2020

The Black Death Undermined Feudalism. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Capitalism?

You pay little attention to the systems of your body — circulatory, digestive, pulmonary — unless something goes wrong. These automatic systems ordinarily go about their business, like unseen clockwork, while you think about a vexing problem at work, drink your morning cup of coffee, walk up and down stairs, and head out to your… Continue reading The Black Death Undermined Feudalism. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Capitalism?

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Putin Proposes, Trump Disposes

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin is proposing a new constitution. Meanwhile, in Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump is disposing of the old constitution. The first is a demonstration of power meant to showcase the unity of the Russian political system behind a strong leader. The second is an act of desperation that reveals the… Continue reading Putin Proposes, Trump Disposes

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2019

Did the Fall of the Berlin Wall Produce Trump?

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. It was one of the few unambiguously joyous moments in modern history. This popular, nonviolent explosion of dissent effectively toppled East Germany’s despotic regime. And it signaled, if only symbolically, the end of the Cold War that had divided Europe for nearly half a century. Thirty years later,… Continue reading Did the Fall of the Berlin Wall Produce Trump?

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World Gives America One Year to Stop Trump or Face Sanctions

The deputy assistant under secretary general of the United Nations has given the United States a one-year warning. If the country doesn’t clean up its act and become a responsible world citizen, Ithell Colhoquon announced yesterday, the international community will impose sanctions on U.S. government officials and tariffs on U.S. goods and services. This announcement… Continue reading World Gives America One Year to Stop Trump or Face Sanctions

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After Trump

Donald Trump has shaken up U.S. foreign policy. Most of what he has done has been disastrous, like pulling America out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. He has been erratic, unprincipled, aggressive, and unilateral. And yet, he has also created some interesting opportunities, sometimes inadvertently, that progressives should seize. The… Continue reading After Trump

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Answering the Attacks on the Green New Deal

It’s become a common trope of the Trump era for columnists and commentators to attack the lunacy of the far right at the same time as castigating the “loony left.” These pundits, who usually place themselves in a comfortable “moderate” position, adopt a tone of consummate reasonableness. The president is certainly an idiot, they say,… Continue reading Answering the Attacks on the Green New Deal

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2017

The Anti-Corruption Revolution

During rush week, aspiring frat boys endure all manner of indignities. They all want to join the exclusive club, and they’re willing to pay the steep initiation fee of risk and embarrassment. One day, they too will be­ seniors who can haze the newbies all they like. Such are the perks of following orders, rising… Continue reading The Anti-Corruption Revolution

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2014

The Life and Times of Michael B

Economic inequality is a hot topic in America these days. It is the subject of hefty bestsellers, presidential addresses, and even Hollywood movies. The issue has even appeared on the radar screen of foreign policy pundits. In this Sunday’s Washington Post, former assistant secretary of state Kurt Campbell writesabout how “income inequality undermines U.S. power.” Campbell writes about… Continue reading The Life and Times of Michael B

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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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