The Magic Lantern: 3,2,1…

This book is a composition of 5 essays; the first four are Timothy Ash’s first- hand accounts of the East European “Revolutions” in in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia, and the fifth and last essay is his conclusions based on the observations he made in the first four essays.

Main points:

■ As a historical observer, Ash describes meeting opposition leaders, and the evolvement of the Solidarity movement as an opposition to the Eastern Bloc (AKA Soviet Bloc).… Read the rest here

The Magic Lantern

Three Points:

1) Timothy Ash’s accounts begin in Warsaw, Poland. He describes the progression of the Solidarity movement, and how it came to replace communism. With Hungary, the end of communism came with the funeral of Imre Nagy, thirty one years after his death. However, this did not result in any type of extensive mobilization on the behalf of Hungarian society. Ash names several traits as being distinctive of Hungary’s government at this time. Its government contained multi-party politics, composed of members of the old-new party, and the economic crisis had worsened as a result of the “refolution” occurring.… Read the rest here

The Magic Lantern by Timothy Garton Ash

3 Points

1) The 1989 revolution in Poland was based on a desire for free elections. Strikes in shipyards led by Solidarity and negations carried out for the reformers by Lech Walesa were central to the reforms that took place. In Poland, the revolution worsened the economic situation because of the chaos and duration.

2) Hungary’s revolution was characterized by the funeral of Imre Nagy, a Hungarian communist leader who was killed in the 1956 uprising by the Soviets.… Read the rest here

Is multi-kulti dead?

3 Main Points:
1. Germany is experiencing a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, and public figures such as Thilo Sarrazin have argued that “with the country’s population shrinking overall, immigrants and the underclass are having too many children, well-educated native Germans too few. Biologically, culturally and professionally Germany is dumbing down.” This is alarmingly reminiscent of the political climate in Nazi Germany.
2. Many Germans have expressed that they are in favor of sharply restricting Muslim religious practice, and think that the country has been overrun by foreigners.… Read the rest here

Deutsch Multiculturalism

3 Points:

1. Cameron states that Germans “accentuate the negative” and are stubborn to progress, as they find it difficult to “come to terms with the changes they are witnessing”  Many Germans support restricting Muslims from practicing their religion and other social constraints on other minorities.

2.One main issue Germans have is on what terms immigrants are permitted to enter the country, such as the requirement to learn German culture.

3. Many of the immigrants within Germany drop out of school and live off of social welfare within the German system.  … Read the rest here


Three poignant things:

1) People in Germany do not particularly want it to become an immigrant state, as it has effects on both on the families already existing there and the new immigrants. But because immigrant workers are staying and not moving back to their old countries as many German citizens expected, they are staying, aggravating many Germans.

2) Islam is becoming prevalent in German culture as well as other countries in western Europe. According to the economist, many German citizens are wary of practicing Islamists, and are calling for some type of restricted practice, which would be a step backwards in social/religious rights and tolerance.… Read the rest here

Multiculturalism in Germany

3 Points 

1 – Thilo Sarrazin, a member of the Bundesbank’s board, proclaimed that because of the country’s shrinking population, immigrants and the underclass are having too many children, and the well-educated native Germans too few. He argued that Biologically, culturally and professionally Germany is dumbing down.

2 – Germany isn’t doing enough to bring immigrants into the social and economic mainstream.

3 – For several decades Germany expected workers from Turkey and elsewhere to leave like polite guests.… Read the rest here

Cameron on European Union

3 Points

Cameron makes a point to emphasize that Europe’s transition from warfare to tranquility did not happen overnight and took serious determination and willpower of its people over a span of time.

He also contends that millions of people now live in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, which was the main purpose of the European Union when it was initially formed. Now, almost a half-century later, the goal of the European Union is to sustain and promote peace and prosperity.… Read the rest here

The Beginnings of Change

1. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev decided to reform the Soviet Union.  These reforms were called “glasnost” or openness.  They were both social and economic reforms designed to allow more political freedom to the people of the Soviet Union.  Because of this, other communist countries were forced to give in to their people’s demands for reforms in one way or another. In East Germany the people and reforms were trying to be suppressed completely.

2. Gorbachev made it clear that the Soviet Union would no longer militarily intervene if any satellite states had a reform movement or if the government wanted to reform.  … Read the rest here

The change of economic system in Hungary

Three points

1. Hungary planned to change a domestic economic system from communist economy to mixed-market economy because communist economy made peoples’ standard of living decline.

2.The power-oriented price system caused a conflict with actual industrial system because people came to pursue their private benefits, while small number of people tried  to control the whole domestic economy in the power-oriented price system.

3. In the communist economy, thee wage system did not take into account the productivity and actual market movement.… Read the rest here