Memorial Day Should Be An International Holiday

by Rich Rubenstein on May 30, 2016 · 1 comment

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Memorial Day is a day when this nation stops to honor the more than 1 million citizens who died in America’s wars. About half that number perished in the Civil War, whose termination gave rise to the holiday in 1868. But what was then called Decoration Day didn’t just honor the soldiers and sailors who fought to preserve the Union; it honored the Confederate dead as well, even though they were considered enemies of the United States.

Friends, it’s time – long past time – to honor the spirit of the holiday by turning it into a day to remember the war dead of all nationalities, not just our own. Most of those who paid the ultimate price for participating … read more...

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Students interested in Peace and Conflict Studies:

THERE IS STILL TIME TO APPLY TO THE 2016-17 DUAL DEGREE MASTER’S PROGRAM IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND MEDITERRANEAN SECURITY TAUGHT IN MALTA!

One of the world’s most interesting graduate programs is the intensive Master’s Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security taught in Malta by George Mason University and University of Malta faculty, now entering its sixth year of operation.

Students study for 13 months and earn two degrees, one from each university. The degrees equip students to work in the fields of conflict resolution, diplomacy, international and community development, and humanitarian relief, among others. Graduates have gone on to successful careers in institutions ranging from NGOs to government agencies, international organizations, think … read more...

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TRUTH IN LABELING: THE SCALIA SCHOOL OF LAW AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

Rich Rubenstein

My employer has done it again! The public university at which I am privileged to teach (and I mean that quite seriously) has accepted a large sum of money from the Koch Foundation and another Far Right donor on terms that require its first-tier law school to be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law.

George Mason is currently the largest academic recipient in the country of Koch brothers’ funds, which are used to finance a free-market research and lobbying institute called the Mercatus Center, an equally Hayekian economics department, something called the Institute for Humane Studies, and various other scholars and projects dedicated to the … read more...

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Elections 2016: Could America Go Fascist?

by Rich Rubenstein on March 1, 2016 · 2 comments

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The Unrest Group at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution presented a forum on February 28 at Busboys & Poets in Washington, D.C. on “Elections 2016: Could AMerica Go Fascist? What Can We Do About IT?” Five speakers made short comments and the discussion after each presentation was terrific. My comments were as follows:

ELECTIONS 2016:
COULD AMERICA GO FASCIST? WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT?
Forum Presented by S-CAR at Busboys & Poets, 28 February 2016

This morning, the conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed in the NY Times in which he called Donald Trump “a right-wing Caesarist whose authoritarian style and outrageous promises make George W. Bush look like Cato the Younger.” What’s the point of … read more...

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If Bernie Were A Socialist

by Rich Rubenstein on February 23, 2016 · 2 comments

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If Bernie Sanders were actually a socialist, what would his program for America look like?

In our current polarized political atmosphere, the right wing thinks that Bernie is at least a socialist, if not a closet Commie. Many professed leftists are sure he isn’t one of them. The confusion isn’t reduced by the fact that Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist,” which, it turns out, means that he admires European-style capitalism.

Bernie believes in taxing the rich in order to finance programs of assistance to the poor. He believes in trying to make business (especially the banking business) more competitive and socially responsible. He believes in a health insurance system like Canada’s, strong trade unions like Germany’s, and the tuition … read more...

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We Are All Everyone: Lessons of the Paris Attacks

by Rich Rubenstein on November 17, 2015 · 10 comments

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This piece is a little long, friends, but I hope that it sheds some light on a difficult subject.

“WE ARE ALL EVERYONE”:

LESSONS OF THE PARIS ATTACKS

Rich Rubenstein

In the aftermath of the Islamic State’s cruel and vicious attacks in Paris, one is tempted to declare, “Nous sommes tous Paris” (“We are all Paris”). Before November 14, however, virtually no one in the West was heard to declare, “We are all Beirut” – or Baghdad, Ankara, or Moscow – notwithstanding that civilians living in all these places were killed en masse by IS militants. Nor have we ever identified ourselves in slogans or Facebook profiles with the innocent Shia, Yazidis, Assyrian Christians, and other non-Westerners executed as apostates … read more...

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Europe’s Migration Crisis: Causes and Cures

by Rich Rubenstein on November 13, 2015 · 2 comments

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EUROPE’S MIGRATION CRISIS: CAUSES AND CURES

PUBLIC LECTURE AT
THE PRESIDENT’S FOUNDATION FOR WELLBEING OF SOCIETY,
VERDALA PALACE, MALTA, 16 OCTOBER 2015

Richard E. Rubenstein

THERE IS A NEW FIELD OF STUDY THAT SOME CALL THE SCIENCE OF IGNORANCE. ITS GOAL IS TO DETERMINE WHAT WE DON’T KNOW AND THEN DETERMINE HOW TO REDUCE THAT AREA OF IGNORANCE. THIS EVENING, I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE MIGRATION CRISIS – A PROBLEM THAT, DESPITE THE TITLE OF THIS SPEECH, IS NOT JUST EUROPEAN BUT GLOBAL, AND THAT IS MOST OF ALL A CRISIS FOR THE MIGRANTS THEMSELVES RATHER THAN FOR THOSE WELCOMING OR REFUSING TO WELCOME THEM.

IN DEALING WITH THIS COMPLEX TOPIC, IT IS GOOD TO BEGIN BY RECOGNIZING … read more...

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Donald Trump and the Politics of Personality

by Rich Rubenstein on August 20, 2015 · 6 comments

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DONALD TRUMP AND THE POLITICS OF PERSONALITY:
To Understand Trumpism, Look Abroad!

Richard E. Rubenstein

Despite the deluge of articles, tweets, photos, and jokes about Donald Trump, there has been very little discussion of the obvious parallels to Trump and Trumpism in other countries. Perhaps, this is because it’s easier either to idolize Trump or dismiss him if one considers him a uniquely American character – a modern P.T. Barnum, or a Jay Gatsby. The Donald is an American product, of course. But we will never understand him or appreciate the seriousness of his campaign unless we look at similar figures outside our own boundaries and traditions.

Here is a quiz. Who am I talking about when I describe an … read more...

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FROM CULTURES OF VIOLENCE TO CULTURES OF PEACE: THE PROBLEM OF VIOLENT SYSTEMS

SPEECH TO PRESIDENT’S FOUNDATION ON THE WELLBEING OF SOCIETY
SAN ANTON PALACE, MALTA, MAY 11, 2015

Richard E. Rubenstein

[Note: Prof. Rich Rubenstein was invited to address the President’s Foundation on the Wellbeing of Society by its director, Dr. Ruth Farrugia, an expert on family law and human rights on the Faculty of Law of the University of Malta. The President of Malta, H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, spoke first about the Foundation and its work on behalf of children, the disabled, and other marginalized groups, and its strong interests in gender equality, interfaith dialogue, and peace. Dr. Farrugia then introduced the speaker, whose remarks follow.] … read more...

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Prof. Rich Rubenstein speaks on “Alternatives to the War on Terror” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm at the Temple Baptist Church on Nebraska Ave., N.W., on the American University campus. All are welcome to attend. … read more...

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