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.
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!
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
When criticized by others, some governments frequently claim that any disapproval from the outside world would be an unwelcome intrusion into “internal matters” that should be rejected out of hand. Furiously, foreign ministers, heads of state, state media and sometimes even religious leaders reject any attempt to condemn any attacks on human rights or territorial… Continue reading #75: There are no “Internal Matters”
The gloating of the assembled dictators of the world and their cronies had a certain unintended humor in it. After a few ragtag misfits decided to play the role of domestic terrorists and invade US congress, causing a half-day of mayhem and chaos, including four casualties, the premature glee and schadenfreude coming out of Iran,… Continue reading #69: No, American Democracy is Not Dead
We are seeing increasing tension in the world again. There were a few years, namely the 1990s, when the world seemed to be growing more closely together, overcoming differences and seeking understanding over division (with a few painful exceptions). Then, 9/11 happened, which brought new wars. The transatlantic alliance was put under strain, globalization brought… Continue reading #68: We Do Not Need Enemies
Allegedly, Russia has no Coronavirus, but a rise in pneumonia cases. You certainly know what means. We know China lied about the outbreak, and it is safe to assume they will continue to lie, and they certainly are making sure no journalist is telling the truth. Iran and China try to pin the outbreak to… Continue reading #11: Authoritarian Governments Must Lie, and Democracies are Grown-Up Systems