Bernie Sanders: Socialist Superhero?

Bernie Sanders: Socialist Superhero?

It seems fair to say that most observers of politics in the United States have been surprised by the ascent of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the presidency. I put myself in a special category, though, with respect to that feeling of surprise. As a political scientist, I purport to have at least better than average observational skills and analytic tools focused on the world of politics. More»

Nazis in Dover

Nazis in Dover

On January 30th, we joined anti-fascist demonstrators in confronting far-right groups, including the National Front, the Southeast Alliance, Combat 18, and the Scottish Defence League, as they marched in Dover. We ended up being confronted by brutal violence, that was easy to rationalize, in the context of the British government’s incitement against migrants and refugees, and its fiscal policies. More»

Going Underground

Going Underground

For radicals, it can be exciting. Graffiti denouncing god scrawled on churches. Manifestos posted to to nearly every utility box. Streets and squares named after left-wing icons, like Karl Marx, and Walter Benjamin, in nearly every district, in the western half of the city, as well as the the predictable east. More»

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Darkening Age

Darkening Age

The signal achievements of postwar Western Europe were undoubtedly impressive: robust welfare states, acceptance and even celebration of previously persecuted minorities, a commitment to peace-first foreign policy, and, above all, the European Community and then Union. But they were also the product of an illusion. Because of depopulation and the delayed effects of decolonization, the continent seemed far more spacious than it does now. More»

Taking Advantage of Islam

Taking Advantage of Islam

On January 7 2015, Cherif and Said Kouachi, two French Algerians radicalised by the war in Iraq, entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo. It was a Wednesday, and the writers had gathered for an editorial meeting. When the shooting began, the satirists thought it was firecrackers. More»

Only Arming Friends

Only Arming Friends

The United States has a long history of supplying weapons to armed proxies by way of deniable third parties. Some of these efforts were deemed successful at the time, such as the arming of the Afghan mujahedeen in the 1980s or Air America supply runs to anti-communist militias in Indochina. More»

Jihad Pigs, Part I

Jihad Pigs, Part I

Brigadier General S. K. Malik’s book Quranic Concept of War was published in Lahore in 1979. Malik articulates a uniquely Islamic contribution to ‘just war’ theory, using the Qu’ran to discuss wartime ethics and the nature of modern jihad. More»

Bringing Darkness to Light

Bringing Darkness to Light

Forest Haven Asylum is the most disturbing place I’ve ever visited. Maybe that’s why I felt compelled to return there repeatedly. Nothing could undo the human atrocities the asylum witnessed in its seven decades of existence. Maybe documenting their horrific legacy could show people how terribly wrong the ideology behind the asylum system really is. More»

Syria in Russian

Syria in Russian

In realpolitik minds, Vladimir Putin casts the shadow of a shrewd player on the world stage. He opposes ‘humanitarian interventions’, while he aggressively defends Russia’s national sovereignty. Even still, it’s true Putin understands power as well as he wields it. Putin’s primary interest is in the consolidation of the state and the maintenance of its power. More»

Chechnya Déjà Vu

Chechnya Déjà Vu

The Russians are here. The echo chamber couldn’t be any larger. From Beirut to Washington, everyone has been repeating the same thing. Referring to Moscow’s military build-up in Syria, you can understand the surprise. For the first time in fifteen years, Russia had comitted military assets to the War on Terror. Or so it appears. More»

Segregation in Theory and Practice

Segregation in Theory and Practice

By 1948, black troops, for so long limited to a few job categories, could be found in a majority of military occupational fields. The officer corps was open to all without the restrictions of a racial quota, and while a quota for enlisted men still existed, all racial distinctions in standards of enlistment were gone. More»

Why I Am An Atheist

Why I Am An Atheist

Indian anarchist and revolutionary socialist Bhagat Singh was hanged in Lahore on 23 March 1931. He was twenty-four years old, and convicted of killing police deputy John Saunders out of revenge for his own killing of the influential nationalist Lala Lajpat Rai during a protest. More»

Don't Call It Freedom Rock

Don’t Call It Freedom Rock

I’d been looking forward to reading ex-Bitch Magnet guitarist Jon Fine’s Your Band Sucks, his memoir of his life in the indie rock scene, for some time. I’d been fascinated with (the stupidly named) Bitch Magnet ever since I first heard Ben Hur in Thirty Ought Six front man Sean Roberts’ basement in Portland a couple of lifetimes ago. More»

Towards a Post-German Germany

Towards a Post-German Germany

When you think of Sweden, France or Germany, what do you picture? More importantly, whom do you picture? For all of the attention that has been paid to the problems caused by immigration in the postwar era, particularly since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, many people still regard them as temporary, the result of a state of emergency at odds with the continent’s essence. More»

The Hungarian Conspiracy

The Hungarian Conspiracy

In May, the European Commission first proposed a quota system for distributing refugees in the EU. Despite the difficulty the executive has had in obtaining approval for it, countries hit hardest by the crisis, such as Italy, Greece and Malta enthusiastically support the plan, as do EU heavyweights France Germany. Ideally, their buy-in would make the difference. More»