempting art.