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  • OPINION

    Trump, the un-American strongman

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 29/03/2016

    » US politics today presents, to this foreign observer at least, a very un-American spectacle. A country originally built on immigration is awash with popular hatred against immigrants. A candidate of the right rails against free trade and foreigners, while that of the left proclaims his faith in socialism. Xenophobia is rife. Class war seems perilously close to the surface.

  • OPINION

    Trumpism meets defeat in London

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 10/05/2016

    » Donald Trump became last week the presumptive Republican nominee in the US presidential elections. But those condemned to agonising suspense and anxiety until November should note that Trumpism, or the politics of hate and fear, also suffered a major defeat last week.

  • OPINION

    Trump brings issues to the fore

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 08/08/2016

    » Political life in the West, it is safe to say, has not witnessed a figure such as Donald Trump for decades. His attacks on the parents of army captain Humayun Khan, who died on duty in Iraq in 2004, is the latest jaw-dropping episode from his presidential campaign. But as he lurches toward what one hopes will be ignominious defeat in November, we must also acknowledge two positive contributions he has made, however inadvertently, to public life.

  • OPINION

    Suu Kyi's challenge

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 24/08/2016

    » Yangon is suddenly a city of "phablets". Nowhere in Asia, let alone Europe, have I seen so many supersized smartphones in public spaces, and with such egalitarian appeal: Pavement vendors selling early 20th century British guides to English grammar seem as transfixed by them as Yangon's smart set playing Pokemon Go.

  • OPINION

    There's a reason why populists tend to lose elections

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 20/10/2016

    » In a democracy, the "people" are the supreme arbiters, and their wisdom speaks through the electoral process. Such is the assumption on which the modern world has been built since God and monarchs began to fade from the scene. Lately, however, the wisdom of the people has felt a bit off-key. In one country after another, from the Philippines to the US, Hungary to India, the people have chosen to boost demagogues, not to mention serial gropers.

  • OPINION

    Why resistance to strongmen crumbles so quickly

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 15/11/2016

    » The election of Donald Trump, whose campaign trafficked in racism and misogyny, as the president of the United States is a calamity. But And to those who have witnessed the subsequent radical makeover of India under Mr Modi, the prospect of Mr Trump assuming supreme power brings on acute foreboding.

  • OPINION

    Cruel new world as sympathy ebbs

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 12/09/2017

    » A culture of cruelty is sweeping the world and it cuts across ideological as well as national borders. In India last week, the murder of Gauri Lankesh, a prominent journalist and critic of Narendra Modi's government, was met with euphoria by his online supporters. One of Modi's own ministerial colleagues felt compelled to "strongly condemn & deplore," as he wrote on Twitter, "the messages on social media expressing happiness on the dastardly murder".

  • OPINION

    China should heed Asia's wise man

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 02/10/2018

    » Visiting Beijing in August, Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's recently elected prime minister, startled his hosts by boldly warning against a "new version of colonialism". He was referring to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan which aims to put the People's Republic at the heart of a global commercial web.

  • OPINION

    In India, mobile revolution only a click away

    News, Pankaj Mishra, Published on 22/04/2019

    » 'On or about December 1910, human character changed," the English novelist Virginia Woolf once wrote. It's no exaggeration to say that human character in India changed equally dramatically between 2014 and 2019 as the number of active smartphones in the country quadrupled from 100 million to 400 million.

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