- oD 50.50
Trump's first hundred days
Social purpose is indeed essential to broadcasting something ignored in the recent market farces of the UK sector. But funding sources and methods are still crucial in judging performance and value when the publics money is being spent. The emotional preference for the public over the commercial sector inhibits the rational assessment of either.
Roger Scruton and Sophie Jeffreys are right that a planning process which fits peoples needs must be aesthetic rather than only economic or technical. But people seek novelty as well as coherence in their urban experience. The static certainties of classicism cannot contain modern longings. We must make cities feel, and be, creative.
The old David Elstein understood what the new one has seemingly forgotten, that an obsession with cost leads to the worst of both worlds inefficiency as well as an erosion of the creative spirit. It is time to rethink.
The protest movements against global capitalism have mobilised the energies of a generation. But to change a system requires creative imagination as well as the power of numbers or ideas - and the sense of an alternative. The real debate is just beginning.
The language of normality has defined the contest for the Tory leadership. But its coded power in Conservative politics only reveals the gap between the political culture and the society it rules.
Everyone these days is calling themselves a liberal, while bookshops close in an ancient seat of learning. If youre not confused about the logic of this, how can you understand whats going on?
In Issue 3 of openDemocracy, we published an interview with Esther Dyson on governing the Internet. She described how ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was created - and called for global parties to keep it open and accountable. Our members had the opportunity to put their questions to her in our debate section. Just back from a meeting of the At-Large Study Committee of ICANN, she responds to six of them, dealing with issues of both process and principle. She finishes by examining notions of global democracy.
The core arguments against the way public sector broadcasting operates in the UK are restated by the media section co-editor: excessive cost, inefficiency, and (in the context of a fragmenting audience) anachronism. By the valid criterion of good value for public money, BBC and Channel 4 simply do not cut the mustard.
The morning shave and hair wash was once so simple. But life for a man is getting harder especially when you examine the shampoo bottle.
Those who have endured decades of perverse Bollywood fantasies bombarding their own besieged cultures will point to darker shades cast by Indias pretensions to world power status.
Latin America has been stony ground for public broadcasting. In the era of privatisation, political timidity in the face of business has facilitated state capture by media moguls. But can local, democratic vitality and imaginative use of new technology add diversity to the media landscape?
People are reassembling communities in the global public spaces between home, work, and country of origin. Researching her play about the hard road from Macedonia to London, a dramatist discovers the exile café to be not just a place of refuge, but a metaphor for the continents future.
This old school Conservative with a social conscience has good memories of a secure life in Lincolnshire, Cambridge, and London. But, as she tells openDemocracy, her work with the London poor, and encounters with the Worcester young, confirm her sense of a society losing its sense of discipline and authority. As for politics, when you have voted for Churchill and Thatcher, how could Blair or Hague inspire?
The Europe of tomorrow must serve its citizens in an open, dedicated and honest way. This means turning towards transparency and clear rules, says the EU ombudsman Jacob Söderman. But it is also up to European citizens to bury the bureaucratic world of Kafka and Gogol.
Their second electoral defeat has seen the Conservatives embrace a language of freedom over drugs and censorship as well as hunting. The Labour government, cast as illiberal during its first term, seems less interested in the issue. This is a mistake: convincing people that the state can enlarge peoples freedom will be a vital task of Labours second term.
Talk of freedom often masks a clamour for rights. And the instincts of survival and belonging can seem more truly precious than the lonely attractions of non-conformism. Yet, says the chairman of the Countryside Alliance, there is a freedom beyond rights that must be guaranteed in writing if democracy is to work well.
Behind the bombastic special effects, Michael Bays epic of the 1941 day of infamy is the product of an America steeped in regressive myths of death, innocence, and purity.
The documentary history of jazz by Ken Burns is the work of a raw enthusiast, unbalanced in judgment, flawed by hero-worship, and tone-deaf to unorthodox streams of the great river. A respected jazz critic acknowledges its merits... and makes its silences audible.
Modernist architecture is more than a failure; it is a mistake. It has degraded our cities and ruptured the dialogue across generations essential to civic life. The future lies in a return to the principles of classicism: fittingness of building and settlement, part and whole, people and dwellings.
Youve decoded Derrida, mangled De Man, slurped Sollers, and cursed Kristeva. But what do you make of the new darling of French philosophy, Francois Deluges? After you, dear reader...
The sale of body parts is illegal in every country in the world except China and Iran. But an intrepid television reporter tracks down a production line that stretches from the villages of Moldova (now officially the poorest country in Europe) via Istanbul to Israel. She discovers that the organ business is thriving and even government funded.
There is more to Bonn, the WTO and the G8 than tear gas and cigar smoke. Their lesson, says the head of the International Chamber of Commerce, is that effective policy outcomes require the involvement of governments, business and NGOs alike.
An involved observer moves between the white overalls, the black block, and straw-hatted England in search of the truth behind the headlines. A vivid diary of the historic Genoa summit.
The trend of United States security policy reinforces the need for a fresh approach to international relations, argues an Iranian scholar of international affairs.
Land scarcity in Britain is a myth spun into fact by planning controls. To this extent Jules Lubbock is right. But the way towards individual freedom and community rebirth, says Prince Charless favourite architect, is not to collapse the controls, but through the careful release of millions of plots of land in variegated new settlements.
By the logic of New Labour Absolutely Fabulous promotes drunkenness and child abuse, and Fawlty Towers is offensive to Britains hoteliers.
Security policy differences between Europe and the US are real and growing. A researcher of international security and conflict mediation sketches those differences from missile defence and weaponisation of space to nuclear policy and arms control. Is US unilateralism a danger, and how should its allies respond?
The EU has enlarged, not diminished, freedom for Portugal: the liberating end to a purely national destiny, even with jaqizimhos no longer on the menu. A Portuguese writer describes how a disco night and a visit to Morocco helped reinforce a borderless confidence.
Silvio Berlusconis victory in the Italian general election returned the TV mogul to political power. But the Italian people were not brainwashed by his television stations. Rather, the skills and resources of his corporate machine allowed him to construct the right wing alliance which now dominates Italian politics.
The British general election is viewed from classical Athens... and found wanting.