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Attempts to abolish war—not a particular war but war as a social institution—are often dismissed as utopian idealism, wild fantasies far removed from the realm of real politics. War, we are told, is inevitable. Humans are territorial and predatory beings. Besides, there has always been war. Who...
Hitler deployed the first pilot-less flying bombs, the doodlebugs, as weapons of terror over London. “The drone of the planes,” Virginia Woolf related, is “like the sawing of a branch overhead. Round and round it goes, sawing and sawing.” It falls to the civilian under aerial attack to “fight...
A documentary photograph from the exhibition 15 Years of Artists of the RSFSR ( Khudozhniki RSFSR za 15 let ) that opened in Moscow in June 1933 shows the extent to which contemporaries perceived this show as a watershed, a moment when the last remnants of the bourgeois culture of...
The thirty-three-year-old artist Aleksandr Deineka was given a large piece of wall space at the exhibition 15 Years of Artists of the RSFSR at the Russian Museum in Leningrad in 1932. At the center of the wall hung his most acclaimed painting, The Defense of Petrograd of 1928, a civil-war-themed...
The question “Is nonviolence a possibility?” was a lightning rod of disorder in the 1960s as leftist groups became militarized, claiming counter-violence as the most effective vehicle of self-preservation. Numerous publications, whether advocating counter-violence as self-destruction or as...
Michael Haneke's 2009 The White Ribbon is set in the village of “Eichwald.” Eichwald cannot be found on any German map. It is an imaginary place in the Protestant North of Eastern Germany in the early twentieth century. What is more, Haneke tells his black-and-white tale as the flashback...
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