Articles by Richard E. Rubenstein
We found 15 results.
Elections as Religious Rituals: When Political Conflicts Are Also Conflicts of Faith
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Mar 2021
I am certainly not the first commentator to notice that elections in democratic states (and often in non-democracies) bear a strong resemblance to religious rituals. They are meaningful collective events that take place at special times in an atmosphere both solemn and celebratory. Like sacred rites, their validity depends upon strict adherence to formal behaviors, such as casting officially sanctioned ballots in officially sanctioned ways at officially sanctioned places.→ read full article
U.S. Presidential Elections: The Triumph of Neo-Tribalism
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 9 Nov 2020
Tribalism is what happens when competing social groups identify themselves as peoples or “nations,” with each group embracing a narrative that expresses a commonly accepted version of its history, grievances and destiny. Political party affiliation is now as strong as religious identity. “You’re not going to change your religion if somebody tells you that Moses didn’t actually have the Ten Commandments.” It also helps to explain why conflicts formerly framed as differences over public policy tend to be reframed in terms of the defense of some threatened way of life.→ read full article
(Norsk) Politiet skyter, men det er systemet som dreper
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Aug 2020
Erkjenne rasisme? Ja! Mindre penger til politiet? Visselig. Men ingenting av dette vil få undertrykte lokalsamfunn dit de ønsker, med mindre USAs kapitalistiske orden blir endret eller rettet mot å tilfredsstille menneskelige behov.→ read full article
Transformation: The Impact of the COVID-19 Plague on Western Political Attitudes
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Aug 2020
A silent revolution in political attitudes is taking place in response to Covid-19. To maintain that the pandemic of 2020 and its aftershocks have very likely inflamed existing social and cultural conflicts by no means forecloses the possibility that, by shaking up existing systems of governance, they have also created new opportunities for effective conflict resolution.→ read full article
(Norsk-Norwegian) Kampen mot koronavirus – er vi i ”krig”?
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Jul 2020
Noen omtaler kampen mot koronavirus som krig, definert som en væpnet konflikt mellom to eller flere parter, enten folkegrupper eller stater. I likhet med væpnede konflikter har koronapandemien også ført til store lidelser, og en rekke land har innført portforbud. Forfatteren analyserer årsaker til den raske, globale spredningen av koronaviruset, og diskuterer muligheter for å skape en mer menneskelig, mindre sårbar verden.→ read full article
The Police May Pull the Trigger, but It’s the System That Kills
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Jun 2020
Fifty years ago I published my first book, Rebels in Eden, an exploration of mass political violence in America focusing on the uprisings in Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington. Acknowledge racism? Yes! “Defund” the police? Certainly. But none of this will get oppressed communities where they want to go unless America’s capitalist order is transformed or redirected toward the satisfaction of human needs.→ read full article
The Struggle against Coronavirus: Are We at “War”? How Will It Change the World?
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 Mar 2020
Like a wartime enemy, the virus is portrayed as a maleficent external threat, an alien force that endangers one’s homeland and personal security. Associating the biological threat with a political adversary, the American president labeled it a “Chinese virus,” while Chinese leaders have insisted that the virus was manufactured at the Pentagon’s biological warfare facility in Fort Detrick. This game of blame-the-adversary is absurd, of course.→ read full article
Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Sows Confusion
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 16 Sep 2019
If Democrats are unable to recognize Trump’s (and their own) addiction to power as the sole means of dealing with conflicts, they will not understand that “toughness” and “softness” constitute a false dichotomy in foreign affairs. Power does not solve the social problems that generate war. Creativity, empathy, analysis, and determination are needed to solve those problems and generate effective options for conflict resolution. We have reason to believe that younger members of the opposition, in particular, have already begun to understand this.→ read full article
“That Was Then, This Is Now.” “Oh, yeah?” The Problem of Anti-Relativism in Political Morality
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 12 Aug 2019
Anti-relativist thinking insists that certain values approved by the speaker are constant and unchangeable. This means that behaviors that we now believe are wrong were ‘always’ unacceptable, and should always have always been recognized as such. Anti-relativism’s opposite, moral relativism, can be summed up in the phrase, “Other times, other customs.” Historical eras, social conditions, and cultural environments change, altering commonly accepted definitions of right and wrong.→ read full article
Anti-Semitism and Jewish Self-Determination
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Apr 2019
Is There a Jewish Right of Self-Determination?
Self-Determination on What Territory?
Self-Determination for Whom and for What?
Trump vs. the Anti-Trumps: It’s the System That Needs Changing, Not just the Personnel
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Feb 2019
President Trump’s adversaries do not understand that in making attacks on his character their primary strategy, they are playing his game, in his stadium, according to his rules. By doing so, they reinforce the stereotypes that Trump has successfully marketed to his base. This sort of personalism excludes a discourse that is essential to solving the problems that gave Trump the presidency: the discourse of systems and system-change.→ read full article
The Empire-Lovers Strike Back!
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 24 Sep 2018
Trump, Putin, and the Anti-Russian Coalition in the U.S. – Looking a bit more closely at what holds the anti-Trump foreign policy coalition together, one discovers a missing reality that virtually no one will acknowledge directly: the existence of a beleaguered but still potent American Empire whose junior partner is Europe. What motivates a broad range of the President’s opponents is not so much the fear that he is anti-American as the suspicion that he is anti-Empire. Of course, neither liberals nor conservatives dare to utter the “E-word.”→ read full article
Fascism in America: A Preventable Danger
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 4 Dec 2017
Over the past few months, the possibility of a fascist America has moved from the realm of academic speculation to that of common concern… If these are some of the causes of potential fascism, what can be done to eliminate or mitigate them before the fascist movement gets stronger? A key concept here is the existence of systemic problems and the need for systemic solutions. Dialogue is a key starting point for this sort of rethinking.→ read full article
American Sniper and America’s “War on Terror”
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 30 Mar 2015
The issue I want to emphasize here is how extreme focus, eliminating both breadth and depth, historical context and psychological motivation, afflicts our general approach to the “War on Terror” and effectively rules out conflict resolution.→ read full article
Johan Galtung an Anti-Semite? I Don’t Think So!
Richard E. Rubenstein – TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 May 2012
I think that Galtung’s main difficulty, in all this brouhaha, has been to speak carelessly and somewhat peremptorily about highly sensitive matters, previously taboo, that require much care and precision of speech in order to avoid arousing post-traumatic fears and giving an impression of insensitivity to people’s basic needs. “An anti-Semite used to be someone who didn’t like Jews. Now it means someone Jews don’t like.”→ read full article