Democracy is under assault. Vladimir Putin’s authoritarianism, ISIS terrorism, the nuclear threat from North Korea and Donald Trump’s populism are just a few examples of the forces challenging our societies.
Organizing Human Chain Saves Drowning Family: Can A Similar Approach Save Our Drowning Human Family?
We always feel heartened by tales of heroism, and we celebrate the individual hero or "shero". It's even more heartening when the "hero" is a self-organizing, spontaneous group of people who see what needs to be done, and then do it.
Author Nancy MacLean has unearthed a stealth ideologue of the American right. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, tells the story of...
According to famed anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, the central question of our times is whether we’re witnessing the worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some sort of populist authoritarianism.
When Donald Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University this spring, he told the graduates that “America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers.”
While there is much to critique about the news media in this age of “post-truth” within a landscape dominated by a handful of media conglomerates, we need the press to hold our leaders and institutions accountable. Locally, when the occasion calls for it, we should laud the press.
I now call the 4th of July "Independents Day" as I've come to realize that the only way we the people can take our country back -- and forward -- is by declaring our independence from the two political parties, the two-party duopoly, and the two competing narratives that keep us divided ... and conquered.
Forecasting political unrest is a challenging task, especially in this era of post-truth and opinion polls.
The primary ongoing question of your life is: are you going to choose same-old, same-old, or are you going to explore new possibilities? In other words, are you going to live in the conditioned but comfortable cocoon of your ego, or are you going to...
When Bernie Sanders took to the stage at this year’s Hay Festival, it was to a room of cheers and clapping.
Many gallons of ink (and megabytes of electronic text) have been devoted to explaining the surprise victory of Donald Trump.
Call me a hopeless hopium addict, but I believe that we are "in the same boat". Our ship of state has run aground, because the "propeller" (the guiding principles of our founders, along with perennial and native wisdom) is broken.
The Trump victory, and the general disaster for Democrats this year, was the victory of ignorance, critics moan.
Much has been made of Donald Trump’s wanton deployment of myths in the place of facts in recent months.
A foundation created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam recently announced it’s giving US$100 million to investigative news outlets and other initiatives, a rare boon for media institutions under duress.
Most Americans don’t like Trump. Trump will most likely be reelected in 2020. How can both of these statements be true?
We have a choice. We can futilely try to protect ourselves and our families behind high walls, electric gates, etc., and turn a blind eye toward chronic human rights violations and an economic globalization that is not accountable to anyone. Or we can join with people and organizations from all the world's nations to lay the foundations for...
Customizing political news online to filter out what doesn’t align with your beliefs may have real-world negative effects on democracy.
The results of one of the most divisive and unpredictable presidential contests in recent French history, which saw early frontrunner, the conservative François Fillon, laid low by a corruption scandal and judicial investigation
Trump’s failure to accomplish little or any of his agenda during his first 100 days shouldn’t blind us to the vast harm he has done in this comparatively short time to our system of government, especially his degradation of the presidency.
Lost letters found in an old wooden crate inside a Connecticut barn are changing our view of the women’s suffrage movement in America.
We have been told we now live in a post-truth era. The author and academic Ralph Keyes has described it as a time when we do not have just lies and truths, but also “statements that may not be true but we consider too benign to call false”.
When I was ten years old and attending an elementary school called Mountainview School, my mother decided to have a little chat with my school director about the lack of trees on the school property. She argued that although the view of the mountain was lovely, the boring grassy lawn was not.
All Americans are lucky to live in a country brimming with public resources that everyone can share.
In a TV debate to mark the official start of the French presidential election campaign, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was accused of “twisting the truth” by her centrist opponent Emmanuel Macron.
The White House war between Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner wouldn’t matter in a normal administration with a normal president.
While we work to change the government, we can’t forget that we can also make big change ourselves by starting small and local.
Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is his favorite book.
The result of the presidential election may have taken some people by surprise, but the fact that Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives was completely predictable.
After two chaotic months as president, Donald Trump is widely credited with rewriting the political rule book.
Since the president sees himself foremost as a negotiator, perhaps it’s time for a negotiated revolution. Not to break us apart, but to bring us together.
Preserving the middle-class in America is necessary for the United States to continue as a democracy, warns Ganesh Sitaraman.
