#166: Reflections on Memorial Day

It is strange to have to look up the meaning of a central holiday of the country into which you have immigrated. I grew up in Socialist/Communist East Germany, and that was a criminal state, I did not care for its traditions. The Catholic Church dictated most of my holiday schedule – the Protestants varied… Continue reading #166: Reflections on Memorial Day

#165: Realpolitik Is About Appeasing Power, not Reality or Morality

Henry Kissinger reminded us recently that Realpolitik means to make a compromise with a “great power” like Russia. Specifically, that compromise was supposed to respect Russian claims and restore the “status quo ante” before the most recent attack – thus codifying the theft of Crimea and parts of the Donbass. Such a statement clearly ignores… Continue reading #165: Realpolitik Is About Appeasing Power, not Reality or Morality

#155: Dear Russia: Make It Stop

Dear Russia, your president is lying to you. That happens sometimes, politicians are not always honest for a variety of reasons. Your president is stealing from you. That also sometimes happens. Your president is ruining you reputation. That also sometimes happens. Your president is doing something that you would really not approve of if you… Continue reading #155: Dear Russia: Make It Stop

#153: The Monstrosity of Vladimir Putin: We Have Learned Nothing From History

A monster is something at which you point because it stands out. It is different, deviant, grotesque; you cannot stop being fascinated by it. It is negatively attractive, holds our attention, draws us in, mesmerizes, makes us trying to understand it – a task at which we typically fail. When speaking about human beings as… Continue reading #153: The Monstrosity of Vladimir Putin: We Have Learned Nothing From History

#152: Democracy vs. Tyranny, or: How Does It Feel to Live in a Dictatorship?

Monument to Giordano Bruno in Rome:A BRUNO - IL SECOLO DA LUI DIVINATO - QUI DOVE IL ROGO ARSE(To Bruno - From the Age he Predicted - Here Where the Fire Burned) We are seeing continuing criticism of current democratic countries become more and more prevalent. This is, of course, legitimate. Criticism is necessary, it… Continue reading #152: Democracy vs. Tyranny, or: How Does It Feel to Live in a Dictatorship?

#138: The West Is not Weak, But It Has Lacked Commitment

Putin my think that the West lost in Afghanistan in 2021, similar to the Soviet Union in 1989. But he is mistaken, and this mistake probably provoked his current behavior. The truth is, strictly militarily speaking, the West could have easily won in Afghanistan, it could have militarily dominated it, subdued it, ended the Taliban… Continue reading #138: The West Is not Weak, But It Has Lacked Commitment

#130: German Hypocrisy: How to Claim to be a Moral Leader While Acting like an International Free-Loader. A Polemic

Living in the United States, it amuses and befuddles me how much Germany seems as a shining beacon in the world to many Americans. Now, while I do have affection for my home country, and take my civic duties seriously, a more realistic and necessarily critical attitude would be helpful. So here goes. You may… Continue reading #130: German Hypocrisy: How to Claim to be a Moral Leader While Acting like an International Free-Loader. A Polemic

#124: Happy New Year 2022!

For the first time in my life, wishing others a “Happy New Year” feels weird. Maybe never before has it seemed so inappropriate, so hollow, so somehow sarcastic to make such a pronouncement. Or maybe not. I have hesitated each single time. Last year, we thought the pandemic would be over with vaccines available. Well,… Continue reading #124: Happy New Year 2022!

#85: Anti-Asian Hate and the Human Capacity for Divisiveness

Hatred against people who may be identified as “Asian” has come into the focus in the recent days. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon, but the attacks seem to have increased in the recent years. This surely may be influenced by the role China’s government has played in enabling the pandemic. But we need… Continue reading #85: Anti-Asian Hate and the Human Capacity for Divisiveness

#83: The Purpose of History, or, We Need to Explain Democracy Better

Francis Fukuyama has been much ridiculed for allegedly claiming that we had reached the “end of history” in the 1990s after the victory of democracy over socialism. His argument, however, was more complex, and consisted rather in an update of Hegel’s analysis of the consequences of the dual victory of Napoleonic France (and its proclaimed… Continue reading #83: The Purpose of History, or, We Need to Explain Democracy Better