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Posts Tagged ‘Buruma’

Trump’s Willing Accomplices

Posted by hkarner - 6. Dezember 2017

Ian Buruma, Editor of The New York Review of Books, is the author of numerous books, including Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance and Year Zero: A History of 1945.

Many leading Republican politicians who stand by Donald Trump, and even the multi-billionaires who fund their campaigns, may have private misgivings about the US president, just as the industrialists of Germany’s Herrenklub probably once despised Hitler. But with only a few exceptions, they continue to support him – and for similar reasons.

NEW YORK – On February 20, 1933, a secret meeting took place in Hermann Göring’s palatial residence in Berlin. More than 20 of Germany’s top industrialists, including Gustav Krupp, Friedrich Flick, and Fritz von Opel, listened to a speech by Hitler, who promised them that their assets would be safe under his rule. So they agreed to support the Nazi Party with over two million Reichsmark, an enormous sum that was almost enough to pay for the upcoming election campaign.

Few of these men, if any, were convinced Nazis. They were members of the German Herrenklub (Gentlemen’s Club), which was very conservative but not National Socialist. But, acting from narrow self-interest, they became Hitler’s enablers. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The North Korean Cult

Posted by hkarner - 10. Oktober 2017

Ian Buruma, Editor of The New York Review of Books, is the author of numerous books, including Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance and Year Zero: A History of 1945.

It is possible that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and perhaps even some subjects of his despotic rule, would rather be obliterated than give in. It would not be the first time that a quasi-religious movement turned suicidal.

NEW YORK – The absurdity of the North Korean dictatorship is easy to caricature. Kim Jong-un, with his 1930s-style pudding-bowl haircut (cultivated, it is claimed, to make him resemble his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the regime’s founder), his antiquated Mao suit, and his short, plump body, is almost like a cartoon character himself. Officially regarded as an omnipotent genius, he is worshipped like a god and shown constantly surrounded by people, including his highest military officers festooned in medals, laughing or clapping, or shouting hysterically.

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Trump and the Cosmopolitans

Posted by hkarner - 9. August 2017

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Life After Pax Americana

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juni 2017

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The End of the Left/Right Divide?

Posted by hkarner - 9. Mai 2017

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Trump the War President?

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2017

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Hoping for the Best Against Trump

Posted by hkarner - 10. Januar 2017

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The End of the Anglo-American Order

Posted by hkarner - 5. Dezember 2016

Date: 04-12-2016
Source: The New York Times

For decades, the United States and Britain’s vision of democracy and freedom defined the postwar world. What will happen in an age of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage?

BY IAN BURUMABuruma

One of the strangest episodes in Donald Trump’s very weird campaign was the appearance of an Englishman looking rather pleased with himself at a rally on Aug. 24 in Jackson, Miss. The Englishman was Nigel Farage, introduced by Trump as “the Man Behind Brexit.” Most people in the crowd probably didn’t have a clue who Farage — the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party — actually was. Yet there he stood, grinning and hollering about “our independence day” and the “real people,” the “decent people,” the “ordinary people” who took on the banks, the liberal media and the political establishment. Trump pulled his face into a crocodile smile, clapped his hands and promised, “Brexit plus plus plus!”

Brexit itself — the decision to withdraw Britain from the European Union, notwithstanding the almost universal opposition from British banking, business, political and intellectual elites — was not the main point here. In his rasping delivery, Trump roared about Farage’s great victory, “despite horrible name-calling, despite all obstacles.” Quite what name-calling he had in mind was fuzzy, but the message was clear. His own victory would be like that of the Brexiteers, only more so. He even called himself Mr. Brexit. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Populism for the Rich

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2016

Photo of Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma is Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. He is the author of numerous books, including Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance and Year Zero: A History of 1945.

NOV 4, 2016 Project Syndicate

BUCHAREST – I recently joined a tour in Bucharest of the Palace of Parliament, the gigantic folly built in the 1980s on the orders of the late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, who was executed before he could see it finished. The statistics rehearsed by our guide were staggering: the third biggest edifice in the world, 220,000 square feet of carpet, one million cubic meters of marble, 3,500 tons of crystal. The enormous marble stairways had to be rebuilt several times to match exactly the steps of the dictator, who was a small man.

To construct this neoclassical monstrosity, an entire swath of the city, a beautiful area of eighteenth-century houses, churches, and synagogues, was razed, displacing 40,000 people. More than a million people worked on the project non-stop day and night. It pretty much bankrupted the state, even as Ceauşescu’s subjects had to do without heat and electricity for much of the time. It still costs more than $6 million a year to maintain the palace, which now houses the Romanian parliament and an art museum, leaving 70% of the building unused.

Ceauşescu’s folly is a monument to megalomania. But it is by no means unique, except in its size (though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tried to rival it in scale with his new palace in Ankara). It is indeed remarkable how megalomaniacs of a certain kind think alike, or at least share a similar taste in architecture. Hitler’s plans for the reconstruction of Berlin reflected the same neoclassical gigantism. And the interior of the palace in Bucharest, a kind of Louis XIV style on steroids, is just a more extravagant version of Donald Trump’s living quarters in Florida and New York. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Hair of the Top Dog

Posted by hkarner - 3. August 2016

Photo of Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma is Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. He is the author of numerous books, including Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance and Year Zero: A History of 1945.

AUG 2, 2016, Project Syndicate

NEW YORK – Much has been written about Donald Trump’s peculiar hairstyle, the kind of puffy, dyed comb-over one would associate with a downmarket nightclub manager rather than a presidential candidate. Is there really any more to be said? Actually, the question of hair in politics might not be as trivial as it seems.

It is remarkable how many politicians, especially on the populist right, have sported heterodox hairdos. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s former prime minister, used black pencil to fill in the patches not covered by his two hair transplants. The Dutch demagogue Geert Wilders dyes his Mozartian bouffant platinum blond. Boris Johnson, the Brexit rabble-rouser, now UK foreign secretary, takes care to keep his straw-colored thatch in a permanent state of studied untidiness. All have scored highly with voters filled with anger and resentment at polished urban elites. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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