Europe’s Populist Reformation

They were nationalists. They despised the huge supranational institution that ruled over Europe. They expressed little faith in the bureaucracies of power and preferred a more direct connection to the people. And they used the latest technologies to promote their messages. Take your pick: the Protestants of the 16th century or the populists of today. It might not seem obvious to put Marine Le...
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Earth: Game Over?

Video games usually provide you with multiple lives. If you step on a landmine or get hit by an assassin, you get another chance. Even if such virtual reincarnation is not built into the rules of the game, you can always reboot and start over again. You can try again hundreds of times until you get it right. This formula applies to first-person shooter games as well as simulation exercises like...
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The Greatest Threat to Europe

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Today, Europe has left war behind. In place of jostling empires, there is the European Union, a modern family beset by the usual bickering but nothing that a smothering bureaucracy can’t handle. Even Sarajevo, where the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked world conflict in 1914 and a ghastly siege claimed...
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Standing Up in Turkey

I arrived in Istanbul last September just as protests were flaring up throughout Turkey. An activist had died at a protest in a southern city, one of several victims of the confrontations with riot police over the last year. By the time I got to Taksim Square in the heart of the city, the riot police had broken up the peaceful demonstration and chased protesters to all points of the compass. I...
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The Cancer in the Middle of Europe

There’s no goose-stepping in the streets. There are no curfews or explicit censorship or martial law. The cafes, in fact, are full of happy, laughing people. Tourists continue to flood the country. If you don’t speak Hungarian and if you don’t speak to Hungarians, you could visit Budapest and believe that you’re in just another beautiful European city. Sure, there might seem to be an...
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Taking It to the Streets (in the GDR)

The home movies show a bunch of young kids doing skateboard stunts all around their neighborhood. Without the sound, the action could be taking place almost anywhere. The kids have clothes and haircuts that look like the late 1970s, the town they live in has a prefab drabness. But their goofiness and exuberance is universal. Look a little closer and you’ll see that their skateboards are...
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