The theory of totalitarianism, even in these looser applications, falls short of explaining the range and depth of resistance, noncompliance and apathy towards the demands of the state. The USSR was regulated to an exceptional degree in some ways while it managed to elude central political control in others. Behind the façade of party congresses and Red Square parades there was greater disobedience to official authority than in most liberal-democratic countries even though the Soviet leadership could wield a panoply of dictatorial instruments. Informal and mainly illegal practices pervaded existence in the USSR.

The unofficial, unplanned and illicit features of existence in the Soviet Union were not ‚lapses‘ or ‚aberrations‘ from the essence of totalitarianist state and society: they were integral elements of totalitarianism. The conventional definition of totalitarianism is focused exclusively on the effective and ruthless imposition of the Kremlin’s commands; this is counterposed to the operation of liberal democracies. What is missing is an awareness that such democracies are by and large characterized by popular consent, obedience and order. It was not the same in the USSR, where every individual or group below the level of the central political leadership engaged in behaviour inimical to officially approved purposes. The result was a high degree of disorder from the viewpoint of the authorities – and it was much higher than in the countries of advanced capitalism.

—Robert Service, The Penguin History of Modern Russia, (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 2020), xxxii-xxxiii.

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I, like Erdoğan, am especially interested in how the marine corridor may work

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Kit Klarenberg

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The Voice of America

:

Biden Meets Italy’s Meloni, Announces Gaza Airdrop

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, March 1, 2024.

Biden announces the Gaza airdrop while meeting an Italian leader who Italians (in my personal experience a student at the Freie Universität and a coworker) say is called in Italy, very literally, a fascist.

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Sometimes I read the news and I feel like a kid again.

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Do I respect the Prime Minister? 🤔

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Robert Moore, itv:

There is now talk of the US starting air drops of food and medicines early next week.

But to many humanitarian relief experts that will seem absurd. Air drops are a method of last resort to reach inaccessible populations in remote areas. Gaza is surrounded by US allies, with a major Israeli port just to the north.

Wouldn’t air drops be a symbol of American weakness, showing it has no leverage over the very country it funds and arms?

Air drops would also lead to a bizarre spectacle in the skies over Gaza. US-built war planes, operated by the Israeli Air Force, would be dropping US-made bombs and missiles, while at the same time US cargo planes will be dropping food for the victims of those bombs.

That would neatly sum up the contradictions of current American foreign policy.

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Deep indignation

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Daniela Klette

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Eisenach


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The President of the United States hopes

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