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A word of praise

Like a lot of people in my line of work, I don't use the media for news. I have my Google and other services set up to send me the latest stories on the parts of the world I am most interested in; I will often buy the Economist to find out what everyone else is reading; I buy the Guardian several times a week, but more for entertainment than information.

Since they got their RSS feed sorted out, I have found opendemocracy, the LJ feed for articles from the openDemocracy website, a really compelling read. Just today, for instance, there are three quite fascinating articles: my old friend Tom Gallagher on the SNP and Islam, the very respectable Paul Rogers assessing the vaunted US success in Iraq, and an article by a Belarusian journalist on the algebra of revolutions. Interesting reading, whether you agree with them or not.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
applez
Aug. 9th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links - I'll be checking on this more often (especially if I figure out how to subscribe to the RSS).

One comment about the 'algebra of revolutions' ... how then would Burma figure into that equation? Seems to me that dissident numbers are/were massive (including many officers of the regime, circa 1988), activist numbers large-then-few (due to exile and arrest), and even when high activist numbers turn out (NLD rallies, etc.), there is no compulsion of the regime to change its ways. It seems that there's another factor that has to be recognised - the cap on violence. Soviet tanks rolling into rebellious Baltic States were ultimately unsuccessful, but the combination of violence and division of opposition have appeared to work for China (Tiananmen + fast-growth economics, dividing city & country) and Burma (8 Aug '88* + 30 May '03).

*Note, the Ne Win retirement was something of a fake change of government.
applez
Aug. 9th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
Addendum to 'the cap'
Perhaps another dimension to consider is national consolidation, and what I mean by that is that there would still be a Russia if Lativa/Lithuania/Estonia were lost...and the Soviet Union was clearly crumbly everywhere. Chinese Communists are particularly allergic to the threats of civil war given the history that formed the nation to begin with (but I wonder if a similar 'baltic calculation' would apply to Tibet and Xi'an? Manchuria? Probably too late). Burma: well there is no where for the regime to withdraw to, even with its Pyinmana redoubt fantasy...it's certainly in an all-or-nothing situation, and its startling that they have managed to keep the status quo stall on change for so long.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 10th, 2007 10:18 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Hello,

We're glad that you are finding our RSS feed useful (we are also very glad it's now fixed!). We appreciate any feedback and hope you will keep on enjoying our published articles.

Best regards,

Jessica Reed
-openDemocracy's Participation editor
http://www.opendemocracy.net
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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