Like older voters, young ones were divided by the 2016 presidential election.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, in his press conference following the demise of his bill to replace Obamacare, blamed Republicans who had failed to grasp that the GOP was now a “governing party.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an essay that laid out the social network’s vision for the coming years. He outlined five domains where Facebook intended to “develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”
In the weeks since the election of President Donald J. Trump, sales of George Orwell’s “1984” have skyrocketed.
The US Senate is in the process of examining Donald Trump’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
If the rising sense of alienation from the political process is to be reversed in the long term, it will require more than a quick dose of populist rhetoric or tinkering with the way politics is organized.
Rigidity in our beliefs and behaviors is the greatest threat to our own survival and the survival of all that we've come to love in civilization. Ultimately, the question we have to ask is if our systems of politics and economy are flexible enough to become sustainable...
Trump and his White House don’t argue on the merits. They attack the institutions that come up with facts and arguments they don’t like.
Donald Trump seems to think so. During his campaign for president, Trump returned again and again to his supposed success as a businessman and promised government programs “under budget and ahead of schedule.”
The Iroquois tell of a Peacemaker prophet who walked the lands many years ago trying to convince the warring nations to give up their blood feud ways. The first Clan Mother convinced her people to listen to the prophetic words, and they established the Great Law of Peace.
Thanks to the criticisms they’ve leveled in articles, interviews, tweets and letters to the editor, we know that many contemporary authors, from Philip Roth to J.K. Rowling, have a dim view of Donald J. Trump.
Donald Trump’s candidacy and now, presidency, have resurrected a public discourse not heard in this country since the Great Depression
More than two dozen governments, including the U.S., now have a team of behavioral scientists tasked with trying to improve bureaucratic efficiency to “nudge” their citizens toward what they deem to be higher levels of well-being.
In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. elections, numerous accounts surfaced of nefarious content creators profiting by posting fake content on social media.
On Inauguration Day, a group of students, researchers and librarians gathered in a nondescript building on the north side of the University of California, Los Angeles campus, against a backdrop of pelting rain.
If Democrats want to retake government, they will need to do more than be the party that isn’t as bad as Trump, starting with closing the wealth gap.
Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over. The key to avoiding fascism? An organized left with a strong vision and broad support.
After intense political activism, an attack from the Trump administration on public lands has been shot down. The fight is far from over, but with the unexpected fightback of hunting and fishing groups, attempts to privatize federal land will meet new opposition.
Since the horror of Hitler’s Holocaust, psychologists have investigated why certain individuals appear more prone to follow orders from authority figures
When 500 refugees arrived in their community, residents of Zaandam were wary. But by the time the newcomers could apply for residency status in Europe, neighbors didn’t want them to leave.
Have your passports ready, watch your language, and other advice from a Yale history professor.
Einstein told us that we cannot solve the significant problems we face at the same level of thinking at which we were when we created the problems. He was right. Yet we are trying to do just that. We are fighting terrorism, poverty, criminality, cultural...
President Donald Trump has said little about the world’s longest undefended border – the one between the U.S. and Canada.
Donald Trump sold himself to voters as a successful businessman who knew how to get things done, a no-nonsense manager who’d whip government into shape.
As the shock of Donald Trump’s election victory is giving way to analysis about how his presidency will affect Americans’ lives, our digital freedom of speech deserves special consideration.
If we were able to remember how we felt as a child learning to crawl, we probably would remember looking on with amazement at the giants we saw around us. This memory might help us when we are learning a technical skill, or a personality skill such as unconditional love, patience...
Bizarrely, after winning the 2016 presidential election, Trump has raised questions about the legitimacy of his own victory by claiming that the election was tainted by widespread voter fraud.
Comparisons have abounded with the 20th century’s greatest villains, including Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, even if some have questioned how useful such parallels are.
One of the most unexpected political developments in recent months has been the political awakening of scientists in the United States.
Far from the corrosive political circus unfolding in Washington, DC, local citizen groups are improving conditions for the people in their own backyards.
With help from activist manual written by former congressional staffers, Republicans face angry crowds in home states
Anyone who has ever pitched a movie or television idea in Hollywood knows the tyranny of the “high concept."
Community groups have the power to create long-lasting change. Ioby, an organization based in New York City, New York, that works on neighborhood mobilization, recently published its "Recipes for Change" toolkit.
