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Communism

Communist Takeover of Nanking

ADST | Posted 07.30.2015 | World
ADST

On April 23, 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, Mao's People's Liberation Army (PLA) captured the city of Nanking, now known as Nanjing, then capital of China and headquarters of the Nationalist Party (also known as the Kuomintang or KMT).

A Look in the Mirror

Fron Nahzi | Posted 07.16.2015 | Books
Fron Nahzi

In Modern Albania, Fred Abrahams has managed to put Albania's past, current, and future leaders under one roof and monitored their deeds for 25 years. In first-person narrative, Abrahams turns the tables from Big Brother watching you to us watching the Big Brothers.

Albania 1990 -- Embassy Storm

Fred Abrahams | Posted 07.12.2015 | World
Fred Abrahams

Ervis Gega was 16 years old in summer 1990 when hundreds of frustrated Albanians, craving to rejoin the world, began storming foreign embassies in their capital. Gega and her relatives watched the news on Italian television from their hometown and quickly made up their minds.

Mandarins and China's Markets: When Faith Fades

Tom Doctoroff | Posted 07.09.2015 | Business
Tom Doctoroff

The Great China Stock Crash of 2015 may be recalled as the negative inflection point at which the faith of Chinese in their central government faded.

Obama to End Three More Wars: Vietnam and Cold War Finally Over, Civil War Next

Richard Brodsky | Posted 07.07.2015 | Politics
Richard Brodsky

Put aside ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They weren't so much divisive as the American people changed their mind, once the lying stopped. Ending them was relatively easy. Obama is now taking on the tough ones. He's moving to end the Vietnam War and the Cold War and even the Civil War.

History Will Look Favorably Upon the Cuban Thaw

Daniel Raphael | Posted 07.06.2015 | College
Daniel Raphael

Looking back I believe future generations will look toward this opening of Cuban relations as one of Obama's most successful foreign policy initiatives.

Is the Cold War Coming Back? Hardly

Jonathan Adelman | Posted 06.30.2015 | World
Jonathan Adelman

There is much talk -- most recently by Secretary of State John Kerry -- of the "new Cold War." This ignores a simple fact: A weakened Russia can hardly launch a new Cold War.

Street Art & Gender in Mongolia

Emily O'Dell | Posted 06.24.2015 | Arts
Emily O'Dell

Whenever I'm heading off to Mongolia for research, colleagues and friends react with a mix of bewilderment and concern -- as if I'm flying away to a faraway planet.

Returning Poland to Europe

John Feffer | Posted 06.23.2015 | World
John Feffer

Central Europe had been kidnapped, the Czech writer Milan Kundera once wrote in a celebrated essay from 1984. It had been dragged eastward by the Soviet Union after World War II. And like a displaced person yearning to return home, the region couldn't wait until it could rejoin Europe.

Yoga Might Achieve What Communism Didn't: A Response to a Communist Critic of Yoga

Vamsee Juluri | Posted 06.22.2015 | Religion
Vamsee Juluri

Even if it seems commercialized and narcissistic at times, the yoga culture one sees today has not only an individual health and beauty element but a far more promising social-spiritual one.

Pig Farming in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 06.13.2015 | World
John Feffer

Theirs is a family farm, which is nothing like the industrial farming that dominates American agriculture. The Janeczeks keep about 90 sows and produce about 1,300 piglets a year that they then fatten up and sell.

Underlying: The Deceit of Capitalism

Dylan Brody | Posted 06.01.2015 | Business
Dylan Brody

If we're really honest with ourselves as a society - and I know we rarely are - capitalism has developed into a sort of cultural sociopathy. We can p...

Robert Putnam's 'Our Kids' and the Story of Us

Harry Boyte | Posted 05.28.2015 | Books
Harry Boyte

Putnam calls for citizens to lobby for federal policies such as expanded tax credits for the poor, more day care and growth in community colleges -- much the legislative agenda of President Obama, who was denounced for "class warfare" when he proposed it.

The Worst of All Possible Worlds

John Feffer | Posted 06.01.2015 | Politics
John Feffer

Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge, combines the optimal features of capitalism and collectivism.

Why Does Everyone Hate Libertarians?

Druce Vertes, CFA | Posted 05.19.2015 | Politics
Druce Vertes, CFA

We need libertarians to defend freedom. They should be constructive in their skepticism of anything that threatens liberty, whether it's government or private interests, and mindful of the tradeoffs. There aren't enough libertarians like that.

The Market Before the Market in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.17.2015 | World
John Feffer

In the 1980s, economist Marcin Swiecicki was at the center of the discussions over the path of economic reform in Poland. We talked about his perspective on the economic changes that took place after 1990, his accomplishments as mayor, and his view of the political situation today in Poland.

The Fallacy in the Culture Wars: The Individual vs. the Collective

Dave Pruett | Posted 05.17.2015 | Religion
Dave Pruett

At the root of the culture wars lies a fundamental dichotomy in worldviews. Which is more essential to humanity: the individual or the collective?

The Problem of Trust in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.15.2015 | World
John Feffer

In 1940, the Soviet NKVD murdered 22,000 Polish army officers, police, and intellectuals in the Katyn forest and then pinned the blame on the Nazis. In 1990, the Soviet Union finally admitted its guilt in the matter.

The Three Mistakes of Poland's Transition

John Feffer | Posted 05.13.2015 | World
John Feffer

Start with a failing economy. Throw in a team of inexperienced politicians, people in fact who had spent their careers deliberately avoiding official politics. Add a population with the highest possible expectations. And, as a wild card, introduce an international community that was not offering very much in the way of financial assistance.

The Moral Revolution in East-Central Europe

John Feffer | Posted 05.10.2015 | World
John Feffer

Some of the most powerful critiques of the Communist governments in East-Central Europe were moral. Vaclav Havel, for instance, argued that the regimes, with their propaganda and inequalities and corruption, were built on a foundation of lies. He proposed the alternative of "living in truth."

Want to Fight New Forms of Financial Corruption? Hire Women.

Lynn Parramore | Posted 05.05.2015 | Business
Lynn Parramore

Social anthropologist Janine Wedel, author, most lately, of Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt Our Finances, Freedom, and Security, has spent decades getting to the bottom of how powerful people wield influence. Truth and transparency, she warns, have devolved into a performance art.

The Fragility of Federalism in Europe

John Feffer | Posted 05.04.2015 | World
John Feffer

Slovenian poet and cultural critic Aleš Debeljak and I had a wide-ranging conversation on the reasons for Yugoslavia's unraveling, the literary landscape after the wars of the 1990s, the challenge of constructing a pan-European history, the brittleness of social and political institutions.

Negotiating the Transition in Poland

John Feffer | Posted 05.01.2015 | World
John Feffer

Janusz Reykowski was a key figure in the reform wing of Poland's Communist Party. A psychologist, he was an early proponent of promoting reconciliation between the Party and the Solidarity trade union movement in 1989. In 2013 I interviewed him about what had happened in the intervening years.

Naomi Klein's Own Form of Climate Change Denial: Blame Capitalism

Till Bruckner | Posted 06.28.2015 | Politics
Till Bruckner

Having thus alienated mainstream readers -- exactly the people the climate change movement most urgently needs to reach out to and bring on board -- Naomi Klein's book then goes on to block meaningful debate among the already converted.

Rebuilding Poland's Jewish Community

John Feffer | Posted 06.26.2015 | World
John Feffer

Rachel Zacharia always knew she was Jewish. Her father, a Party official, read and wrote in Yiddish, and her parents spoke Yiddish with friends. But she didn't start thinking about her Jewish identify until 1968.