Who Do We Hold Accountable?
The no-fly zone argument, expat Russians in New York City, white nationalists in New Zealand, and more
April 14, 2022
In this week’s issue of Public Seminar, our authors discuss Russian and Ukrainian civilian perspectives, how global discontent takes root in local politics, books by Lisa Hsiao Chen and Rainesford Stauffer, and more . . .
President Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked NATO to institute a no-fly zone over Ukraine. There are good reasons to heed his call, Jan Gross argues. “How could we have any confidence that we will defend ourselves—that the territory of NATO countries will be defended against a Russian attack—if Putin, as he is certain to do, would raise the threat of nuclear retaliation in case we put up resistance?” (April 13, 2022)
“Imagine telling a Jew during WWII that ‘yes, Germany should be condemned for murdering Jews BUT there are also good Germans.’ This is how I feel as a Ukrainian today, every time someone sympathizes with me, but also claims ‘there are good Russians out there.’” Mariia Shynkarenko insists on collective responsibility for the invasion of Ukraine. (April 11, 2022)
Anastasia Shteinert interviews expat Ukrainians and Russians living in New York City about how war—even at a distance—has changed their lives. “I wished to participate in the Dublin Piano Competition and I passed the qualifying round,” said one young music student. “In the beginning of March, I received a letter announcing that the competition would ban all Russians from participating.” This, he thought, was unfair: “Many Russians who live abroad don’t support this war.” (The competition has since reconsidered its policy.) (April 13, 2022)
“Upon developing COVID-19-like illness, some protestors donned tinfoil hats to protect against symptoms they attributed to radiation weapons. Police pulled a naked protestor by her hair before arresting her. Shocking many, occupiers tactically used children in their protest, including as ‘shields’ from police.” Lydia Nobbs examines just how “imported” the riot on New Zealand’s front lawn really was. (April 11, 2022)
As Tax Day 2022 approaches, Pat Garofalo explains why it matters that the Federal Trade Commission has sued the makers of Turbotax, the ubiquitous tax filing software that is definitely not “free, free, free, free.” (April 8, 2022)
Are you enjoying our newsletter? Why not pass it on to a friend?
“We talk about failure to achieve adult milestones without talking about who those milestones were built for, or fear of failure, without realizing that the stakes of failure are not equal.” Author Rainesford Stauffer chats with Public Seminar’s Shivani Somaiya about the myths of young adulthood and living your #BestLife. (April 12, 2022)
Read an excerpt from Rainesford Stauffer’s 2021 book, An Ordinary Age: Finding Your Way in a World That Expects Exceptional, published by Harper Perennial. (April 12, 2022)
“These days, when thinking about the function of art and how it serves me, or how I want it to serve others, I keep coming back to this quote from the performance artist Pope.L: ‘I think the real question is not can art change the world, but can art be changed by the world?’” Author Lisa Hsiao Chen joins Public Seminar’s Shweta Nandakumar for a conversation about the practices that sustain us. (April 13, 2022)