Politics

“Ukraine Fatigue” Russia Hopes The World Tires Of This War

The last time Russia invaded Ukraine, the world turned a blind eye. 2014, Crimea. Russia annexed—forcibly took—the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and occupied Donbas without so much as a peep from the greater global community. This set the stage for a full-scale invasion in 2022. Although Russia has been chased out of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, survivors know that a Ukrainian victory is the only way to keep Russia from doing that again. They just hope that we don’t grow tired of the war and call for compromise. Read full article here

The Right To Tweet

Is a permanent ban from Twitter ever justified? Dr Doug McConnell of Oxford argues that nobody should be banned from Twitter forever. Not even Donald Trump, after he incited violence and tried debasing democracy. While McConnell believes that Twitter was right to temporarily ban Trump, a permanent ban does deprive Trump of a prominent forum for discussions about society. Even the US Supreme Court thinks the same, having decided in 2017 that completely cutting someone—even a felon—off from social media prevents them from exercising their rights. Read full article here

Japan’s Strange Golf-Buddy Theory Of Deterrence

“Abe probably ‘felt he had no choice but to pursue a campaign of abject flattery’[.]” Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had played golf with former US President Donald Trump when the latter was still in office. Although Abe claims that golf is for deterrence, it may actually be a tactic to preserve US-Japan ties. Donald Trump was anti-Asian, anti-alliance, and sometimes anti-Japan, so Abe likely cultivated their friendship to lessen the chance that Trump and the US would abandon Japan if they were ever attacked. Read full article here

Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid

The introduction of Facebook’s Like and Share and Twitter’s Retweet feature between 2009 and the early 2010s became the dart guns by which extremists silenced moderates. The outrage-inducing posts of political extremists were promoted because people shared emotionally charged content. The vitriol that members of the far right and the far left exude in their thought-policing seemed more visible, discouraging nuanced thinkers from speaking up. By shooting down their more thoughtful members, extremists created a political system hostile to compromise. Read full article here

Is Gold Safe From Sanctions?

Secondary sanctions cut countries off from the global banking system as these tell US banks to cut ties with foreign entities that deal with the sanctioned country. These can be modified to include the trade of assets like gold, so foreign businesses will have to reconsider trading with sanctioned countries, as doing so would cut them off from the US, one of the biggest hubs for global trade. If enacted, these can squash Russia’s attempts to use gold in circumventing the primary sanctions imposed on them. Read full article here

The Cancellation Of Russian Culture

“Could there be a better way to encourage national hatred than to treat a whole culture and its history as a unified whole, carrying, as if genetically, a hideous quality?” The Ukraine-Russia conflict has made people shun Russian achievements, as if dead Russian masters influenced Putin’s actions. Gary Saul Morson argues that all this is doing is teaching people to hate Russia in its entirety, even its citizens who are opposed to the actions of their government and its rich culture that impacted literature, music, and other fields of study. Read full article here

Conscious States In A World Of Make Believe

Alexandria Innes brings up an interesting question about international relations (IR): if IR experts treat states like people, then why don’t we hold states to a higher standard regarding violence? Adam B. Lerner posits the racist, sexist, and elitist work of Gustave le Bon in crowd psychology tainted IR experts’ early understanding of nationalism and large-group politics. He posits that if IR experts had a more optimistic view of how people come together to achieve peaceful, productive goals, we could begin holding states to a higher standard. Read full article here

The World Through Moscow’s Eyes: A Classic Russian Perspective

Russia’s history is rife with struggles to survive as a nation; its leaders’ utmost priority has always been domestic stability and fighting against external forces. So, it comes as no surprise that many of its leaders — both past and present — view the world (especially the West, led by the US) with caution and why they regard the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO with such opposition. Aside from the bitterness of Ukraine forsaking Russia despite their centuries-long history together, Ukraine joining NATO would bring US forces to Russia’s borders. Read full article here

Horizontal Hostility

Horizontal hostility is a term used by some academics to describe fighting among minority groups, instead of banding together to fight a majority group. Usually, this happens between minority groups that are quite similar, but with varying degrees of extremism. Those with more extreme or distinctive views are usually the ones that direct hostility towards those closer to mainstream points of view. For example, secular Jews are looked down upon by reform Jews, who are looked down upon by conservative Jews. Read full article here

The CIA And The New Dialect Of Power

Although the public reception of the new CIA advertisements featuring “woke” themes has been rather negative, they will likely keep ramping it up until the “dialect of power” — the vernacular used by a society’s elites — changes. The agency had always adhered to this since its creation. The transatlantic accent, once ubiquitous in the CIA’s older generations of officials, now gives way to inclusive language and a focus on one’s merits in spite of one’s background. Read full article here

FASCINATING READS, SUMMARISED

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