Christopher Caldwell

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Bankers Took Over the Climate Change Summit. That’s Bad For Democracy

The big annual United Nations forum for debate on climate change ended this month in Glasgow in a way that left many attendees bewildered. Money men have taken the thing over.

COP26, as the event was called, was less like its predecessors and more like a second “Davos” — the January meeting of the World Economic Forum where the global economy’s moguls and regulators meet to map out our economic future. Dozens of private jets arrived for COP26, bringing investors and fossil-fuel lobbyists in embarrassing profusion. The finance writer Gillian Tett noted that between 2015 and today, the “tribe” of COP attendees had been transformed from one of “environment ministers, scientists and activists” to one of “business leaders, financiers and monetary officials.”…  Seguir leyendo »

In Germany, Armin Laschet was the Christian Democratic Union’s candidate for chancellor. The party performed poorly in last month’s elections. Credit Clemens Bilan/EPA, via Shutterstock

The drubbing inflicted on Germany’s Christian Democratic Union in the country’s recent elections is a sign that, alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 16-year stint in power, something larger is coming to an end.

Aside from NATO, the Christian Democratic Union is the most venerable postwar political institution in continental Europe. It has led Germany, usually in coalition, for all but 20 years of the country’s post-Nazi political history. Focused on economic growth, Christian traditions, anti-Communism and maintenance of the Atlantic alliance, the party was a guarantee to Germany’s allies that Europe’s largest, richest country would be stable and dependable. With the measly 24 percent of the vote that Ms.…  Seguir leyendo »

Is This the End of French Intellectual Life?

At the end of last summer, Le Débat, France’s most prestigious intellectual review, accompanied its 40th-anniversary issue with a wholly unexpected announcement: It would cease publication forthwith. Le Débat and its three or four thousand loyal readers had maintained an allegiance to the political left since the Cold War — but the meaning of “left” has been shifting. Rivals now claim the term, particularly social movements that arose in France in the 1980s to champion what is variously called identity politics or social justice. After waging a decades-long twilight struggle against these movements, Le Débat has lost.

Intellectuals of all persuasions have been debating what that defeat means for France, and they have reached a conclusion: The country’s intellectual life has come under the sway of a more ideological, more identity-focused model imported from the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

Are GameStop’s ‘Degenerates’ Just Getting Started?

The American financial system has just been disrupted by a mass movement of “autists,” “degenerates” and “retards,” to use their own most frequent self-descriptions. There seem to be half a million active investors among them, although the Reddit forum where they congregate, commiserate and swap stock tips has swelled to eight million users, up from a million just a month ago.

That Reddit forum, WallStreetBets, is home to profanity-laced tirades against short-sellers, hedge funds, online brokers and other pillars of today’s investment establishment. Its users might have gone unnoticed had they not pulled off one of the investment coups of the young century.…  Seguir leyendo »

After the German historian Rolf Peter Sieferle took his own life last September at age 67, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the country’s progressive paper of record, called his erudition “breathtaking.” For three decades Mr. Sieferle had applied the old traditions of German social science to new preoccupations, from ecological sustainability to social capital. He was among the pioneers of German environmental history. He wrote on Marx, German conservatism around World War I and the end of Communism. He advised Angela Merkel’s government on climate change.

But last month, a posthumous collection of Mr. Sieferle’s observations on Germany’s political culture, “Finis Germania” (the title plays on a phrase meaning “the end of Germany”), hit No.…  Seguir leyendo »

El presidente Donald Trump se ha convertido en un problema para quienes conciben la política en términos de ideologías sistemáticas. Trump se muestra reacio o es incapaz de establecer su agenda de esa manera. Así que ha sido inevitable que sus oponentes invoquen a su principal estratega, Stephen Bannon, quien sí tiene el don de pensar sistemáticamente. No solo lo necesitan para que sea el blanco de su odio, sino también como heurística. Puede que jamás haya un “trumpismo” y, a menos que surja uno, el punto más cercano al que podríamos llegar para entender esta administración sería acuñar una expresión como “bannonismo”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le terrorisme touche l’opinion au cœur. Toute réponse humaine au terrorisme doit reposer sur l’empathie avec les victimes. Les Américains ont été émus de voir les Français rassemblés, brandissant des pancartes avec le slogan « Je suis Charlie ». Mais pour un Américain, ce slogan est dangereux. On ne se contente pas de répondre au terrorisme par la seule empathie. C’est aussi une question de puissance.

Les Etats-Unis peuvent se targuer d’un bilan extraordinairement positif dans leur lutte contre le terrorisme intérieur au cours des vingt-cinq dernières années. Certains aspects de leur stratégie pourraient être appliqués à la France. En raison des mésaventures militaires en Irak et en Afghanistan, consécutifs aux attentats du 11 septembre 2001, on a pu penser à l’étranger que l’administration Bush avait échoué – mais le fait que Bush soit parvenu à protéger son pays contre une nouvelle attaque lui a assuré à la fois sa popularité et sa réélection.…  Seguir leyendo »

Alongside Greek debt and the Libyan intervention, European Union countries are bickering over another issue, one that could well determine the future of their would-be megastate: immigration and internal borders. A growing number, including Italy, France and Denmark, want to carve out exceptions to the agreements under which member states open their borders to one another.

The issue has been simmering for years, but unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and fears of a new wave of migrants have brought it to a boil. Of course, closing off Europe to newcomers violates the cosmopolitan vision on which the European Union was built, and doing so could kill the project altogether.…  Seguir leyendo »