All posts tagged: george orwell

What Is To Be Done After 10 Days of Trump?

Ten days after an inauguration Trump christened a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion,” in a definite nod to the antics of the worst Kremlin puppets everywhere that came before him, it is a good time to look back and reflect on the horrors of the first ten days and envision a path forward. Nominally and historically, such questions about the type of administration in the past emerge after 100 days, an arbitrary marker to be sure, but thinking people everywhere observing America’s homegrown terror in the form of a poorly dressed, wildly insecure, overly bronzed lunatic are settling into the reality that we might not have the luxury of so much time. World War III has already begun but most are still sleeping and do not see the danger, the mushroom clouds lingering on the horizon.   Let us begin by asking a question that is inspired by the demagogue Lenin, lifted from the title of a mediocre novel by Nikolai Chernychevsky as the first rumblings of dissatisfaction within Imperial Russia’s aristocracy stirred: what is …

Shown Trial: Emin Milli and the Future of Azerbaijan

Shown Trial Fortnight Journal November 26, 2010 What happens to the Vaclav Havels of the world when their velvet becomes bloody? Azerbaijan, after its 2005 push for openness and reform in government, found itself somewhere among Budapest in 1956, Prague in 1968 and Poland in 1981. A human tragedy began; replete with obligatory (in the post-Soviet world) sideshows, show trials, political arrests and imprisonments of intellectuals—followed by their occasional, conditional release. When I met Emin Milli, one such Azeri prisoner of conscience, he was on leave from prison in Azerbaijan this summer for one week to attend his father’s funeral and mourn his passing. He sat with his wife, Leyla, and mother, Natella, in a cousin’s home, surrounded by friends and family in the village of Boyuk Oyrad, in his native Neftcala region of Azerbaijan. Leyla would later remark to Radio Free Europe how unfortunate it was that “someone had to die, so that we may talk.” Among such circles of dissent, history has provided for the emergence of several archetypes. Some dissenters are reluctant …