CapitalismEssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

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…

EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionRace

Of Honor and Despair in Dark Times

Hannah Arendt on Stefan Zweig

In 1943, with confirmation of the Nazis’ implementation of what the ossified bureaucratic language called Endlösung (the final solution) — the extermination of all European Jews — Hannah Arendt published an essay in the émigré journal Aufbau (printed in New York) on Stefan Zweig and the bygone world of yesterday, namely the world of dreams and illusions of German culture’s bourgeois cosmopolitanism. As one of its most influential and admired voices …


How Not to Remember 9/11

There are two memorials for 9/11 at the site of the World Trade Center (“Ground Zero”). The first, the Memorial proper, is a park of around eight acres, consisting of paved space, rows of trees (swamp oaks) and grass, and concrete benches. Within this space are two large square pits (“pools,” “voids”), each of which has water cascading down its walls, disappearing into a smaller square hole in the center. Surrounding …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionTheory & Practice

Ecology, Security, and the Death of Liberal Democracy

In a recent episode of the FX series Fargo, Minnesota Sheriff Lou Solverson answers a key witness’s refusal to accept police protection from a local crime syndicate by recounting his experience in Vietnam: “There’s a look a boy gets when he’s been shot, or a landmine takes off his legs, …

CapitalismEssaysTheory & Practice

The Paris Climate Deal: Just Words?

Or just enough to move the earth?

As the world leaders read through endless scripted statements about making history and saving the planet for our children, environmental critics were already denouncing the Paris climate deal as a fraud. It is not difficult to see why. First, the deal contains no legal obligations for countries to cut emissions, and there …

EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Orbán’s Politics of Fear and Hatred in Hungary

On a European nation's far-right response to the refugee crisis

Although the position on the migrant issue put forward by the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, is morally hard to digest, many people think it is nevertheless the only way to save Europe from the flood of masses that threatens to destabilize the continent. I dispute this opinion. In addition to the moral issues it presents, Orbán’s plan for Europe is doomed to end in disaster. …

Arts & DesignReviewsSex & GenderThe Left

Not Fade Away: Joan Didion’s Hollywood Life

A review of the new biography

Who is Joan Didion anyway? In The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion, Tracy Daugherty decided to find the writer in her most public work. “Does the life reveal the art, the art the life?” he asks in the prologue (xxiii). If you find fault with The Last Love Song it will be in this decision — not in Daugherty’s entertaining style, which often reads like the New Journalism that Didion helped to establish; nor in his …

CapitalismEssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Zuckerberg & Chan Are Us

Philanthrocapitalism and the public good

Almost forty-eight years to the day before Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced the creation of their limited liability company and pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook shares within their lifetimes, a lawyer lectured a roomful of stockbrokers on “How to Obtain Maximum Tax Advantages by Using Securities …


Challenging the Status Quo on Therapy’s Place in Schizophrenia Treatment

A discussion of recent developments

Historic wisdom has held that high doses of antipsychotic medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia — but that wisdom has been challenged by a new study reported in an article in