Letter from Paris
The French presidential elections brought what many were dreading, a standoff between what has long been called the authoritarian liberalism of Emmanuel Macron and the avowed fascism of Marine Le Pen.
It can happen that the way things go in this big impossible world can be grasped more easily in miniature: for example, in a little country, a little society where the flaws of capitalism are clearly exposed.
The preeminent historian of the American environment, Leo Marx, died on March 9, 2022, with sadly little fanfare. Marx was the famed investigator of the American theory of the pastoral whose writings stand among those of other historical theoreticians like Frederick Jackson Turner and Richard Hofstadter.
Just over a century ago, imprisoned amidst inter-imperialist war, the Polish Marxist Rosa Luxemburg declared that bourgeois society stood at the crossroads of socialism or barbarism. Exhausted by the bloodshed, the working masses of Europe faced this dilemma. Given that socialism did not come to pass, however, it follows that barbarism has reigned ever since.