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Showing posts with the label Cold War

The End of “End of History” and the Arrival of Casino Democracy

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A year ago, on the eve of the Brexit vote, many went to bed confident that the referendum was one big showoff event for those who held a deep-rooted, but utterly misplaced, contempt for the political, social, and economic consequences for the UK’s membership in the EU. They expected that at the end of the day sanity would prevail. Their complacency did them in! Then in November, many went to bed in the US, believing that what happened in the UK half a year before was a unique event, Donald Trump's candidacy for the presidency was a joke, and he had virtually no chance of prevailing. Complacent again. 
If voters - and more importantly, those among them complacent enough to believe that democracy would take care of itself without a robust get-out-the-vote effort - knew then what they know now, they certainly would have gone to the polls. But they didn’t. Instead, they bet on pollsters’ predictions. Their forecasts could not have been more wrong.
In the Brexit referendum, only 36% of …

Trump's Gorbachev Moment

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“I couldn't wait to get to the most powerful position because I thought then I would be able to fix problems that only a leader can fix. But when I got there, I realized we needed a revolutionary change.” These are not the words of the just-inaugurated President Trump, even though they could easily be mistaken for his. These words belong to another president, long fallen into oblivion: the last Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its first and last president – Michail Gorbachev. Unlike Trump, Gorbachev presided over a true “empire of evil”, driven by ideological fanaticism, economic determinism, and political oppression – in a way, a complete opposite of the U.S.: USSR was a communist dictatorship, U.S. is a capitalist liberal democracy; Gorbachev was a career apparatchik and a sincere believer in the virtues of communism, Trump is a businessmen with no prior political experience, whose belief in capitalism is perhaps the only certain characteristic of…