The Glory of Democracy

On college campuses, according to a Brookings/UCLA survey, 50 percent of students believe that “offensive” speech should be shouted down and 20 percent believe it should be violently crushed.

.. Democracy begins with one great truth, he argued: the infinite dignity of individual men and women. Man is made in God’s image. Unlike other animals, humans are morally responsible. Yes, humans do beastly things — Mann had just escaped the Nazis — but humans are the only creatures who can understand and seek justice, freedom and truth.

.. Monarchies produce great paintings, but democracy teaches citizens to put their art into action, to take their creative impulses and build a world around them.

.. Democratic citizens are not just dreaming; they are thinkers who sit on the town council. He quotes the philosopher Bergson’s dictum: “Act as men of thought, think as men of action.”

.. Mann argued that the enemies of democracy aren’t just fascists with guns. They are anybody who willfully degrades the public square — the propagandists and demagogues. “They despise the masses … while they make themselves the mouthpiece of vulgar opinion.”

.. all they see is the grubby striving for money and power and attention.

.. The authoritarians and the demagogues subjugate action through bullying and they subjugate thought by arousing mob psychology.

.. “This is the contempt of pure reason, the denial and violation of truth in favor of power and the interests of the state, the appeal to the lower instincts, to so-called ‘feeling,’


Kim Jong-un and the Art of Tyranny

You do not subjugate a people by taking everything from them. You subjugate them by giving them something they know you can take away. Desperate people aren’t always obedient. Dependent people usually are.

.. You need a 50-year solution to your strategic dilemmas, not just another set of piecemeal concessions from Seoul or Washington. That requires changing the game in East Asia by nudging America out. Whoever is helping you make such astonishing progress in your missile and nuclear programs clearly wants to use you to change the game, too.

.. Drive every wedge you can between Washington and Seoul. Some you get for free: Who else but Donald Trump would think to start a trade war with Seoul in the midst of a nuclear crisis with Pyongyang?

.. Or what if somebody found a Stuxnet-type solution to cripple your only operational refinery or blow up the pipeline through which you import crude from China?

.. Your retaliatory options are few. You can’t simply level Seoul with artillery: that would mean full-scale war and your prompt destruction. When you get down to it, you’re making up in gumption what you lack in nearly every other resource.