That Europe is prisoner of myopia and the low caliber of its ruling class is a poorly kept secret. But who could have foreseen that Greece’s sovereign debt crisis would be handled so abominably? A problem that could have been nipped in the bud with a relatively modest financial outlay – postponing the applying of newer, stricter administrative rules to a later date – was instead transformed into a Moloch capable of eating Europe alive. Meanwhile, all the actors in the drama put on a play worthy of theater of the absurd, with reach character dutifully reciting a script directed at their individual electorates, playing the role of the virtuous or the pragmatic, the hardcore or the flexible, the keeper of the rules or the innovator. Given the globalized state of the planet and that the hierarchy of states and continents will be determined by increasingly ferocious competition, we can only say: “Poor Europe!”
Our summer Dossier focuses on the Balkans following the capture of Ratko Mladic. But the arrest of the Butcher of Srebrenica only accelerated the inevitable, namely a detailed look at the state of the Balkans. The Dossier has reports by Jurica Pavicic, Raffaella Patimo, Cecilia Ferrara, Marjola Rukaj, Marina Gersony and Matteo Tacconi. Our cover story is devoted to one of the most painful issues of our time: the use of child soldiers. The lead report is by Claudia Astarita and addresses the situation in Myanmar. But the problem is international, stretching from Africa to South America. This issue also contains a rich and plentiful array of special reports. Worth special mention is an overview of drug and weapons trafficking in the Far East put together by Emanuele Confortin and Francesca Donini. Meanwhile, Amedeo Ricucci takes a look at day-to-day life in besieged Tripoli; Lijia Zhang examines Mao-era song; and Danilo Elia travels to far northern territories shared by Russia and Norway. On the cultural side, Massimo Libardi probes the effect Freud had on Vienna.
MAO’S SHADOW – “The Little Red Book” of quotations from Communist China’s founding father Chairman Mao Zedong was a must-have in China in the days when Red Guards roamed the streets looking for any signs of ideological wavering.
Mikhail Bulgakov serial novel “The White Guard” provides one of the best portraits of Kiev in the stormy years before and after the Russian Revolution. The protagonist, clearly the writer’s alter ego, watches as his way of life comes crumbling down around his.