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?
The far right is on a roll. Just a few years ago, liberals and conservatives would have considered its recent political victories a nightmare scenario. Right-wing extremists have won elections in the United States, Brazil, Hungary, India, and Poland. They pushed through the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. In the most recent European Parliament… Continue reading The Far Right’s War on Culture
Evil is a popular topic in Hollywood, from The Evil Dead franchise to Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. But evil makes only the occasional cameo in the U.S. policy realm. In the early 1990s, the topic of evil became buzz-worthy in the wake of the Cold War’s collapse as pundits and policymakers tried to understand the unfolding… Continue reading Dr. Evil’s First Year in Office
The last thing Europe needs right now is advice from Americans, particularly American progressives. After all, we failed to prevent Donald Trump and his cronies from seizing the White House or the far-right wing of the Republican Party from taking over Congress. Before that, we were unable to push President Obama to the left on… Continue reading How to Reinvent the European Left
Donald Trump is holding up the severed head of the Statue of Liberty. It’s a striking image for a magazine cover. But it’s not the front of the Nation or the ACLU newsletter. It’s this week’s issue of Der Spiegel, Germany’s version of Time Magazine. To punctuate the point, one of Spiegel’s articles declares Donald… Continue reading Forget America First: It’s America Alone
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
It’s often said that anti-Semitism continues to exist in Poland even in the absence of a large Jewish community. The recent Polish film Aftermath, about a farmer who uncovers the terrible truth about his village’s treatment of its Jewish community during World War II, makes that point vividly and tragically. The same can be said… Continue reading Islamophobia in East-Central Europe
In the first Crusade, on their way to fight the Muslim infidels in Jerusalem, the armed pilgrims asked themselves a provocative question: Why should we trek so far to kill people we barely know when we can just as well massacre infidels closer to home? And thus the crusaders of the 11th century embarked on some… Continue reading Europe’s Coming Battle