Under Communism, the government cared a great deal about what you wrote. If you were part of the system, the government promoted your work. If you were against the system, the government censored you or possibly jailed you. In either case, though, the Communist governments took your words seriously — as useful propaganda or potential… Continue reading The Republic of Writers
Vaclav Havel wrote for the theater. When change came to Czechoslovakia in November 1989, the velvet revolutionaries of Prague met and planned in the Magic Lantern theater. The events of those ten days that shook the country unfolded like a massive, open-air performance, with dramatic speeches, a soundtrack provided by local bands, and a huge… Continue reading Creating a Spectacle
Catharsis is an important element in both theater and politics. On stage, the actors enact a drama that generates a great change of emotion in the audience. Through this outpouring of emotion – of pity, of fear — the audience can experience some kind of spiritual renewal. In politics, too, catharsis is an important stage… Continue reading Catharsis!
Even at an intuitive level, sanctions never made much sense to me. If North Korea is such an isolated country, and isolation only reinforces the leadership’s paranoia, then adopting a policy of further isolating the country through sanctions seems counterproductive. If you want the people of Iran to rise up against their leaders, why give… Continue reading Life under Sanctions