Hannah Arendt (14-Oct-1906 to 4-Dec-1975) was a humanist thinker who thought boldly and provocatively about our shared political and ethical world. Inspired by philosophy, she warned against the political dangers of philosophy to abstract and obfuscate the plurality and reality of our shared world. She fiercely defended the importance…
Prominent Yemeni investigative journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye - or Abd al-Ilah Haydar Al-Sha’i (born c. 1977) - was imprisoned and tortured throughout 2011-2013 by Yemeni government after he'd reported on US cruise missile strikes on Yemeni civilians in 2009 and subsequently interviewed Al-Qaeda, exposing complex relationships involving…
Thomas A Drake (born 1957) is a former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran, and a whistleblower. In 2010, the government alleged that Drake mishandled documents, one of the few such Espionage Act cases…
British writer George Monbiot (born 27-Jan-1963) known for his environmental and political activism. Contributor to The Guardian on left-environmentalism issues, speaking truth to power, opposing the corporatocracy. See monbiot.com for George Monbiot's personal website with article repository.
American Academic Activist Lawrence Lessig (born 1961-) balances academic insider advantages through tenure at Harvard with support for individual rights, internet freedom and activism against corporate oligarchy capture. Source of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace and Code Is Law - On Liberty in Cyberspace by Lawrence Lessig.
Interviewed on 7-Jan-2020, Mikhail Gorbachev saw a threat to the fate of the United States as a state. The riots in Washington last night raised the question of the future fate of the United States as a state, said ex-USSR President Gorbachev. In an interview with Interfax, Gorbachev noted that "the assault on the Capitol was clearly planned in advance, and it is clear by whom... But the unrest is not the main thing. Their task is clear, but only at first glance. Not everything is so simple." In his opinion, the riots that took place in Washington "put into question the future fate of the United States as a state... It will take a little time, and we will figure out why this was really done."
The former president of the USSR called for a revision of the world agenda under the influence of the coronavirus pandemic The first and only President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev answered questions from Interfax special correspondent Vyacheslav Terekhov and called for a revision of the world agenda under the influence of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Mikhail Sergeyevich, how did you react to the reports about the pandemic?
I think I took them, like most people. At first, there was hope that it would be possible to bring it under control, to localise it. Everything turned out quite differently. The events took on an all-encompassing character. Unprecedented measures and decisions were required. And leaders, and citizens, and international organizations found themselves in a very difficult situation. All this will need to be sorted out, but now the main thing is to cope with the situation, to defeat the new insidious enemy.
- How do you assess the measures taken?
In the first place should be the issue of safety, saving people's lives. I proceed from the fact that the measures taken are based on scientific data, on the requirements of the most qualified experts. Now they have almost the same opinion - the strictest quarantine is necessary. And this should be taken into account by both the authorities and citizens. A lot depends on the people themselves. The highest responsibility and discipline is needed. Then one can hope that the worst can be avoided.
- Is it time for some conclusions for the future? Do you agree that the world will never be the same again?
It depends on what conclusions will be drawn. In this regard, I return to the history of our fight against the nuclear danger. We realised that this is our common enemy, a common threat. And then the leaders of the two countries, the USSR and the USA, declared that a nuclear war was unacceptable and there could be no winner in it. Reykjavik followed, followed by the first treaties to eliminate nuclear weapons. So far, 85% of those nuclear arsenals have been destroyed. We must continue to follow this path. But we see that new challenges have been added. Together with our comrades-in-arms in the Forum of Nobel Peace Laureates, we have long been calling for a fundamental revision of the foundations of world politics.
Here is one of our appeals, adopted back in 2005: “The basis of security must be priority attention to the urgent needs of people and respect for every human life. Instead of exorbitant military spending, which only undermines security, it is necessary to direct the funds of the international community to solve the problems of education and health, in particular to combat AIDS and tuberculosis through protection and prevention measures. What to add here? Only the name of a new terrible disease.
For the past five years, we have only heard that talk about weapons, missiles, strikes... But is it really not clear that wars and the arms race do not solve the current global problems? War is a defeat, a failure of politics! The common misfortune reminded us: it is pointless to count on the fact that you can hide, sit somewhere, that you can ignore some threats. No one else can hide!
And as long as I have the strength, I will repeat: the demilitarisation of world politics, international relations, and political thinking is necessary. Reallocate budgets - from military purposes to those related to human security. The very concept of security needs to be rethought! Security is, first of all, providing people with food, water, which is no longer enough, a healthy environment and, of course, the unconditional priority of people's health. For the sake of human security, it is necessary to develop a strategy, prepare, plan, and create reserves. Leaders of states, leaders at all levels should bear responsibility for this. I think that we should start preparing an emergency session of the UN General Assembly and hold it as soon as the situation stabilises. It should be about a complete revision of the world agenda.
- May I ask what has changed for you personally and for the Gorbachev Foundation now?
Of course, we comply with everything, we had to switch to remote work. I communicate with colleagues by phone, we have created a platform on the Internet for discussions. Let's get used to the new conditions. I was asked to write an additional chapter for the English edition of my book The Future of the Global World. Of course, given what's going on. I agreed, I will do it.
Russian academic and covert agent Nikolai Bezroukov is based in Germany and, through public facing content, prosecutes excellent anti-Neoliberal (less excellent) pro-Russian affairs. Host of the Soft Panorama website.