If there was ever a symbol to rival the eagle in America, it would surely be the gun. Fashioned by the early settlers for sustenance, survival and conquest, firearms have defined the American spirit prior to any constitutional declaration.
By Toyowo Ohgushi & T. Takashima; translated by Shocco
Japanese Perspectives, a duo of essays regarding the Japanese political position regarding the 1932 invasion of Manchuria, was originally published in 1933, in the German political science journal Zeitschrift fur Politik. Despite the nationality of its authors, it was originally penned in German, specifically for a European audience. We present it here not necessarily as an endorsement of what it says, or as a vindication of Japanese actions during WWII, but rather as an insight into a historical perspective that one does not often encounter on its own terms: that is, a sympathetic view of Japanese imperialism.
By Andrew Cuff
The socialists of the late nineteenth century realized that their ideas would have no staying power or cultural impact unless they took a cue from Christians and began to catechize the youth. They chose perhaps the dullest of all methods: enrolling children in “Socialist Sunday School” (SSS), which for the children was just as wretched as it sounds. A book of socialist hymns and nursery rhymes was made up, containing such gems as a “Hickory, Dickory, Dock” travesty about a little girl oppressed by her money-grubbing factory boss. There were an official socialist Ten Commandments, a socialist Pilgrim’s Progress about a worker’s quest for classless utopia, and a socialist children’s magazine (The Young Socialist) to communicate directly with the next generation. One issue of this magazine from June 1926 was perturbed by its readers’ lack of interest: “I suppose it is because you all have been so excited by the Strike that I have received no solutions for last month’s puzzle picture.”  The SSS eventually went extinct, although its most doltish traditions certainly live on in British and American public schools.
By Justin Geoffrey
In the popular mind, occultism is synonymous with diabolism. Thanks to decades of horror films, as well as the popularity of paranormal television programs like Ghost Hunters or Paranormal Adventures, the occult conjures forth ideas about black magick, demonic possession, and legions of other infernal activities. Those who dabble in the occult are deemed either wicked or ignorant of the ramifications. Most importantly, popular culture tends to see occultism as the purview of individuals, or the plaything of small, highly secretive cults.
"If we load up our leaders with this sort of analysis, their heads will explode."
This summation of the political situation of Afghanistan in 1978 by Aleksandr Orlov-Morozov, Deputy Station Chief of the KGB in Kabul, indicates the nation’s complexity even before the invasion of the Red Army on Christmas Eve 1979.  For millennia, the area which is now Afghanistan has seen off attempts at its conquest. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great barely escaped the Kunar Valley with his life after having been struck by an arrow, and likely married Roxana in an attempt to pacify the Bactrian tribes occupying the Hidu Kush.  More recently Afghanistan played host to ‘The Great Game’, the contest between the British and Russian Empires for supremacy in the region. When the British found their position in Kabul untenable at the end of the first Anglo-Afghan War, they attempted to retreat in column to Jalalabad some 100 miles away with 16,500 soldiers and civilians. Over the course of a week from January 6 to January 13 1842, the column was wiped out. Only one Briton, William Brydon, an assistant surgeon in the East India Company, made it to Jalalabad unmolested.  The British experience of Afghanistan inspired a verse in Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The Young British Soldier’:
“When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains an’ go to your Gawd like a soldier” 
Afghanistan has more than earned its moniker: ‘the Graveyard of Empires’.
6/13/2023 0 Comments
By Michael O'Donnell
The contention that nations and nationalism are a recent phenomenon has become cliché. Elie Kedourie defined nationalism by three propositions; humanity is naturally divided into nations, nations are known by certain characteristics, and the only legitimate government is national self-government. (1) For him, this idea was no older than the 19th century. Alongside Kedourie himself, the three most influential proponents of this view have been Ernst Geller, Eric Hobsbawm, and Benedict Anderson. Their theories vary in emphasis, yet they share a consensus that nationalism, imposed from above, created the nation and the emergence of nationalism was contingent on modernizing forces like centralized government, mass-media, standardized-education, and industrial-urbanism. Taking Ireland as its example, this essay contends that, nations and nationalism are pre-modern in origin, and many of the mechanisms for nationalist development which modernists associate strictly with modernization can be identified in premodernity.
By Tozara Ayomikun
You may not know it, but you’re living in one of the most unstable periods in recent history. The world has not seen this level of disturbance, chaos and uncertainty since the collapse of communism in 1989. The trajectory of the human future that seemed so certain to many of the world’s leading political theorists 30 years ago is now muddled up and confused. You and I may be living through a transformation in the world order, and it shouldn’t be any surprise if it doesn’t seem like it to many, because the people living through a revolution almost never realize it, and individuals experiencing a historic moment almost never notice its significance. It usually takes the hindsight of future generations, who, having a more comprehensive and an outside view of events, are able to fully appreciate the true extent of the process.
By Anthony Bavaria
If you subscribe, even remotely, to the great man theory of history, then you cede to the basic fact of a hierarchy amongst men.
Not all of humankind has equal potential; yes, trends and forces aid in elevating certain types of men that are ripe for the occasion, but this truism still speaks to the notion that we are different from each other. We’ve all seen the memes of a burly man that would have once been at the head of some crew of pagan marauders now relegated to a cubicle. Conversely, personalities that were probably once candidates to be eunuchs in the queen’s chambers are now running society. This leads to an understanding that not all men destined for greatness necessarily succeed. Many try and fail, and though their greatness may not have impacted history in a meaningful, long-term way, their cause and effort are no less worth celebrating. One such man was William Walker and his enterprise was filibustering.
Of all the grand historical narratives that have recently entered the political realm, the myth of medieval European “backwardness” and concurrent Islamic “progress” is perhaps the most egregious. The popular view of the Middle Ages holds that it was an era of immense suffering, religious fanaticism, oppression, and a time of cultural “backsliding”, in that European society lost the virtues and advancements of Greek and Roman civilization. At best this is a misconception, and at worst it is a lie upheld for political purposes.
Gladiators as Athletes
Gladiators have retained a unique place in our cultural consciousness, and indeed occupied a unique position in Roman society – they were at once warriors and slaves; entertainers and prisoners; celebrities and criminals.
However, our primary-source information on gladiators is quite slim, especially compared to the widespread popularity of the games. The Colosseum could hold 50,000 people at a time, and would regularly pack in that number of spectators. And yet, most of our information comes from a few artistic depictions and the scant archeological record.
This fact has led to vast speculation in “reconstructing” the gladiator lifestyle, training, diet, and physique. The film Gladiator (though quite accurate) played up their status as slaves, and gave most of the credit for prowess in combat to prior military training. Spartacus depicted them as lean and sexy, as an explanation for their popularity among Roman women. More recently, the documentary The Game Changers claimed them to be sinewy vegetarian athletes. On the opposing end, certain academics point to depictions of rotund fighters and make the claim that they were overweight, to better absorb slashes, and that they were therefore more so masochistic actors than warriors.
All of these views are in some way too simplistic – and some of them are blatantly wrong. This essay aims to reconstruct gladiator fitness and form, and challenge existing notions on the topic.
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