Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Italy

Why Italy is in Trouble

Italy finally has a coalition government–consisting largely of Lega Nord and the Five Star Movement, two Euroskeptic populist parties. The new coalition was elected to take Italy in a new direction, but this will prove difficult to do. Italy is a great example of what’s gone wrong in Europe. Let me tell you its story…

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3 Brexit Futures: Stories from Next Year

In Spring 2019, the UK is meant to leave the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May soldiers on, but many think she can’t get the job done. Former Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair gave ruthless speeches again May, and EU’s lead Brexit negotiator accused May of being “vague” and “not credible”. Major–a member of May’s own party–was especially vicious:

It all has me thinking about what comes next. How might these Brexit negotiations conclude? Three possibilities stick out to me.

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The Thing Scaramucci Gets Right

From time to time, we get famous speakers at Cambridge. Yesterday brought us Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci–President Trump’s briefly tenured communications director. The Mooch had some low points. When asked about climate change, Scaramucci claimed that the phenomenon is 60% human caused, but 40% caused by “natural cycles” which affect “the earth’s position relative to the sun.” This drew audible laughter from the audience. I learned in middle school about the Milankovitch cycles–the problem for the Mooch is that they take tens of thousands of years and move much too slowly to account in any significant way for changes in the climate that occur over just a couple hundred years. But while the man has his flaws, he did make one point that bears repeating–for some reason, it’s still okay in American politics to pick on Italian-Americans.

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The Right Nationalist World Tour’s Next Stops: Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin

Right nationalism seems to be having its moment in the sun. The right nationalists believe that the inequality and economic stagnation we see today across many rich democracies is caused by immigrants, minorities, and foreign states which take jobs, drain welfare states and public services, and push through expropriative trade deals. They want to put a stop to free trade and free movement in a bid to recreate the strong, ethnically and culturally homogeneous nation states that prevailed in the 1950s. They won a stunning victory in Britain’s EU referendum, and have now followed this up with a come-from-behind surprise win in the US presidential election. But there are many right nationalist movements scattered throughout the rich countries, and many of them will have a chance to gain power and influence in upcoming elections. Here are four biggest opportunities for right nationalists to upset the liberal world order in the next year.

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Should States Hire Mercenaries?

I was recently asked by a friend for an opinion on the use of private military contractors. After ruminating on the subject off and on for a couple days, I recalled an interesting chain of thoughts I once had on the subject, which I intend to reconstruct today in this piece.

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