Ripple Effect: Between a state and a hard place

What is the United States? Well, 50 states and D.C. of course, but there are also 11 unincorporated unorganized territories, four unincorporated organized territories and one incorporated unorganized territory. Of these, five are inhabited. About four million American citizens inhabit these Pacific and Caribbean islands — conquered, claimed or bought by the U.S. as it ran out […]

Op-Ed: Transparency, Part 2: The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees has wide-ranging powers, from deciding the new buildings that will pop up on campus, to establishing new academic programs, to selecting our university’s president. Yet, we don’t know much about them and rarely hear directly from them. The student body’s only points of contact with the board are three undergraduate trustee […]

Peripheries: Read My Lips — New Taxes

An op-ed published in the Daily last week argued that support for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 percent marginal tax rate is a result of populist inclinations rather than rigorous academic reasoning. Referencing epistemology in its title, the article argued that there is no clear consensus supporting this policy, and that a field-wide expert agreement is required before […]

Red Star: Democracy at Tufts

We’re running up against the hard limits of student activism in the fights over affordable housing and tuition. The administration — despite not releasing revenue estimates or a university development plan, and without consulting students — routinely raises the cost of attendance by thousands of dollars. Such hikes are defended by claims that cost overruns […]

Red Star: The death of democracy

The United States is not a democracy. The Senate, the Electoral College, the courts, the unaccountable security state and the concentration of power in regulatory agencies staffed by the people they’re supposed to regulate means the political process and the state are resistant to popular pressure. This is only going to get worse. Voting didn’t stop it in 2008 […]

Red Star: Shatter realism

The right, so the thesis goes, lies and if we can show that they lie, then we can embarrass them. But this analysis and the prescription for infinite fact checks fail to grasp the purpose of a lie. Lies create narrative fantasy out of politics. For privileged voters, this fantasy plays out through symbols — flags, […]

Swiss ambassador Martin Dahinden discusses federalism, direct democracy and neutrality

The European Affairs Society of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy hosted Martin Dahinden, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States, for a lunch and discussion about Swiss foreign policy yesterday. The event was held at room 702 of the Cabot Intercultural Center, with approximately twenty people, mostly Fletcher students and faculty, in attendance. Professor […]

Red Star: Elect your boss

A measure of the health of a society is not the opulence of its rulers but the fairness of its social relations. America is terminally ill. I worked at a restaurant where one of the managers threatened us with a box cutter and used abuse and humiliation to force people to work longer hours at […]

Op-Ed: Elections are not optional

I write to express concern regarding the recent news that the Tufts Community (TCU) Elections Commission (ECOM) will be amending its bylaws to do away with formal elections for those running unopposed for their respective offices, as reported in “TCU Senate shares election updates, hears funding appeals” from the Feb. 5 edition of The Tufts Daily. […]

Looking In: Majority in dispute

Turkey held a referendum on a package of 18 proposed changes to its constitution on Sunday. These changes, taken together, will transform Turkey’s parliamentary system from one with the prime minister as the premier and a ceremonial presidency to a system with an executive presidency, empowered to dismiss parliament, pack courts and make other decisions detrimental to Turkey’s democracy. The […]