In a speech at The Federalist Society last week, Bari Weiss points out the many similarities between what happened in Israel on October 7, and what happened in New York City and Washington DC. on September 11, 2001.
Timothy Snyder explains how Russia is a fascist state today and why that matters.
I was fortunate enough to be gifted the opportunity to award Jerry Kohn an honorary degree in Humane Letters yesterday at the 2022 Bard College Commencement. There is no one more deserving of a degree in humanity and letters than is Jerry and it was a special day. Here is the commendation I wrote.
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.
Hannah Arendt is a thinker who insists that we make distinctions. One of Arendt’s most controversial distinctions is that between racism and what she alternatively will call “race thinking” in The Origins of Totalitarianism, and then "prejudice" in many of her later essays. In the wake of the shooting in Buffalo last week, John McWhorter made his own distinctions while trying to understand the place of racism in U.S. society. McWhorter argues that we use the word racism today to mean too many things. He states that we need to distinguish between different aspects of what we call racism in order to think more clearly about the problems and prevent such tragedies as the shooting in Buffalo.
Wendy Brown is interviewed by David Marchese about the politics of speech codes, wokeness, and academic freedom on college campuses.
As the world comes to the realization that old-fashioned ground warfare may be in our present and our future, the New York Times’ Azmat Khan has written a deeply researched account of the U.S. air war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There is no dictatorship in the United States threatening university administrators and faculty with prison for violating national security laws. And yet Sergiu Klainerman argues that too many administrators are acting as if there were. According to Klainerman, even those administrators who profess to support freedom of expression and academic freedom are so cowed by DEI administrators that they refuse to publicly stand up for the academic freedom of their professors.
Peter Baehr has spoken multiple times at Hannah Arendt Center conferences and until recently was a professor at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. In a new essay about the abandonment of academic freedom and intellectual integrity in Hong Kong, Baehr describes how “administrative ecstasy” has led university managers to quickly abandon liberal values, discipline professors who are not loyal to the Chinese government’s line, remove offensive books and artwork, and expel students who question University censorship.
Frances Haugen, the woman who blew the whistle on Facebook, has put her influence behind the European Union’s attempt to regulate social media. The European Digital Services Act passed this month seeks to “make social media far better without impinging on free speech.” The Act is an important model because it does not regulate content or take aim at offensive speech. Instead, it requires that social media companies reveal how their algorithms privilege some material over others. This new transparency will show how it is that lies and hate proliferate. And it will empower governments, corporate boards, and other public actors to hold media companies accountable for their actions. Haugen, who will be a keynote speaker at the Hannah Arendt Center Conference “Rage and Reason: Democracy Under the Tyranny of Social Media."