Posts Tagged 'Soviet Union'

Alice Dreger – You might be in a medical experiment and not even know it

In the long view, modern history is the story of increasing rights of control over your body – for instance, in matters of reproduction, sex, where you live and whom you marry. Medical experimentation is supposed to be following the same historical trend – increasing rights of autonomy for those whose bodies are used for research.

Indeed, the Nuremberg Code, the founding document of modern medical research ethics developed after the Second World War in response to Nazi medical experiments, stated ...

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BOB RAE – Orwell’s lessons for the era of Trump: Rae

George Orwell is best known for his novels Animal Farm and 1984. Both were written toward the end of a life cut short by tuberculosis. But they came after a long period of reflection, activism, and engagement, through what one writer has called the “dark valley” of the 1920s and 30s and the death and destruction of the Second World War. 1984, we are told, is now at the top of the charts at Amazon.

Orwell’s insights into politics, propaganda, and ...

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Here’s How the Trump Presidency Will Play Out

The Trump era starts now – with geopolitics and geoeconomics set for a series of imminent, unpredictable cliffhangers.

I have argued that Trump’s foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger’s strategy to deal with the formidable Eurasia integration trio – Russia, China and Iran — is a remixed Divide and Rule; seduce Russia away from its strategic partnership with China, while keep harassing the weakest link, Iran.

In fact that’s how it’s already playing out – as in the outbursts of selected members of Trump’s cabinet during their US ...

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GARY LEUPP – The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia.

The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents and dissident journalists, and is hell-bent on the restoration of the USSR.

(The latter claim rests largely on Vladimir Putin’s comment that ...

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JONATHAN KIRSHNER – Five Looming Geopolitical Crises of the Trump Administration

Foreign policy crises are inevitable, and no American president can prevent them from arising. But it is possible to provoke, mismanage, and even exacerbate them, making a fraught situation catastrophically worse. We are only here today in part because John F. Kennedy overruled the hotheads among his advisors—they were in the majority—during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the anxious heat of an inherently uncertain moment, sober judgment, command of the relevant information, and self-awareness regarding the consequences of one’s actions ...

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Paul Brown – Nuclear energy revival remains elusive

LONDON, 25 December, 2016 There have been three well-documented major nuclear accidents in the last 60 years, each one accompanied by official lies and cover-ups. There have been other less well-known serious accidents that have been so effectively hushed up that decades later there are only the sketchiest details available.

The legacy of these disasters is a deep distrust of the industry by many voters. In some leading industrial countries this has led ...

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William Astore – Tomgram: William Astore, All the President’s Generals

In a sense, human history could be seen as an endless tale of the rise and fall of empires. In the last century alone, from the Hapsburgs and Imperial Japan to Great Britain and the Soviet Union, the stage was crowded with such entities heading for the nearest exit. By 1991, with the implosion of the USSR, it seemed as if Earth’s imperial history was more or less over. After all, only one great imperial power was left. ...

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Ian Welsh – The Lies at the Heart of Our Dying Order

One should understand why people have lost trust in experts, the media, and politicians.

It is not difficult, it is the same reason people lost faith in Soviet Communism: Promises were made that turned out to be lies, those promises were not kept.

Soviet Communism was supposed to lead to a cornucopia and a withering away of the state. Instead it lead to a police state and a huge drought of consumer goods, and often enough, even food. Communism failed to meet ...

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MEL GOODMAN – Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”

President-elect Donald Trump probably never read Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey’s “Seven Days in May” in 1962 and never saw John Frankenheimer’s film version in 1964, which dealt with the threat of a military coup due to opposition to a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  President John F. Kennedy read the book after the Cuban missile crisis and found the scenario credible, probably because of the opposition and bizarre antics of Air Force Chief ...

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John Rees – 5 novels every revolutionary should read

Some of the best pieces of fiction ever written about revolutionary experience are outlined by writer and historian John Rees

When I first started to research the Levellers I had it in mind that I might write a kind of collective biography of Leveller activists. I thought of two previous models. One came from the 17th century itself, John Aubrey’s Brief Lives. This is a kind of compendium of short literary biographies of public figures from the century of revolution, written ...

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