Best Of The Web
“At the time it seemed an unalloyed good. The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989—30 years ago Saturday—meant more than just the end of the Cold War. It meant the vanquishing of all walls, a giddy flinging-open of all doors—to free markets, to common political values across the world, to the birth of a true international community.
Three decades on, what we’ve got is less an international community than a vast wilderness, one full of vicious creatures that prey on us and our polities anonymously from dark digital places. This is not the classic anarchy of the realist conception: The so-called international community lives on, raggedly, in the form of global institutions and a still persistent (if flagging) consensus on open trade and norms against criminality and terrorism. Few nation-states are going to war with each other. But neither are they coming together. Rather than behaving like a community—in which members are made to feel responsible for their actions and mutual respect is a necessity—our globalized world more often seems like an anti-community. It is a bottomless hiding place for bad actors—both real and algorithmic—who are no longer held accountable for their behavior, whether they are willfully disseminating lies over an internet manipulated by digital monopolies that don’t care a whit for social welfare (much less truth) or selling dodgy securitized loans around the globe to people whose reputation creditors no longer have to worry about, as banks once did in the actual communities they nurtured.
It can hardly be a surprise that, in response, we are seeing a demand for new walls—both real and metaphorical…”
JJ Editor's Picks
"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."
"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."
"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."
"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."
"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."
"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."
"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."
"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."