CapitalismEssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe Left

On the Other Side of the Berlin Wall

East Germany and the fall

It was a colleague, Jonathan Bach, who discovered that Trebor Scholz and I, both currently associate professors at the New School, happened to be serving in the German military 25 years ago — but on opposite sides of the wall! As such, he brought us together for the Enter Ghost Symposium, giving us an opportunity to reflect on our experiences in …

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EssaysPower and CrisisTheory & Practice

Winter is Coming for Refugees in Germany

On the humanity vs. the organization of refuge

It’s getting cold in Germany. It’s actually hard to believe that it has only been weeks since warm images of the “good” German went around the world, of thousands of people welcoming even more thousands of refugees with food, toys, and clothes at train stations throughout the country. It was only a few months ago that Angela Merkel transformed from the dictator of …

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EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Romania’s Threatened Freedom of Speech

A report on an authoritarian backlash

On October 7, the Romanian Senate passed a law whereby anyone accused of “social defamation” can be subject to penalty. The financial sanction for individual charges varies between 1.000 RON and 30.000 RON (225 Euros-6.750 Euros), whereas fines for group defamation can go up to 22.500 Euros. The person who initiated such a mind-blowing act, Liviu Dragnea, is arguably one of the most questionable …

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CapitalismEssaysMedia/PublicsPsyche

Pizza Rat, a Totem of Our Time

Humans, animals, and life in 2015

For a brief moment in late September, New York City had a new celebrity: Pizza Rat. This furry character — either endearingly repulsive, or repulsively endearing, depending on your sensibility — appeared in most of our social media feeds after a quick-fingered commuter snapped the rodent dragging a large pizza slice down the stairs of a typical, filthy subway station. …

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Arts & DesignReviews

The Guantánamo Saga in Laurie Anderson’s “Habeas Corpus”

A review and reflection

On a brilliantly sunny, fall afternoon, a dozen members of Witness Against Torture — a grassroots group long dedicated to closing the prison camp at Guantánamo — broke from our marathon strategy meeting to see the GTMO-themed installation of the renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson. Titled “Habeas Corpus,” the groundbreaking exhibit was up …

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EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/PublicsThe Left

Letters From St. Petersburg, Part I

Social justice in the Maidan movement in Ukraine

Many researchers analyze the Maidan movement as a part of recent waves of protests shaking the world time and again. However, despite the similarities behind all these movements such as populist identities, anti-state agendas, and more, there is one crucial difference between the movements in the post-socialist world and protest movements in other countries – this difference concerns the social climate. …

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