Regulate social media now. The future of democracy is at stake.

Regulate social media now. The future of democracy is at stake.

A few days ago, ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom, discovered that a tool it was using to track political advertising on Facebook had been quietly disabled — by Facebook. The browser extension had detected political ad campaigns and gathered details on the ads’ target audiences. Facebook also tracks political ad campaigns, but sometimes it fails …

Regulate social media now. The future of democracy is at stake. Read More »

Venezuela is how ‘illiberal democracy’ ends

Venezuela is how ‘illiberal democracy’ ends

For absolute proof that the ideological language of the 20th century is insufficient to describe the political realities of the 21st century, look no further than the international alliances that have formed around Venezuela. In the past few days, Venezuela has functioned as a kind of a Rorschach test, a black blob upon which many …

Venezuela is how ‘illiberal democracy’ ends Read More »

A crisis of conservatism creates gridlock on both sides of the Atlantic

A crisis of conservatism creates gridlock on both sides of the Atlantic

In the capital cities of the two great anglophone powers, public business has ground to a halt. On one side of the Atlantic, federal workers are lining up to receive free food while the president holds the government to ransom. On the other side, the House of Commons, a legislative body that likes to call …

A crisis of conservatism creates gridlock on both sides of the Atlantic Read More »

In the wake of a political murder, the hate campaign continues

In the wake of a political murder, the hate campaign continues

On the day after the murder of Jo Cox in 2016, stunned politicians on both sides of the Brexit referendum campaign fell silent. Cox was a member of the British parliament who favored remaining inside the European Union and campaigned about Syria; her assassin was both mentally ill and an extremist who scoured the Internet …

In the wake of a political murder, the hate campaign continues Read More »

The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union

The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union

In theory, the European Union’s parliamentary elections are the most international in the world. The winners serve in a multinational legislature. They speak to one another with the help of hundreds of translators. They are members of transnational parties: In the parliament buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg, center-left MEPs from across Europe sit with the …

The anti-Europeans have a plan for crippling the European Union Read More »

The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along

The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along

The brain of Homo sapiens has a fatal attraction to secrets. What we see before our eyes is never sufficient; we want to know what lies behind it, what explains it, what’s the deeper meaning. The compulsion to get beneath the surface of things lies at the heart of what makes some people scholars or …

The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along Read More »

Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus

Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus

On Sept 10, 2001, I published a column about Belarus, the former Soviet republic squeezed between Russia and Europe. It described how the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko was stealing elections, keeping tight control over the media and the economy, harassing political opponents and occasionally murdering them. Lukashenko, I wrote, was Europe’s longest-standing dictator. Yet only …

Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus Read More »

The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss

The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss

In the weeks leading up to the declaration of war in 1914, the British were supremely confident. “It will be over by Christmas” said the optimists; pessimists reckoned the war might last two whole years. Almost nobody predicted the trenches, the destruction of farms and fields, the loss of an entire generation of young men …

The lure of chaos is leading Britain straight into the abyss Read More »

The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May

The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May

In almost any field of human endeavor — football, acting, plumbing — failure has a price. If you can’t push the hockey puck into the goal, you get kicked off the team. If your jokes don’t make people laugh, your career as a stand-up comic is brutally short. If the house you built has a …

The Brexiteers have failed — so they blame Theresa May Read More »