2020

Who’s Responsible for America’s Coronavirus Fiasco?

Donald Trump said that he would make America number one again. And now the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths. It is a dubious achievement. How could this have happened? The United States is supposed to have one of the best medical systems in the world. The Center for Disease… Continue reading Who’s Responsible for America’s Coronavirus Fiasco?

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Making America Unsafe Again

Donald Trump is all about boundaries. At a personal level, he doesn’t like touching strangers for fear of infection. Politically, he makes no long-lasting close alliances. And geopolitically, he obsesses over strong borders: big walls, more stringent immigration requirements, tariffs on foreign imports. But Trump is nothing if not a walking contradiction. For a guy… Continue reading Making America Unsafe Again

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2016

It’s Rigged: Takes One to Know One

The system is rigged. Let’s be clear: the American political system favors the two major parties and our economic system favors the wealthy. The global system is similarly rigged in favor of powerful countries (such as the United States) and powerful economic actors (such as transnational corporations). This is not, however, a conspiracy. No secret… Continue reading It’s Rigged: Takes One to Know One

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2015

Negotiating the Transition in Poland

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

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2014

Hong Kong: The Future of People Power?

In 2000, I organized a meeting in China that brought together independent trade unionists, campaigners for corporate codes of conduct, and human rights advocates. We had spirited conversations about strikes and labor organizing and how to deal with the Communist authorities in Beijing. We didn’t worry about the government monitoring or breaking up our meeting.… Continue reading Hong Kong: The Future of People Power?

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The Disappearance of the Political Middle

Hungary has long been divided between its liberal and cosmopolitan capital and the more conservative countryside. During the Communist era, a small democratic opposition emerged that eventually, by the end of the 1980s, split into two political forces: the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) and the more nationalist Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF). In the… Continue reading The Disappearance of the Political Middle

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