How dictators flourish through social media

What does the power of the online mob hold for tyranny and conformity?

Adolf Hitler. Still from 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger's recent critique of social media hate is indicative of a greater problem.
  • The psychology of the crowd could be responsible for the hate and conformity seen online.
  • Polymath Gustave Le Bon's crowd psychology theories could be more relevant today than ever.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Are Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez redefining socialism in the U.S.?

Polls show that more Americans today define socialism as an ideology of "equality" than one espousing government control of the economy.

  • Socialism is shaping up to be 2020's hot-button issue.
  • Recent polls show that Republicans and Democrats hold very different definitions of what socialism is and those definitions have changed dramatically over time.
  • Politicians will naturally use the definition that speaks to their bases, but lacking an understanding of the opposing side's viewpoint will further partisan divide.
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Politics & Current Affairs

How Brexit has changed the mental map of Britain

Artistic and statistic cartography projects show the U.K. divided like never before.

Image source: The Grauniad / Anish Kapoor
  • Stumbling from one Brexit delay to the next, Britain is paralyzed by its political division.
  • Stark new work by Anish Kapoor reflects on the U.K.'s deep internal divide.
  • "Archipelago maps" show Britons living in two separate countries — much like Americans.
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Strange Maps

For a long time, the West shaped the world. That time is over.

The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.

  • Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
  • European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
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Videos

What socialism is — according to Michael Harrington

America's socialists owe a lot to one man, but what did he think about socialism?

  • Michael Harrington was a public intellectual who strove to help the poor and inspired a generation of socialists.
  • He was the first chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America, and nearly ran for president in 1980.
  • While he is far from the only influential thinker on the American left, his ideas have had an outsized influence over the last sixty years.
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Politics & Current Affairs