The literary scholar Viktor Shklovsky once attributed Tolstoy’s success as a novelist to the “energy of delusion.” The Russian writer was committed to constant trials and experimentation. He had a seemingly endless capacity to put himself in the position of what the Russians like to call a “holy fool” and look at the world as… Continue reading The Energy of Delusion
It’s time for a confession. I have worked as a “foreign agent.” When I lived and traveled in Asia and Eastern Europe, I was an employee of U.S.-based NGOs. I was paid by these organizations to promote social change in those parts of the world. I worked hand-in-hand with groups that often criticized their own… Continue reading Foreign Agents
On February 27, 2015, John Feffer, the director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, participated in the Jean Monnet Eastern Europe lecture series with his lecture entitled “Backlash in East-Central Europe: What Happened to the Promise of 1989?” From Mr. Feffer’s abstract: The transformations of 1989 in East-Central Europe were,… Continue reading Backlash in East-Central Europe
It was certainly cool to be an environmentalist in Hungary in the 1980s. Demonstrations against the government’s plan to build a dam on the Danube drew lots of young people. Opposition to the Communist government, even in the more politically acceptable form that the incipient Green movement took, attracted the counter-culture, the dissidents, and the… Continue reading Making Green Cool Again
The full-page ad in this week’s Washington Post portraying President Obama as history’s favorite whipping boy, Neville Chamberlain, was wrong in nearly every one of its many strident particulars. It was wrong in suggesting that a nuclear agreement with Iran is appeasement. It was wrong in comparing Iran with Nazi Germany. It was wrong to argue… Continue reading Iran: Deal or No Deal?