Say Goodbye to the Guardrails of Governance

During a lifetime of make-believe, Donald Trump has never pretended to be a conventional politician. When he finally decided to make a serious bid for office, he built his presidential aspirations on the flimsiest of foundations: a wild conspiracy theory about Barack Obama’s birthplace. His leadership bona fides were equally laughable, having presided over bankrupt casinos and failed real-estate projects,… Continue reading Say Goodbye to the Guardrails of Governance

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Making It in Lowicz

One of the economic advantages that Poland has over its East-Central European neighbors is its relative decentralization. Hungary is completely dependent on Budapest just as Bulgaria leans heavily on Sofia and the Czech Republic on Prague. Poland has a number of major cities, including Krakow and Gdansk. Moreover, decentralization was a chief aim during the… Continue reading Making It in Lowicz

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Protesting Media Control in Hungary

On the surface, Hungary enjoys freedom of the press. There is a wide variety of newspapers that reflect different points of view from Nepszabadszag on the Left to Magyar Hirlap on the Right. There are some independent voices on the radio, including KlubRadio. The Internet is a veritable free-for-all displaying a full range of opinions.… Continue reading Protesting Media Control in Hungary

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Expanding the Fourth Estate

When Communism collapsed in 1989 in East-Central Europe, many industries collapsed with it. Factories closed, workers were out of jobs, and economies shrank. But one sector of the economy grew: the media. Where there had once been a state monopoly, now there was pluralism. There was suddenly an explosion of reporting, commentary, TV debates. All… Continue reading Expanding the Fourth Estate

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Voice to the Voiceless

The media in East-Central Europe used to be idea-centric. The unofficial samizdat publications focused on the cruelties and inanities of the regimes, unearthed nearly forgotten history, and often featured philosophic meditations on politics and morality. Even the government-run media tended to be rather high-minded in its emphasis on economic statistics, proletarian values, the activities of… Continue reading Voice to the Voiceless

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