Kohl’s Revivalist Vision

Mary Elise Sarotte is a professor at the University of Southern California in their International Relations department. She focuses on Cold War history and especially the post-Cold War period, immediately following the destruction of the Berlin Wall. In her piece, In Victory, Magnanimity: US Foreign Policy, 1989-1991, and the Legacy of Prefabricated Multilateralism, Sarotte discusses the alternative structures that were proposed following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. She discusses four main possibilities, the second of which was proposed by Helmut Kohl, and deemed a revivalist vision.… Read the rest here

Animosity between World Leaders

Winston Churchill is one of the most famous British politicians of all time. He was born into an upper class family, and served in the British military when he was young. He rose through the ranks of British government after returning from the military and became Prime Minister of Britain following Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in 1940. As an active political member, Churchill warned against the rising powers of Nazi Germany and argued against appeasement. In his “Iron Curtain Speech” he says that “Last time I saw it all coming and I cried aloud to my own fellow countrymen and to the world, but no one paid any attention”1.… Read the rest here

The Importance of Organization

Vladimir Lenin was born into a wealthy upper-middle class family in 1870. His parents were monarchists who supported the tsarist regime. When Lenin was 16, his brother was executed for joining a revolutionary group dedicated to assassinating Tsar Alexander III. Lenin was influenced by his brother’s left wing ideas and became involved in a socialist revolutionary cell at Kazan University. Lenin was one of the first to translate Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto into Russian and became interested in Marxism.… Read the rest here

Art as an Emotive Experience

Wassily Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. However, he initially was educated to become a teacher of law, ethnography and economics. He studied these subjects at the University of Moscow and taught for a few years before going to art school. He was one of the first people to experiment with abstract art and was influenced by the works of Monet and other impressionist painters. He studied art in both Russia and Munich, eventually developing a unique style.… Read the rest here

Defining Etiquette

In the nineteenth century as capitalism was established in many developing countries around the world, the middle class grew significantly. People began to have more money and high society and socializing became something that was not just for the aristocracy. Thorstein Veblen discussed this phenomenon in his Theory of the Leisure Class where he wrote that this upper class consumes just for show and as a performance to solidify their social standing. He also briefly mentioned that women were responsible for consuming and demonstrating on their own behalf, but also to show the wealth and stature of their husbands.… Read the rest here

Morel’s Morals

Edward Morel was born in France in 1873, although he attended school in Britain and eventually became a naturalized British citizen in 1896. Throughout his life he held various jobs and was known as a British journalist, author, pacifist and politician. In 1899, Rudyard Kipling wrote “The White Man’s Burden” which celebrated colonialism and discussed the duty of the white man to civilize ‘savage’ populations.1 Morel wrote The Black Man’s Burden in direct response to this work by Kipling.… Read the rest here

Ideals of Liberty

The Marquis de Condorcet and John Stuart Mill were philosophers concerned with the idea of liberty and governments. Condorcet was a Frenchman writing during the time of the French revolution, undoubtedly inspired by the values of the revolution and the Enlightenment, putting reason above all else and valuing the progression of nations towards equality. He advocated for liberties that resembled the U.S. Bill of Rights, that is freedom of speech and press, abolition of torture, a simpler civil code and ensuring the security of innocent people.… Read the rest here

A Consequence of Capitalism

Comte de Saint-Simon disparaged laissez-faire industry in “The Incoherence and Disorder of Industry”, saying that capitalists are not concerned with the well being of society and are solely individuals looking to profit. This leads to men emphasizing their cunning and shrewdness and leading them to be “lost to humanity”.1 Marx took an equally negative stance on capitalism in “Estranged Labor” although he chose to focus on the worker and not the capitalist. Marx argued that every step of the production process estranges the worker from the product they are creating, as the more the worker produces, the less he is able to possess.… Read the rest here

The Beginnings of German Nationalism

The Romantic period following the Enlightenment and the French Revolution was characterized by a push back against the rational reasoning championed by many Enlightenment thinkers. Johann Gottlieb Fichte tried to inspire his fellow Germans with his “Addresses to the German Nation” in 1806. He wrote “those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself”1 which highlights his argument that the bonds of language and culture are stronger than political boundaries or forced occupation.… Read the rest here