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Revolution leads to repression. If the utopian convulsions of the 20th century are our guide, it would be impossible to conclude otherwise. The Soviet Union, Communist China, the Islamic Republic, capitalist Russia. In each and every case, the path to democracy was consistently compromised. (More…)

The last time Barack Obama intervened in European politics was during the Brexit referendum campaign. Coming out for the Remain camp, Obama backed the UK’s membership of the EU on the grounds of economic stability. (More…)

The machine, the synonym for production at large, has refined and subtilized—even spiritualized itself to a degree almost inconceivable, nor is there any doubt but that the future has far greater surprises in store. (More…)

Last year saw more refugees displaced and more people dying at sea than ever before. We look back at the major milestones and significant policy shifts of 2016. (More…)

I am wont, in these days of political turmoil, to find myself lying awake in the empty hours of the night. At such times I often read and reread the columns of Lewis Lapham. This is not only because of his consummate skill as a writer of short essays, but also because his writing from the 1980s, through the early noughties, functions like a sort of core sample of American culture. (More…)

As 2016 comes to an end, we’re hearing a lot of talk about the end of liberal politics, and even democracy itself, after the UK voted for Brexit and Donald Trump won the US election. These two events seem to capture the year. (More…)

At the first glance, and even when longer survey has been made, both Paris and Berlin — and these may stand as the representative Continental cities — seem to offer every possible facility for the work of women. (More…)

France is lost. Or so it would appear if you read the country’s newspapers regularly. Marine Le Pen will be the next president. The Socialists can only give in to the banks. Racism is the new norm. Emergency powers have become permanent. The only alternative is fascism. (More…)

Rebel-held Aleppo was the first casualty of President-elect Donald Trump’s emerging world order. Annia Ciezadlo explains what to expect next in Syria. (More…)

If Mecca is the most holy site in Islam, Germany assumes a similar significance for fascists. So ferocious were the talkbacks on right-wing websites following Monday’s attack on a Berlin Christmas market, it was as though a pig had been set loose in a mosque. (More…)

The 2016 presidential race left America more polarized than ever. Also affected were US Jews, not least by an unnerving resurgence of anti-Semitism in the wake of the Trump campaign, which was stoked, many claim, by senior advisor Steve Bannon and the extremist right-wing ideologues of his alt-right base. (More…)

For certain crimes mankind has ordained penalties of exceptional severity, in order to emphasise a general abhorrence. In Rome, for example, a parricide, or the murderer of any near relation, was thrown into deep water, tied up in a sack together with a dog, a cock, a viper, and a monkey, which were probably symbols of his wickedness, and must have given him a lively time before death supervened. (More…)