politics

William Morris – Decorative Artist and Socialist Activist

William Morris – Decorative Artist and Socialist Activist

On March 24, 1834, British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris was born. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role proliferating the early socialist movement in Britain. “If you want a golden rule that…
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Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots

On February 18, (or February 8 according to the old Julian calendar), 1587,  Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed after having found guilty of plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. In the Western world, we all might have heard about the rivalry of Queen Elizabeth I [5] and Mary, Queen of Scots. I have learned about the story back at high school in my German lessons, when we were reading Friedrich Schillers ‘Maria…
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The Political Thought of Heinrich von Treitschke

The Political Thought of Heinrich von Treitschke

On September 15, 1834, German historian and political writer Heinrich von Treitschke was born. He was one of the best known and most widely read historians and political journalists in Germany at his time. Von Treitschke was an outspoken nationalist, who favored German colonialism and opposed the British Empire. He also opposed Catholics, Poles and socialists inside Germany. “Martial force is the basis of all political virtues; in the rich treasure of…
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Heinrich Heine – Famous Poetry with Radical Political Views

Heinrich Heine – Famous Poetry with Radical Political Views

On December 12, 1797, Heinrich Heine, one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century was born. Besides, he was also a renowned journalist, essayist, and literary critic. But, he is best known for his wonderful lyric poetry, while his radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. “Out of my own great woe I make my little songs.” — Heinrich Heine, Aus Meinen…
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The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

On November 30, 1667, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric Jonathan Swift was born. He is probably best remembered for his satire “Gulliver’s Travels” and is regarded as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, who originally published all of his works under pseudonyms. “Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” — Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, preface…
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H. G. Wells and the Shape of Things to Come

H. G. Wells and the Shape of Things to Come

For sure you have seen the classic movie ‘The Time Machine‘, where the Victorian epoch time traveller went to a future far, far away into the world, where the old struggle of good against evil continued. Then, you also might have heard about the story, where aliens from Mars started war against Earth, but finally are going to die because of Earth’s microbes. Or maybe also the story, when famous actor and…
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Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

Wicked Lord Byron’s Wonderful Poetry

On January 22, 1788, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6. Baron Byron of Rochdale, commonly known simply as Lord Byron, English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement was born. I remember to have learned about Lord Byron back at school with his lengthy narrative poems like Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage or the shorter and much more beautiful poem “She Walks in Beauty“. Anyway, Byron is considered one of the greatest British…
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George Orwell’s Opposition to Totalitarism

George Orwell’s Opposition to Totalitarism

On January 21, 1950, British novelist and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, better known under his pen name George Orwell, passed away. The author of the famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and his works are well known for the awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism. “We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a patriot has to be…
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Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

Montesquieu and the Separation of Powers

On January 18, 1698, French philosopher and political thinker Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally only referred to as Montesquieu, was baptized. He is best known for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is taken for granted in modern discussions of government and implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. “If I knew of something that could serve my nation but would ruin…
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J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

Title page with Émile Zola’s famous public letter ‘J’accuse…!’ On January 13, 1898, French novellist Émile Zola published an open letter in the newspaper L’Aurore entitled “J’accuse” (“I accuse”, or, in context, “I accuse you”). In the letter, Zola addressed the President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. The Suspicious Bordereau…
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