What is Democracy? The typical answer would be the “Rule of the People.” While this is the direct translation of the Greek term, it is instructive that the original term used for Athenian democracy was Isonomy – “same rights for everyone.” The word “democracy” was used alternatively with “ochlocracy” as meaning “mob rule.” Why is… Continue reading #207: Democracy Only Works with a Strong Separation of Powers
#188: What Is “The West” Today? From “Civilization” to Cooperation
Quite regularly, we can hear explanations about both foreign and domestic policy that rely on concepts about “the West.” It is rather commonplace to assume that the world is divided into different political camps that are influenced by different cultures. No other division is more popular than the distinction between those countries who are part… Continue reading #188: What Is “The West” Today? From “Civilization” to Cooperation
#176: Get Brexit Undone
With Boris Johnson finally understanding the power of reality, there may be a real chance now to reevaluate what his policies have brought. Chiefly among them, of course, is Brexit. It is clear, of course, that Brexit has had many fathers and mothers. The UK has always promoted an understanding of itself as somehow both… Continue reading #176: Get Brexit Undone
#144: Putin’s War Against Ukraine Is a War Against All of Us
Now we know Putin was lying all along. I must admit, I am surprised, I would not have thought this was coming, not like that. The pattern is clear now: Putin has for planned this for many years. He has rebuilt Russia into a fascist state – centered on military, mafia, state-controlled business, using the… Continue reading #144: Putin’s War Against Ukraine Is a War Against All of Us
#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
#126: NATO Is Not Threatening Russia, and Putin Knows It. Some Thoughts on Solutions.
We are hearing all kinds of complaints by the Russian leadership in recent weeks, accompanied by a troop buildup near Ukraine. Allegedly, NATO has been threatening Russia, and that somehow justifies whatever Putin may deem justified. Let’s clarify some points, and hint at solutions. NATO is not threatening Russia. It is a defense organization. Even… Continue reading #126: NATO Is Not Threatening Russia, and Putin Knows It. Some Thoughts on Solutions.
#117: It’s Not About Trump. It’s About the Issues
As Democrats are (hopefully) reflecting on their election loss in Virginia, they should understand that it is not about Trump, it has never been about Trump – and that even Trump has not been about Trump (well, maybe a little bit). It is about the issues. First, Bill Clinton knew that it is about the… Continue reading #117: It’s Not About Trump. It’s About the Issues
#91: The Transatlantic Perspective Needs to be Global
Since the end of World War II, the transatlantic focus has been on the northern hemisphere. This is a result primarily influenced by three factors: The inevitable realization that the defense of Europe against any aggressor can only be successful if North America, especially the United States, is included in any European security framework. Any… Continue reading #91: The Transatlantic Perspective Needs to be Global
#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
#72: Can We Trust The Media?
I. Introduction, because this is a Longer Text and it Needs Headings There appears to be a sense among many people that there is a problem with “the media.” Trust in media seems low, and there is a societal division with regards to which media is seen as reliable, which as misleading or fake. These… Continue reading #72: Can We Trust The Media?