The New School © Billie Grace Ward | Flickr

Exile as Haven

On The New School Dorm Room Doors Vandalized with Swastikas

Mural of Marx-Engels-Lenin in Factory Yard - Along Rail Route to Kazan - Russia © Adam Jones | Flickr
EssaysFeatureIn DepthThe Left

Antifascism as Political Passion in the Life of Cristina Luca

Far-left politics and radical universalism (including its Stalinist variant) seduced countless intellectuals during the twentieth century. Yet, this absorbing subject still needs to be deciphered and recalled. In a similar vein, the topic of apostasy, that is to say, the awakening to what Immanuel Kant once called “dogmatic slumber,” …

The Espace Leopold, the seat of the European Parliament in Brussels, 2007 © Alina Zienowicz | Wikimedia Commons
CapitalismDemocracyEssaysFascism: Old and NewFeature

The End of Europe

The process of European unification is undergoing a deep crisis, certainly the deepest since it started at the beginning of the 1950s. In less than a year, the EU faced two major tests—first the Greek quarrel, then the refugee crisis — that revealed its true face: a mixture of impotence, unwillingness, egoism, arrogance and cynicism. It is not a pretty spectacle.  …

Berlin Wall, June 1989 © Angr | Wikimedia Commons

The Communist Roots of Anti-Refugee Sentiment

Those seeking to explain why the response to foreigners on the part of Eastern Europeans — in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and eastern Germany — has been so severe and contemptuous have to take a look back.

It must have been shortly before we left for Germany, in 1980 or 1981. My father had taken me — I was five or six at the time — for a walk at the edge of our apartment complex in Toruń, Poland. Along the way he pointed at a deserted construction site. It was supposed to be an indoor swimming pool, but the materials and willpower needed to complete the project were obviously lacking. The pool basin had been finished many years earlier; …

Pegida counter-demonstration

All Quiet on the Eastern Front: Part 2

Notes from a Pegida counter-demonstration in Dresden

“Say it loud and say it clear, refugees are welcome here.”

There is something exhilarating and powerful about walking through the dark, empty streets of Dresden’s old town chanting this slogan. A solitary message of support in a continent that is in a race to rebuild the old borders and impose new mobility restrictions with as much fanfare as it sought to dismantle them only twenty-five years earlier. Yet the message is also unnerving…

Dresden's 581-year-old Stiezelmarkt © Marina Kaneti | Courtesy of the author

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Notes from a Pegida counter-demonstration in Dresden

It is 5.30 on a cold and rainy Monday evening in Dresden. To the casual tourist, there might be nothing extraordinary about the time or day of the week. The eerie tranquility of warmly flashing Christmas decorations, the ubiquitous smell of Glühwein, and the ingeniously crafted stands of the world famous Dresden Stiezelmarkt – all suggest that the city is ready to settle into a beloved holiday tradition…

A GDR border guard looks over the wall, 1988 © Neptuul | Wikimedia Commons
CapitalismDemocracyEssaysThe 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 …

A desolate German winter, devoid of humanity © Jens-Olaf Walter | Flickr
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 …

Daniel Barenboim © Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda | Flickr

Why Iran is Afraid of Daniel Barenboim

Dischords instead of overtures

No Art of the Fugue in the land of a thousand centrifuges: Iran has informed Daniel Barenboim that his intended concert with the Berlin orchestra in Tehran has been cancelled. There will be no overture during the long-anticipated easing following the nuclear deal. This is a blow for Barenboim as well as for Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, who was meant to be the patron of the concert.

The official explanation is interesting …