Slowbalization: Boon or Bane?

A group of Italians started the Slow Food movement back in the 1980s. Stay away from fast-food restaurants, they urged: eat local, focus on traditional recipes, relax, and enjoy your meal. The Slow Food movement began as a protest against McDonald’s, which opened a new franchise near the Spanish Steps in Rome. But it grew into much more than that. Slow Food was a finger in the eye of...
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Is America Crazy?

The United States witnessed three mass shootings in one week recently in California, Texas, and Ohio. There have been more than 250 mass shootings so far in 2019, more than one a day. This year in America, more than 33,000 shooting incidents have killed more than 8,700 people. America is the richest country in the world, but it has more than half a million homeless and 28 million people without...
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North Korea’s Momentous Transition

North Korea belongs to a dwindling category of countries known as “totalitarian.” Compared to their authoritarian cousins, totalitarian regimes aspire to control all aspects of society. As Italian fascist Benito Mussolini once put it: “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” In such countries, there is no autonomous business sector or civil...
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Afghanistan: Out of the Graveyard and into the Pyre?

Afghanistan has long been touted as the “graveyard of empires.” The British and the Soviets certainly discovered that lesson to their great regret. Perhaps future historians will judge the failure of the United States to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan over a two-decade period as a critical factor in the loss of American hegemony as well. If so, these historians will no doubt chuckle at the...
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The GOP’s Sinister New Nationalism

The worst thing you could be in the Soviet Union in the late 1940s was a “rootless cosmopolitan.” The epithet sometimes came with a death sentence. The Soviet Communist Party, under the strong guiding hand of Joseph Stalin, had long turned its back on the internationalism of its founders and their commitment to world revolution. In its place, Stalin vowed to “build socialism in one...
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How to Decide the Fate of the Planet

At its best, the Earth was once likened to a spaceship that sails through the heavens with a crew working together for the common good. Thanks to climate change, this metaphor no longer works. Our planet is now more like a lifeboat that’s sprung a major leak. People onboard are beginning to panic and the clock is ticking. It is, however, the perfect environment to test out the best way to...
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