China: The People’s Fury

Richard Bernstein

A protester chants slogans against the United States supporting an international court ruling that denied China's claims to the South China Sea, outside US Consulate in Hong Kong, China, July 14, 2016
Bobby Yip/Reuters

It is clear that neither China’s leadership nor the censorship apparatus have shown much interest in allowing an honest accounting of the South China Sea case. China may be too locked into a nationalism of grievance and its cult of national humiliation to allow for any public compromise, and this would make any settlement of the disputes that bedevil the country’s relations with its neighbors and with the United States all the more difficult.

The Trump-Putin Fallacy

Masha Gessen

Donald Trump, Fresno, California, May 27, 2016
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Trump is not a foreign agent, controlled by Putin. He is a thoroughly American creation that poses an existential threat to American democracy. Now that Trump has become the Republican nominee—and has pulled even or even slightly ahead of Clinton in the most recent polls—it is time to force ourselves to imagine the unimaginable: Trump as elected president of the United States.

Austria: The Lesson of the Far Right

Jan-Werner Müller

On one side of the new conflict are those who advocate more openness: toward minorities at home and toward engagement with the world on the outside. On the other side we find the Le Pens, Farages, and Trumps: close the nation-state off by shutting borders and thereby, or so they promise, take back control; but also, preserve the traditional hierarchies that have come under threat on the inside.

The End of Republicanism?

Jonathan Freedland

Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Tiffany Trump, on the third day of the Republican National Convention, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

After the convention, many Republicans are worried that Trumpism does not respect the prudent, cautious, free-market conservatism they value. Trump is turning his back on decades of Republican Party doctrine and, for millennials especially, making the Republican Party a “toxic brand.”

Party of Rage

Elizabeth Drew

Chris Christie, Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani, Cleveland, Ohio, 2016
Mike Segar/Reuters; David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

The strategy and tone that lay behind this week’s Republican convention in Cleveland, and that have lain behind Donald Trump’s campaign from its outset, reflect a strain that has existed in the Republican Party for nearly fifty years. That is, to play on the politics of fear, hatred, and race.

France at War

Christopher de Bellaigue

French CRS anti-riot police near the French National Assembly, Paris, France, July 5, 2016
Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Days after the Nice attacks, French politics has shifted toward militarism, xenophobia, and the all-powerful state. France is hurtling toward a presidential election that will bring more hostility, fear, and division, and be fought against the expectation of further attacks. In the meantime, the racial profiling and frisking of Arabs in the street, the police raids in the middle of the night will intensify, contributing to further alienation of French Muslims.

‘What I Couldn’t Say Myself’

Max Nelson

Danny Lyon: Cal on the Springfield Run, Illinois, 1966
Edwynn Houk Gallery/The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Danny Lyon has spent much of his career taking intimate photographs of marginal, working-class, and outlaw communities. Many of the most striking pictures in the Whitney Museum’s new survey, “Danny Lyon: Message to the Future,” come from these milieus. But more than the pictures themselves, it’s Lyon’s sixteen nonfiction films that show how his relationships with his subjects have developed haltingly and sometimes tensely over time.

Reality TV in Cleveland

Jonathan Freedland

Delegates at the Republican National Convention after the announcement that there would not be a roll-call vote on the Convention Rules Committee's report and proposed rules changes, Cleveland, Ohio, July 18, 2016
Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

Trump’s candidacy rests on his experience as a business leader, on the notion that he is the CEO ready to run America, Inc. What he has demonstrated so far at the Republican convention in Cleveland is not deviation from an ideological norm, but simple ineptitude. And for a would-be chief executive to the nation, that’s not a good look.

ISIS: The Durability of Chaos

Scott Atran

Empty beach chairs on the Promenade des Anglais, a day after the Bastille Day attack, Nice, France, July 15
David Ramos/Getty Images

Rather than reflecting a movement in decline, the Nice attack may be best understood as a recalibration of long-endorsed tactics in the service of an overriding strategy of world revolution. Even if ISIS loses all of its territory in Syria and Iraq, the global jihadi archipelago could continue to expand if the social and political conditions that have led to its emergence continue to persist.

The Creepy World of Bruce Conner

J. Hoberman

Still from Bruce Conner's Breakaway, 1966
© Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Bruce Conner’s enormously influential follow-up to A Movie, Cosmic Ray (1962) was the original underground blockbuster—a frantic found-footage-plus-gyrating-naked-woman montage set to Ray Charles’s ecstatic What’d I Say. Establishing Conner as the poet of sexual frenzy, the film anticipated the MTV aesthetic and, since it was first shown as a multi-screen projection piece installation at San Francisco’s Batman Gallery, also anticipated the cinema installations that are now commonplace if not ubiquitous. Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho (1993) and Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) are exemplary instances of Cosmic Ray’s descendants.