There is a certain overconfidence in the circles I frequent that the world is against Russia and for Ukraine and Nato. But more than half the world is tacitly or explicitly supporting Russia in its war with Ukraine. The Economist looks at the Russian propaganda campaign aimed at non-western countries in Africa and Asia.
Robert Zaretsky looks back to Arendt’s account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann to help make sense of our own failures in thinking through the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
Connor Grubaugh argues that Hannah Arendt’s often-maligned essay “Reflections on Little Rock” offers clues to overcoming new clashes between what he calls “race-conscious and colorblind” advocates in anti-racist movements today.
Jonathan Kay reports on a conference of academic administrators in Canada. There was, Kay writes, barely a mention of Covid, virtual education, or the financial crisis facing many Canadian universities. Instead, the "centerpiece" of the meeting was a report titled Building a Race-Conscious Institution: A Guide and Toolkit for University Leaders Enacting Anti-Racist Organizational Change.
My colleague Justus Rosenberg died last week at the age of 100. Aside from teaching literature, Justus was known for the stories he would tell about his experiences during WWII, which included working with Varian Fry to help save many Jewish writers, artists, and intellectuals, including Hannah Arendt.
John Pavlus interviews Melanie Mitchell, an AI scientist at the Santa Fe Institute. Mitchell is above all concerned with the way human intelligence depends on making analogies. She explains that analogy-making is central because it is key to the human capacity for abstract thinking.
It is craziness to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory, as many states have done. But it is also bad pedagogy to make children feel guilty about the color of their skin or their religion. David Bromwich on how the parents of all races are rebelling against essentialist antiracist discourse in schools.
It has been a busy month for the Academic Freedom Alliance. This time it is not a professor falling afoul of a group think from the left, but three professors being censored from expressing their professional opinions because those opinions run afoul of the Florida Governor.
Wen Stephenson embraces Hannah Arendt’s rejection of collective guilt in order to argue that in thinking about climate change we should resist the idea that we are all equally guilty.
David Graeber’s books have become an increasingly important part of my intellectual life. His searching and restless exploration of what it means to live in freedom is at the forefront of his last and posthumously published book The Dawn of Everything, co-written with David Wengrow. Review by William Deresiewicz.