Tuesday, February 9, 2016
  1. An Unhinged Democracy in America

    Ian Buruma

    An Unhinged Democracy in America

    2

     worries that majority rule may run amok, as it has in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and Poland.

    American flag

    Democracy, in the sense of majority rule, needs restraints, just like any other system of government. In the US, as elsewhere, key traditional restraints – including religion, professional journalism, and party establishments – are falling away. READ MORE

  2. How India’s Caste System Survives

    Shashi Tharoor

    How India’s Caste System Survives

    3

     describes how a Dalit student's suicide is spurring a reckoning with a toxic social legacy.

    Memorial for Rohith Vemula Saikat Paul/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire

    India has been shaken by the suicide of a Dalit student in Hyderabad – a stark reminder of the durability of India's rigid, caste-based social stratification. Why, despite constitutional guarantees of equality and affirmative action for lower-caste Indians, have these divisions endured? READ MORE

  3. The Cow Who…

    Peter Singer

    The Cow Who…

    8

     makes the case for switching from "that" to "who" in reference to animals.

    Cattle

    In a language like English, which implicitly categorizes animals as things rather than persons, switching from "that" to "who" would embody the recognition that cows, pets, and fish are all sentient beings, unlike tables, cars, and mountains. The personal pronoun would, in short, remind us who animals really are. READ MORE

  4. Rebuilding the Muslim House of Wisdom

    Jim Al-Khalili

    Rebuilding the Muslim House of Wisdom

    6

     reflects on what Arab and other governments must do to revive the spirit of scientific inquiry.

    Man studying the Quran

    Although governments across the Muslim world are increasing their science budgets sharply, throwing money at the problem is no panacea. The entire research environment needs to be addressed, particularly the need to nurture the intellectual freedom and skepticism on which scientific progress depends. READ MORE

  5. The Politics of Young and Old

    Jean Pisani-Ferry

    The Politics of Young and Old

    12

     asks why today's young people are worse off than young people a quarter-century ago.

    Young girl in out-of-focus urban environment

    If one considers the main challenges facing the world today – including climate change, pensions, public debt, and the labor market – a grim conclusion emerges: It is much worse to be young today than it was a quarter-century ago. And the invisibility of this change is bad for the young, for democracy, and for social justice. READ MORE

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