Author Archives: stephenkmacksd

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary

At the TLS: Stephen Kotkin reviews four books on the former Soviet Union, and Russia.

Rootless Cosmopolitan comments. In the March 11, 2022 TLS Stephen Kotkin reviews four books: BREZHNEV The making of a statesmanTranslated by John Heath512pp. I. B. Tauris. £30. Susanne Schattenberg *************************** COLLAPSE The fall of the Soviet Union560pp. Yale University Press. … Continue reading

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Is Martin Wolf the voice of ‘political reason’ at The Financial Times?

Political Cynic comments. Headline: There are no good choices for the west on Ukraine Sub-headline: It should strengthen sanctions, though they may ruin Russia’s economy without changing its policy or regime https://www.ft.com/content/6ec8777e-e6b3-4be6-9e64-8cfaf71d1e18 Note that the cartoon, that tops the essay by … Continue reading

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Janan Ganesh on ‘populism’ as the problem of ‘the liberal center’ & its complicity with that amorphous enemy!

Political Reporter comments. Here is the central conceit of Mr. Ganesh’s essay: its political actor/actors is ‘populism’ , so suggestive, yet so tantalizingly amorphous. Mr. Ganesh’s gift for the telling apercu, is repurposed into this World Historical Fiction: the diagnosis of ‘the liberal center’. … Continue reading

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On the Political Self-rehabilitation of The Neo-Conservatives: Francis Fukuyama on Putin, in The Financial Times

Political Observer comments. I woke up last night, several times, to the sound of thunder overhead and the fact that it was raining in San Diego , after days of near summer temperatures … It is Friday March 4, 2022, … Continue reading

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On The New York Times Public Intellectual: Ross Douthat on Ukraine.

Political Observer comments. The first four paragraphs of Mr. Douthat’s essay of March 2, 2022: Note that Mr. Douthat has ‘graduated’ from being that moralizing Catholic Scold, to being an expert in Foreign Policy, and in this case War. Yet Mr. Douthat … Continue reading

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@FT Janan Ganesh on ‘The West’s Enemies’

The Reader of Mr. Ganesh’s impersonations of the world weary flaneur, searching for that something, that will address the void -his one true calling, recording for his readership, his thoughts on the surfaces of the World, not its deeper meanings, but those … Continue reading

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Gideon Rachman’s premature Triumphalism , after only four days of ‘combat’ in Ukraine!

Political Observer comments. The Reader of Mr. Rachman latest essay has to marvel at his essay, it should be more rightly named War Propaganda, aimed the ‘home front’, that is, its privileged readership. Mr. Rachman can’t seem to contain his expression of Triumphalism, … Continue reading

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On the political redemption of Ross Douthat ?

Political Cynic speculates. Has that time spent writing for The New Statesman, as short as his tenure has been, led to Mr. Douthat to reappraise his once obsession with the sexual lives, practices of American Women? That subject will have … Continue reading

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Mary Sarotte’s regret on the collapse of ‘the post-cold-war order’, in The Financial Times!

Old Socialist comments on her melodrama, as political temperature taking! There is nothing quite like The Financial Times placing an essay about the end of ‘the post-cold-war order’ in the ‘Life And Arts’ section of this newspaper! And that this ‘essay’ began … Continue reading

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Neo-Conservative Bret Stephens on the power of ‘self-belief’!

Political Observer comments. Bret Stephens has something in common, with another Oil Man’s brat Wm. F. Buckley Jr. ! Both offered themselves as ‘the answer’ to American Decadence, and a loss of faith in American Exceptionalism’s Mission. Mr. Stephens hasn’t yet written his ‘God and … Continue reading

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