Foreign Affairs

The Militia Question

The Militia Question

The situation is even worse than liberal anxieties about a possible civil war suggest

The idea of white supremacist militias teaming up with federal and state governments for the sake of maintaining “law and order” seems less a radical rupture than the next link in a very bloody chain. The situation, in short, is even worse than liberal anxieties about a possible civil war suggest. It turns out that a certain type of white supremacist vigilantism is wholly compatible with the continued functioning of the American state. The specter of civil war that liberals fear is none other than the same modes of violence that have long been turned against BIPOC communities in this country without at all undermining the state.

Austere Moral Economy

Austere Moral Economy

AMLO’s politics of wanting it, badly

Mexican critics have raised concerns that AMLO and Morena are little more than a recycled PRI, pointing to AMLO’s formative political years and to Morena’s scale of control. What is different about AMLO, however, is his cult of personality and his distaste for the separation of powers.

Belarus Dispatch

Belarus Dispatch

Goodbye, Cockroach?

If you’ve ever compared Fox News commentary on Portland to the hours of video that Robert Evans posts, showing actual events on the ground around the federal courthouse there, then you already understand the dynamic. The past week in Belarus has been as clean a story of good versus evil as exists in the world. It is not a surprise that Belarusian state media took up the cause of evil, but Russian state media was at least faced with a choice. They chose evil too.

Antibacterial Wipes, Wigs, Jump Ropes, Vodka

Antibacterial Wipes, Wigs, Jump Ropes, Vodka

The fight for workplace safety at Amazon France

Thanks to its ubiquitous presence across Europe, Amazon was never seriously penalized. The nearly boundless scale of the company also allowed it to ignore the mandate about excluded products; its catalogue for French shoppers offered thousands of both essential and non-essential items. In fact, according to a report from Bloomberg, Seattle may have shut the French warehouses precisely to avoid setting this expensive and complex precedent for other countries.

The Wantok System

The Wantok System

A horizon of maximum difference, a test bed for linguistics and for linguists

New Guinea remained on my radar: a horizon of maximum difference, a test bed for linguistics and for linguists. Elsewhere, linguistic differences usually stem from geographic isolation. But in much of New Guinea the diversity is actually deepest in places where travel is easiest. Instead of using religion, clothing, or food, Papua New Guineas have distinguished themselves above all through language. Call it tribalism or, as linguists do, the “constructive fostering of variegation” through “intentional language change.”