Yale and Harvard law schools have led a small movement of leading law schools refusing to participate in the corrupt practice of ranking schools led by institutions such as U.S. News & World Report. Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, explains why these rankings are not only silly, but dangerous.
Victor Orbán won a resounding reelection in Hungary this month. Marine Le Pen is once again rallying the illiberal democrats of France. Recep Erdogan has solidified his rule in Turkey. And Donald Trump continues to control the Republican Party in the United States. All look to Vladimir Putin as an example of the new fascism, the nationalist and authoritarian rule of ethnically coherent nation states.
The politician, for Arendt, is someone who speaks and acts in such a way as to reaffirm or reconstitute the political community around a common and healthy sense of what is right and wrong. The challenge of appealing to the sensuscommunis today is that all the political incentives are to split the community, to appeal to a part of the whole, a faction, or a polarized movement. Jonathan Haidt argues that the rampant polarization of our political world has been exacerbated by social media.
Michael Kruse interviews Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present. Kruse asks Ben-Ghiat, “Is America still a full democracy?”
Thomas Edsall looks at recent academic research on why citizens vote for authoritarian leaders. He finds that in a hyper-partisan environment, voters in democracies privilege the victory of their side over the maintenance of democratic norms.
Moisés Naim writes that a new breed of autocrats “uses populism, capitalizes on polarization, and revels in post-truth politics to undermine democratic norms and amass power, preferably for life.
David King went to fight in Ukraine in part to escape his own descent into conspiracy theories and cynicism. Alexander Clapp looks deeply into the way that King’s experience in Afghanistan led to his loss of faith in the United States cultural, military, and political elites.
What is behind the pro-Putin sentiment on both the far right and the far left? If you get past your revulsion at those who seemingly embrace Putinism for cynical and self-interested reasons, the support for Putin has a real source in the rampant distrust and disdain for political and cultural elites. Ian Buruma explains.
There are all sorts of books written about How Democracies Die. Hannah Arendt argued that the great threats to democracies are bureaucratization and bigness, both of which led to Praxis-Entzug, a feeling of disempowerment and depoliticization. This certainly seems to be happening in France. Ivanne Trippenbach, Julie Carriat, Laurent Telo, Solenn de Royer and Olivier Faye write in Le Monde that the Presidential election in France has encountered unprecedented apathy. Ivanne Trippenbach, Julie Carriat, Laurent Telo, Solemn de Royer and Olivier Faye write in Le Monde that the Presidential election in France has encountered unprecedented apathy.
Michael Bloom writes about the importance of Lessing’s play Nathan the Wise, the first play performed in Germany in 1945 after the fall of the Nazis. In discussing the reception of the play, Bloom focuses on two different reactions by Hannah Arendt, who came to see Lessing as the great thinker of political friendship.