Much hubbub over the Syrian airstrike--everything from patriotic fervor to seemingly-genuine terror about World War 3. What happens when we take a step back from the hype and political spin, and look at the strike in the context of geopolitics, international relations, and history?Read More
ReConsider, by Xander and Erik, is a twice per month podcast in which we take on, in-depth, one pressing political issue facing western Democracies with a fresh, researched, and challenging perspective. We help listeners see the full context behind the issue and make up their own minds.
We're joined by Mark Schauss to give us a whirlwind tour of Russian history. Mark is the host of the Russian Rulers History Podcast: http://russianrulers.podhoster.com/
We walk through how Russia has dealt with its neighbors and the world, through the Mongols, the Great Northern War, the Napoleonic War, the later 1800s, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and post-Cold War. It's a ton of fun.Read More
(Not the news source.)
Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean's Russia Blog and Podcast, at seansrussiablog.org. He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA.
Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what's actually going on with Russia today. We ask:
-Who's in charge? How does Russia's leadership work?
-Why is United Russia so popular?
-What's the economy really look like?
-How corrupt is Russia?
-How do Russians feel about the world?
-What's the plan in Ukraine? How's it going?
-What about the Syria intervention?
-Did Russia manipulate US elections?
-Why is Russia picking a fight with NATO?
-What common narratives about Russia just don't make sense?
Russia is a scary place--and very misunderstood. We decided it deserves 4 whole episodes unto itself. We'll be teaming up with 4 big-wigs that know their stuff about Russia to help you dive deep and understand Russia a whole lot better.Read More
Or, "How'd punching Nazis work out last time?"
People in the United States are starting to talk about using political violence in response to perceived dangerous political extremism and violent rhetoric. We look through history to see how the use of violence had worked or not worked to suppress unwelcome political ideologies.
We look purely at the results and consequences of the violence, rather than discussing the morality or ethics of it.Read More
If we want to learn a little bit more about Trump's path to the Presidency, we can look to recent history. It's not actually totally unprecedented.
Spain, going through its own very tough economic times, has vaulted the populist-left Podemos to the fore, out of nowhere at all. Podemos is a bunch of political outsiders with a Marxist approach to campaigning--and they adopted this style very deliberately. They have a lot to teach us about what might become the new politics of the 21st century.
We're joined by author, campaign adviser, and VisualPolitik director Fonseca Porras to learn more about Podemos and discuss the parallels with Trump in this particularly exciting episode!Read More
There's a play called Sir Thomas More that is _not_ Shakespeare... but scholars have agreed that its most awe-inspiring monologue was indeed written by Shakespeare himself. In Sir Ian McKellen's words: "you'll know when you hear it."
Xander delivers a special episode today: he reads the famous monologue from the play, on refugees. He does it first in modern English so you can understand it well, and then follows up with the Original Pronunciation, which was the English used in Shakespeare's time. the OP dramatically improves the rhyme and rhythm of the reading.Read More
People of another religion are showing up, and not all of them are friendly--some are even kinda terrorists. The economic situation is pretty tough and people are worried about jobs being lost to new arrivals.
Sound familiar? It's 1555 in England. We've been through this before; how did England deal? What can we learn about today?Read More
The role of the US in the world since WWII has been unprecedented in history. It has established a complex liberal world order with itself at the top, unchallenged.
Is it time to change that role? What challenges is the current international order facing, and how can the US face those? How can it adjust its strategy in the face of these challenges and changes?
In this episode we interview the esteemed Michael Mazarr, of RAND, at the lead of one of their most ambitious projects yet, "Building a Sustainable International Order."Read More
But seriously, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Something about having to travel in carriages?
It's a question a lot of people are asking after an election with a pretty big gap between the popular vote and the outcome.
So why on earth does it exist? What's the point? Is it fulfilling its purpose? What alternatives are there, and how would we get to them?
Learn all this and more, including why you don't kill your admirals, on today's episode!Read More
"I'm gonna drain the swamp."
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump's rise and agenda are a political revolution.
But revolutions are hard, even after you win. Most have failed miserably. What will it take for Trump to fulfill his vision, rather than fall apart?Read More
English King Richard III was a bad bad dude, right? If you're a fan of Shakespeare, you know this is true.
But what if there's more to the story? Today we take a look at a guy that's gotten no love of history.Read More
There's a lot of pain and frustration across the country--and no matter what, half of it was going to be really upset today. How did Trump pull the upset? Where do we go from here? How do we understand each other better and heal the divide?Read More
A 55-year-old civil war may be about to come to an end. The government of Colombia and FARC have hammered out a big, complicated, icky peace deal, and it's going to referendum on October 2nd.
The consequences for Colombia, the geopolitics of the Western Hemisphere, and other civil conflicts could be huge. It's something you should know about, and we'll give you the context to be up to speed.Read More
What if you decided to immerse yourself in the opposite political narrative to what you know?
That's just what Stephanie did. She lives surrounded by liberal news media and friends, and she decided to spend a few months reading and listening only to Fox News, to understand what's missing from her own narrative.
The results are awesome.Read More
Everything's falling apart! The breakdown of multilateral institutions! Anti-establishment candidates are popping up everywhere! Russia is escalating! China! Syria! Turkey! Terrorism!
What's it all look like in the long-term?Read More
The Party Conventions have come and gone. Each of the two major parties has made their case to America that their candidate is fit to lead. What's the takeaway for the country? What are the underlying strategies of each party and what groups are they trying to win? What do each of them, and the convention system in general, mean for the future of the US?Read More