Tag: Democracy

The Big Picture: Trump on Twitter

On its face, Twitter appears to be a quintessentially democratic medium. It promotes individualized expression, helps build social networks, and, until recently, seemed to epitomize the decentralized ...

The Constitution: When Less Is More

If music is the space between the notes, the United States Constitution is a magnum opus of silence. At about 4,500 words, it’s pretty slim, and there’s a lot you’d expect to see in a foundational ...

The Big Picture

This public symposium is a collective effort to assess the rise of Trump and the impact of America’s unsettling turn toward authoritarian rule. It’s a call for us to pull back from the deluge of tweets …

Populism, Right and Left

It says a lot about the mood among liberal commentators that George W. Bush is currently being remade into a kind of quaint grandee of American politics. Even Bernie Sanders, a staunch opponent of ...

How Oligarchy Breeds Tyranny

The last 18 months have seen a surge of public interest in classical texts. In Plato’s dialogue the Republic, readers have found an almost perfect sketch of Donald ...

The Yurt of Fiction

This summer, George Saunders wrote that Donald Trump had given him a gift. Saunders had been traveling across the country, attending Trump rallies ...

Cuba’s Next Chapter

In April 2016, Cuba’s Communist Party (PCC) convened its Seventh Party Congress. Sprinkled throughout the published proceedings were a few attempts at levity by the otherwise laconic Raúl Castro. One ...

Against Despair

Despair is everywhere, and for good reason. Huge numbers of refugees are fleeing warfare and violence, while unceasing terrorist attacks are feeding the right-wing populist surge all across Europe ...

Bro Uprising

With Pierce Brown’s lately concluded Red Rising trilogy, the phenomenon of the blockbuster Young Adult dystopian novel that brought us The Hunger Games and Divergent has reached its eye-popping ...

Beyond the Bubble

This essay was originally published in The Caravan.   In 2002, a year after Amartya Sen’s well-known essay on hunger, “Old Torments and New Blunders,” was first published, I travelled through ...

Turkey’s Progressive Past

In her posthumously published memoir, written in the late 1960s, the journalist Sabiha Sertel reflected on her life in exile from Turkey, her home country. She had lived through a period of ...

Retrofitting Totalitarianism

No sooner did the Western media learn to think of Vladimir Putin as an authoritarian ruler than the Russian regime changed again. Since Putin returned to the office of president in March 2012, Russia has experienced ...

Beyond Neoliberalism

Most of the people I know are constantly seeking self-improvement. Not spiritual enlightenment or knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but the kind of self-improvement that promises career advancement ...

Stop Hyping Academic Freedom

Universities may be among the oldest of our institutions, but they have changed significantly during the millennium or so since they were established. Roughly speaking, the history of the European ...