The world of today appears to be a great deal more dangerous than the one that President Obama inherited on taking office in 2009. The Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has remade the map of a large chunk of the Middle East. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is any more stable or peaceful despite the formal… Continue reading Obama’s Last National Security Strategy
Some of the most powerful critiques of the Communist governments in East-Central Europe were moral. Vaclav Havel, for instance, argued that the regimes, with their propaganda and inequalities and corruption, were built on a foundation of lies. He proposed the alternative of “living in truth,” which in its rejection of collaborating with a system of… Continue reading The Moral Revolution
A fundamental element of majority privilege is the blind universality that members of an ethnic, religious, racial, or sexual majority often unconsciously embrace. They believe that their perspectives are held – or should be held – by everyone. They think that everyone celebrates Christmas, wants to get married to someone of the opposite sex, or… Continue reading Working on Behalf of All Minorities
Greek voters have decisively repudiated the economics of austerity by handing an overwhelming victory to the left-wing party Syriza in their recent parliamentary elections. This was not a big surprise. Greece has been suffering from high levels of unemployment, including a rate higher than 50 percent for young people. The standard of living for much… Continue reading Greece and the Unlearned Lesson of 1990
I was waiting to buy a ticket to see the new film American Sniper when the guy next to me provided a capsule review. It was a fantastic movie, he told me. The main character, Chris Kyle, was a great guy, and the film really showed what the war over there was like. “And the… Continue reading Furriners
The European Union is currently facing several existential challenges. The recent parliamentary election in Greece resulted in the victory of a political party that rejects the austerity measures the EU and the IMF have insisted on as a condition for bailing out the Greek economy. The debt-ridden country is now on the verge of a… Continue reading The Fragility of Federalism
Europe won the Cold War. Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance, and Europe quietly became more prosperous, more integrated, and more of a player in international affairs. Between 1989 and… Continue reading The Collapse of Europe?
The great transformations of 1989 began with the announcement early in the year that the Polish government would begin Round Table negotiations with the Solidarity trade union movement. It was an unprecedented move. There had been uprisings from below and crackdowns from above. There had been revolutions from within and interventions from outside. But for… Continue reading Negotiating the Transition in Poland