Tag Archives: Paris

Living in an Age of Extremity

We used to live in uninteresting times, as much as that can ever be said.

Things did not seem to happen. And if they did happen, they happened to other people. The rest of life and the business of living passed easily, dreamily, and the world was always at arm’s length. Continue reading

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Were the Post-War Peace Treaties of 1919-1922 Vicious and Short-Sighted?

The peace treaties signed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference were certainly short-sighted, but they were not vicious, for while they did reduce nations such as Germany and Austria to dire economic situations, and fostered political climates which were counter to the interests of peace, they did so without the desire to cripple these countries; on the contrary, as evidenced by Lloyd George’s Fontainebleau memorandum, the victors wanted their former enemies to thrive and to serve as future trading partners. In matters economic, territorial and in the manner of the treaties themselves, too, the treaties were short-sighted but not vicious. The 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, however, was both vicious and short-sighted, compelling as it did the rebellion of Ataturk and the national crises which struck Turkey in the aftermath of its signing. But this itself serves to demonstrate how the Paris peace treaties were not vicious, for they did not resemble Sèvres in severity. Continue reading

There Can Be No Masochism in the Face of Terror

This essay was originally written in response to the terrorist attacks of February 2015 in Copenhagen. The subject is depressingly evergreen.

Reality as we know it is becoming repetitious. There has been another terrorist attack in a European capital. Once again an artist has been targeted. Once again an entire people have been attacked. The horror that invaded the pleaceful streets of Copenhagen last week came a mere month after the massacre of cartoonists and writers and shoppers in the office of a newspaper and a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Continue reading