Free and Worldly (The Baffler)
This is by Jacob Jordaens, a Flemish painter, and it is not even one of his most famous paintings. Here’s Jordaens’ wiki page. The Peace of Westphalia ended the 30 Years War. The Habsburgs weren’t necessarily the bad guys. The Peace of Westphalia didn’t establish state sovereignty in a system of equal (in theory) nation-states within an interstate order. The Peace of Westphalia solved a religious constitutional question within the Holy Roman Empire and ended the war between the Dutch and the Spanish. The Westphalian state system that we speak of and live in today is not appropriately named. Here’s the best article (pdf) I’ve read on the Peace.
If we were to appropriately name the interstate order that we have today, it would be named the Napoleonic interstate system. Alas. It’s called the Westphalian system. The US, and a couple of other big states like China and Russia, have trouble fitting in to the “Westphalian” state system because they established their own regional state systems long before being wrangled into European imperial entanglements. It goes without saying that polities in Africa, Asia, and the Americas also had trouble fitting into the “Westphalian” state system.
What if one of the regional orders established by the US, Russia, or China were embraced as the new global order, instead of the “Westphalian” (really Napoleonic) system based on nation-state sovereignty? I don’t think this would be a bad thing, and in their own way, the US, China, and Russia have been trying to do this since the end of World War II.
- The pre-Stalinist Soviet art scene Polina Godz, Jacobin
- Skeletons down by the lake Douglas Preston, New Yorker
- Company-states and the creation of the global international system Phillips & Sharman, EJIR
- Thoughts on alien life Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias
- Old Vienna’s cosmopolitanism, Nazi looting, and famous paintings in museums John Geddes, Maclean’s
- Behind the Iron Curtain: Soviet space art (gallery) Kadish Morris, Guardian
- The year I left the Soviet Union Alex Halberstadt, New Yorker
- Free speech, libel, and privacy rights Mark Hemmingway, RealClearPolitics
- 8 out of 10 Texans already live in cities and metropolitan areas Steven Pedigo, Dallas Morning News
- Central Saharan rock art Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, Inference
- Indigenous Japanese tattoo cultures are making a comeback Alex Martin, Japan Times
- 3 personality traits in the US, mapped Olga Khazan, Atlantic
- Humanity just had the best decade ever Matt Ridley, Spectator
This is from Gustav Klimt, my favorite artist of all time. Click here to zoom. I just started getting in to his “nature” stuff. He and Egon Schiele made cool landscapes. Have a good rest of the day!
From my main man Gustav Klimt.