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democracy

Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century

Citizenship is not inherently political, and yet it is impossible to escape its politicization. In this century, citizenship—the status, the idea, the very word itself—has been politicized to extremes, commodified and weaponized in unprecedented ways. It has become a third rail of conversations and campaigns. And to the degree that it is wrapped up with notions of patriotism, it is often used as a litmus test for legitimacy. All of which is to say that citizenship—its privileges, its responsibilities, even its attainability—is a topic whose complexities can disappear against a vitriolic backdrop.

National Interests [private]

On July 30, 2020, we invited Anuradha Bhagwati, Jamelle Bouie, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Jason Stanley to discuss our current state of affairs and a few of the larger political themes that animate them.

<i>What is Democracy?</i>. Directed by Astra Taylor. Zeitgeist Films, 2018. 108 minutes.

How Free Is Too Free?

After a fallow period of about fifteen years, in 2014 I returned to driving. Having let my license expire out of pure indolence, I embarked on a process that ended with a road test in deepest Brooklyn. I had no car and no plans to buy one, but within a couple years I was doing more driving than anyone I knew. A needy dog five pounds too big to fly and a sick parent five hundred miles away sent me again and again to the closest rental depot, where I would be handed keys to a compact car of limited but occasionally stark variation. For the same price, I might settle into a vehicle loaded with sixty-seven computers and a heated steering wheel, or a shitbox with no USB port and a tire set to blow on a major Ontario highway. I would study the rental agent’s face as she clacked in the relevant data, looking for some sign of my fate.

Photo by Cédric Von Niederhäusern

Dreams of My Mother

  1. My grandmother Mary died last November at ninety-three, after six months of at-home hospice. It was on a Tuesday. By Thursday, my mother and I were in Philadelphia getting out the vote for Hillary Clinton. Mom was exhausted after a ye [...]

Democracy In Greece: for How Long?

Future historians who try to assess contemporary developments in Greece may be inclined to give a great deal of weight to the military junta that ruled the country from April 1967 until July 1974. They would be wrong. The junta, born in secrecy, comprised no more than about 50 officers. It remained throughout its reign true to its origins.