The worst thing you could be in the Soviet Union in the late 1940s was a “rootless cosmopolitan.” The epithet sometimes came with a death sentence. The Soviet Communist Party, under the strong guiding hand of Joseph Stalin, had long turned its back on the internationalism of its founders and their commitment to world revolution.… Continue reading The GOP’s Sinister New Nationalism
In his recent speeches and articles, Bernie Sanders has been talking about forming a Progressive International. It’s about time. The alt-right, thanks in part to Steve Bannon, has formed an international network centered in Europe on the National Front in France and the Northern League in Italy. Authoritarian leaders from Vladimir Putin in Russia to… Continue reading Bernie Sanders and a Progressive International
As an ethnically homogenous and already divided nation, Korea might seem to be immune from all the fragmentation that seems to be happening around the world today. Far from the Korean peninsula, the European Union is negotiating the British exit and facing a possible withdrawal by the Spanish region of Catalonia. The Middle East is… Continue reading Korea and the Geopolitics of Division
When the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., published his bestseller The Disuniting of America in 1991, he didn’t seriously entertain the worst-case scenario suggested by the title. At the time, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were imploding, while separatist movements in Quebec, East Timor, Spain’s Basque country, and elsewhere were already clamoring for their own states. But when… Continue reading Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering
Asia has been the future for more than a generation. When Americans try to glimpse what’s to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo. By 2014, the City of Angels in the Spike Jonze film Her had more of a Shanghai vibe. This… Continue reading Who Will Take America’s Place in Asia
Here at Emergency Travel Services, we believe that it’s never too early to plan your vacation. Or your emigration. Based on the latest polls, most of you are confident that Donald Trump won’t be elected president in November. If the election were held today, according to statistician Nate Silver, Trump would have about a 12… Continue reading The Globalization of Trump
This week might represent the beginning of the end for international cooperation. All the treaties, alliances, and unions that have incrementally strengthened the ties between nations over the last several centuries have suddenly been revealed as a house of cards, which a wayward puff of air known as Brexit might suddenly blow away. Surely this… Continue reading Brexit: Farewell Internationalism?
Let me start with a confession. I’m old-fashioned and I have an old-fashioned profession: I’m a geo-paleontologist. That means I dig around in archives to exhume the extinct: all the empires and federations and territorial unions that have passed into history. I practically created the profession of geo-paleontology as a young scholar in 2020. (We… Continue reading Splinterlands: The View from 2050
Many intellectuals in East-Central Europe have traveled considerable ideological distances over the decades. The most common trajectory has been from the Left to the Right, as former Marxists were born again after 1989 as liberals, neo-liberals, neo-conservatives, just plain conservatives, and ideologues even further to the Right. Janos Kis in Hungary, who critiqued Marxism from… Continue reading The Boomerang Intellectual
In the ads in the back of old comic books, a skinny little kid is hanging out at the beach when a bully comes along and kicks sand in his face. The little kid, who weighed 97 pounds at the time, was Angelo Siciliano. He hightailed it to the gym, where he worked out until… Continue reading Is Japan’s Prime Minister the Next Putin?