‘EU’ Category

  1. The tax state and entrepreneurial profit

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    December 12, 2017 by AK

    Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind, wrote on Crooked Timber: Schumpeter famously said that taxes are the “thunder of world history.” In The Guardian, he put it this way: Taxes are the “thunder of world history,” wrote Joseph Schumpeter. “The spirit of a people … is written in its fiscal history.” Schumpeter’s 1918 …
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  2. “Until very recently Poles had never given much thought to Islam”?

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    November 19, 2017 by AK

    The Polish historian Jan Gross, the longtime target of nasty attacks by right-wing populists for his work on the Jedbawne massacre, is comparing the Warsaw marchers to the pre-WWII fascists from the anti-Semitic parties led or inspired by Roman Dmowski: A youth organization that helped organize the march in Warsaw is a descendant of a …
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  3. Culture Club

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    November 13, 2017 by AK

    The background in this photograph from last weekend’s nationalist march in Warsaw would not look out of place in Moscow. The “palace of culture and science” in Warsaw, a product of late Stalin-era Soviet architecture, resembles the seven Stalin towers in Moscow, especially the University building, and the unbuilt eighth tower in Zariadye. The skyscraper …
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  4. Fit for any office of the state

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    October 23, 2017 by AK

    My thoughts keep coming back to the story of the postmistress from the Sedlčany district as told by Švejk in Jaroslav Hašek’s novel. You can find it near the end of Part III, “A Glorious Spanking.” I’m relying on Cecil Parrott’s 1973 for the quotes while keeping an eye on Petr Bogatyrev’s Russian translation and the …
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  5. Leavers: 38% in Catalonia, 37% in UK (and 38% in Scotland)

    3

    October 2, 2017 by AK

    A little fewer than 38% of the eligible voters answered “yes” in the Catalonian independence referendum yesterday. That is, 42% turned out to vote and 89% of them voted “yes” to independence. Or, to count directly, 2.02 million out of the 5.34 registered voters chose independence. In last year’s Brexit referendum, over 37% of the …
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  6. Houellebecq and the Karamazov family

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    September 14, 2017 by AK

    In a review of Michel Houellebecq’s H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, Lee Rourke quoted the opening lines of the French author’s 2001 novel Platform: Father died last year. I don’t subscribe to the theory by which we only become truly adult when our parents die; we never become truly adult… As I stood before …
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  7. A parody of the Flying Dutchman finale

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    September 10, 2017 by AK

    I’ve been trying to find a YouTube comment that I enjoyed greatly after first reading it, years ago. Only a few months back, I could easily find it but now, no luck. I hope my retelling does justice to the commenter. The clip was a scene from Wagner’s first mature opera, The Flying Dutchman, or …
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  8. Racine and other familiar names

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    September 2, 2017 by AK

    Another excerpt from Charles Rosen’s 1997 NYRB article on La Fontaine and French prosody: Most American and English students have a hard time understanding why Alfred de Musset literally fainted with ecstasy at the Comédie Française when he heard the line in Racine’s Phèdre: La fille de Minos et de Pasiphaé. No doubt, the idea …
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  9. “The movement of concepts is the center of interest”

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    August 30, 2017 by AK

    Looking for an annotated text of La Fontaine’s The Wolf and the Lamb for my previous post, I found this 1997 NYRB article by the pianist and polymath Charles Rosen (1927-2012) and could not put it down. I’ve since been coming back to it. What many French children like about the Fables is exactly what …
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  10. The court found their arguments irresistible

    1

    August 26, 2017 by AK

    The New York Times – Andrew Kramer, to be precise – reports from Moscow: A court ordered Russia’s largest privately owned business conglomerate [Sistema] on Wednesday to pay $2.3 billion to the country’s state oil company [Rosneft]… The conflict pits two of Russia’s largest companies. As the overall economy stagnates amid sanctions and low oil prices, …
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