Freedom and The Weak State

Francis Fukuyama challenges the assumption that freedom and a strong central state are opposing values: … In contemporary China, many of the worst abuses of peasant rights, violations of environmental and safety laws, and cases of gross corruption are the work not of the central government in Beijing but of local party officials or of the… Continue reading Freedom and The Weak State

The Power of Mockery

Otpor’s strategy mirrors one promoted by a rumpled Boston academic named Gene Sharp, who is little known in America but inspires tremors among dictators abroad. Sharp’s guide to toppling despots has been translated into 34 languages so far and was widely circulated in Egypt last year in Arabic. After Otpor toppled Milosevic, it began to… Continue reading The Power of Mockery

China’s Dangerous Lower Middle Class

Back in the 1990s it was often fashionable to argue that increased prosperity would magically transform China into a more liberal political system. Today, that’s clearly not the case. What we’re seeing here, though, is the more likely mechanism for political change—dashed hopes. Peasant farmers often just feel beaten-down and resigned to their fate. But… Continue reading China’s Dangerous Lower Middle Class

China’s Dangerous Lower Middle Class

Back in the 1990s it was often fashionable to argue that increased prosperity would magically transform China into a more liberal political system. Today, that’s clearly not the case. What we’re seeing here, though, is the more likely mechanism for political change—dashed hopes. Peasant farmers often just feel beaten-down and resigned to their fate. But… Continue reading China’s Dangerous Lower Middle Class

Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? If such a man exists, he is sitting in an Israeli military prison

Abu Rahmah’s crime was organizing illegal demonstrations in a West Bank village where all demonstrations are by definition illegal. Abu Rahmah, 39, had long been involved in peaceful, multiethnic protests in the village of Bil’in, where Israel’s separation wall has cut Palestinians off from hundreds of acres of their land. Though barely covered in the… Continue reading Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? If such a man exists, he is sitting in an Israeli military prison

The 40-year-old secondary virgin

For the past 40 years, the conservative movement has welcomed only one kind of person: the true believer. Iconoclasm in the pursuit of moderation was no virtue; orthodoxy in the name of conservatism was no vice. But this weekend, Grover Norquist—the leading bouncer at the conservative club—announced a more relaxed entrance policy. In light of… Continue reading The 40-year-old secondary virgin

OpenCongress

OpenCongress brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill. More at OpenCongress This is a must bookmark site for political junkies that track bills and changes.