On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “Beyond Vietnam” speech in Harlem’s Riverside Church. In it, he spoke of being confronted with “the fierce urgency of now.”
News consumers today face a flood of fake news and information. Distinguishing between fact and fiction has become increasingly challenging.
After his unexpected election win, the immediate question was what would US President Donald Trump actually do?
In a strange but revealing way, popular culture and politics intersected soon after Donald Trump first assumed the presidency of the United States: George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, surged as the No. 1 best-seller on Amazon both in the United States and Canada.
If 2016 brought Brexit, Donald Trump and a backlash against cosmopolitan visions of globalisation and society, the great fear for 2017 is further shocks from right-wing populists like Geert Wilders in Holland and Marine Le Pen in France.
Recent reports indicate that far-right groups from the Ukraine have come to Brazil to recruit neo-Nazis to fight against pro-Russian rebels. Western readers reacted with shock and fascination
The protests that have erupted since Donald Trump’s most recent executive order was signed have been impressive.
As a professor of Russian literature, I couldn’t help but notice that comedian Aziz Ansari was inadvertently channeling novelist Leo Tolstoy when he claimed that “change doesn’t come from presidents” but from “large groups of angry people.”
Donald Trump has reorganized the National Security Council – elevating his chief political strategist Steve Bannon
A week after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, George Orwell’s “1984” is the best-selling book on Amazon.com.
Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president will go down as one of the great spectacles of our age. While protesters have been venting their anger, his supporters have been cheering his victory.
Donald Trump, in his quest to “make America great again,” is poised to put in place many regressive policies that are fundamentally at odds with what are generally considered progressive values such as transparency, inclusiveness, equity, fairness and dignity for all
Donald Trump is such a consummate liar that in coming days and years our democracy will depend more than ever on the independent press – finding the truth, reporting it, and holding Trump accountable for his lies.
To some liberals, Donald Trump’s inauguration portends doom for the republic; to many conservatives, it’s a crowning moment for the nation that will usher in an era of growth and optimism.
The Women’s March on Washington illustrated what a wide variety of issues women will have in the years ahead with Donald Trump.
How do we listen and learn from each other, with our very different experiences and beliefs about life, yet find a way through it to a place of love and healing?
After the inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington, what comes next? To make real change, we’ll need to build power where we live.
The I Have A Dream speech is the crown jewel of the 20th century. Given before 250,000 souls on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it is called the defining moment of the US Civil Rights movement. It is the speech by which all other great speeches must be measured. Its haunting rhythm towards the end of the speech has an almost musical sound and feel.
The name Martin Luther King Jr. is iconic in the United States. The outgoing 44th president, Barack Obama, spoke of King in both his Democratic National Convention nomination acceptance and victory speeches in 2008:
Roosevelt delivered this speech to Congress as a "State Of The Union" 11 months before the United States entered World War II. Memorably, in the second half of the speech, FDR lists the benefits of democracy. He lists these as Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Worship, Freedom From Want, and Freedom From Fear. The first two freedoms are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the last two are still in controversy to this day.
On Jan. 10, President Barack Obama delivered a farewell address to the nation in his adopted hometown of Chicago.
Americans are living through the dangerous effort to normalize the abnormal candidate who won the presidency with a record popular vote deficit of nearly 3 million ballots.
Six confirmation hearings, Trump presser, and 'vote-o-rama' all scheduled for same day.
Mark Twain noted that man is the only animal that blushes — or needs to. He also believed that “public office is private graft.”
If we didn’t realize that 2016 was the year of upheaval before November 8, we certainly do now. Brexit, which seemed hard enough to digest, was merely the amuse bouche prior to the red meat of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.
As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:
An outdated legal structure at international organizations such as the United Nations has made it possible for corporate entities to infiltrate non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
President-elect Donald Trump is accusing President Obama of putting up “roadblocks” to a smooth transition.
If our first fake news election turns out to mark the end of democracy as we know it, I think I can pretty precisely date when the end began.
Many Americans would not be surprised if on Jan. 20 Vladimir Putin administers the oath of office to Donald Trump, the Ku Klux Klan youth choir regales the inaugural crowd with a stirring rendition of “Dixie,
Continuing to shrink our oil consumption is one way to challenge the oil uber alles mentality of the Trump administration.
Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.
"For many years, public-spirited citizens throughout the country have been working for the conservation of the natural resources, realizing their vital importance to the nation."