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So, you have a manuscript (or plan to write one) and you think it is going to be a bestseller. Or, you fear it will be a dud. Well, if my experience holds, you will be unable to tell. I did not get the prediction right for any of the 30 books I wrote, nor did the editors, nor the publishers.

In the early Sixties, I believe it was in 1962, I attended the annual national conference of my profession. Alex Inkeles, a major scholar, invited me to join a private dinner during the meeting. Around the table were 11…

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The fact that Zoom (and other such platforms) have been of great social and public service during the pandemic should not make one overlook their limitations and hence the need for still other platforms. I hence forged one, CivilDialogues.org, and I am comparing it to Zoom here next.

· Zoom needs to be scheduled and one has to join the discourse at the set time, whether it suits one’s other duties or not. One can join dialogues on CivilDialogues.org at any time.

· Zoom participants do not need to show their true face; they can hide behind a blank screen…

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Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

One result of the elections stands out as clear as any such finding can be: the conventional wisdom — that Trump was appealing merely to his base, and that unless he learned to reach out to others, he is toast — was wrong. About half of all Americans voted for him. The nation is more or less evenly divided. The challenge of bridging the social divides, to heal the society, and the challenge to from a stable majority, to allow for effective government, is much greater than was assumed before the election.

What can be done to begin to bridge…

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Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

There are some who hold that Trump and several of his associates should be charged with crimes. Investigations are already underway in New York state, where the authorities are examining Trump’s taxes. Others suggest charging Trump with obstruction of justice, based on the Mueller report. However, locking up leaders of the opposition, not to mention a former president, will drive the country to the edge of civil war. One may hold that no one is above the law, but the situation calls for a rather different kind of justice.

Instead President Biden should appoint a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These…

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“Eric’s calling from camp again.”

September 2020

OP-EDs

“Joe Biden’s Stakeholder Capitalism Is Not the Issue — Corruption Is”

“Consider capitalism as akin to nuclear energy. If it is well-contained in a strongly fortified capsule, it can benefit society by providing an abundance of low-cost energy (in the form of massive production of goods and services). However, if allowed to break out of its mooring, it can cause great harm (to workers, customers, the social order, and the environment).”

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed, as published in the National Interest on September 9, 2020.

“Why Doesn’t Joe Biden Have a Large Lead…

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A recounting of Amitai Etzioni’s experience with conflict and his dedicated mission towards peace.

Professor Etzioni’s aversion to violence was forged — his videographer shows — when he was a Jewish child subject to Nazi brutality in Germany. Later when he joined those who were seeking to drive the British colonial power out of Palestine, he refused to join the Irgun who used force and instead lined up with the Palmach who engaged in a “headlines war.”

He deeply regretted the casualties on both sides that resulted from the Israeli war of Independence, in which he did participate. …

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

We all carry a narrative about human nature in our minds. A major narrative, acquired from Judeo-Christian values, is that life is an unending moral struggle. We know what is right, however our flawed nature tempts us to misbehave. We try to lead a more moral life. Some of us excel more than others; none of us has a clean slate. In this lifelong moral wrestling match, we are influenced by our surroundings, especially the culture and its narratives. …

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

The recent Congressional hearings that put on the hot seat four CEOS of the top big tech corporations, reflected the mood of the public. In rare bipartisan agreement, members of Congress of both parties competed in terms who could take more pot shots, mainly aimed at the TV cameras rather than finding solutions to the problems that do afflict these corporations. Big tech is charged with violating individual rights, especially privacy ones; suppressing competition; harming small business; abusing their employees; not fostering enough diversity; and just plain being too powerful.

As I see it, the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Apple…

You all face several tough years, whether you are in school, college, or in the job market. The virus will persist. Vaccine will take years to be widely distributed; it will not be fully protective; and the virus, like others of its kind, will mutated, requiring new vaccines. The economic effects will linger for years. I tried to help each of you in one way or another, but this will far from enough to smooth to the road ahead of you. …

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

by Amitai Etzioni Ruth Etzioni

All said and done, we better realize that the virus will be with us for years to come and accept that the new normal, living with various safety measures as well as testing and contact tracing, will be with us even once a vaccination is widely available. Keep your mask close and friends — at a distance.

Sheltered-at-home, weary people, most of us, are told that life will return to normal once we have a vaccine that protects people from catching the coronavirus. Once so fortified, we shall again be able to join with thousands…

Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni is a University Professor and professor of international relations at the George Washington University.

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