From the Left



ChatGPT: Perhaps My Lifetime's Most Consequential -- And Not for the Better -- Technological Innovation, Part I

First it was accountants (TurboTax), then travel agents (Expedia), then translators (Google Translate), now, us writers (ChatGPT), which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a creation of OpenAI launched in November 2022.

I concluded my March 13, 2021, column on the subject of Google Translate pondering: "Will I someday receive a...Read more

A Column of the 'Not So Urgent' Sort: Shifts in Political Economy Terminology, Part II

The term "Third World" discussed in Part I of this column overlaps with, but is not synonymous with other economic and geopolitical terminologies applied to specific nations and regions including W.W. Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth model: "traditional" or "pre-modern" (as opposed to "modern"); "underdeveloped" (as opposed to "developed"), ...Read more

A Column of the 'Not So Urgent' Sort: Shifts in Political Economy Terminology, Part I

I am often asked how I come up with topics for my columns, one every week. It wasn't easy at first, I respond, but once you have been doing it for a while, ideas begin to flow naturally. It helps that we live in such convulsed, rapidly changing times.

I write two types of columns: the first are "off the headlines" (i.e., three I wrote last year...Read more

Writing About a World That Is Turning Upside-Down (2019-2022): Columns, Books and Perpetual Deadlines

After writing seven history books, tired of almost three decades of manuscript deadlines hanging over my head, in 2019, I felt an urgency to repurpose my pen to write regular opinion columns on a wide range of contemporary national and global topics.

When I joined Creators Syndicate as an opinion columnist, I traded long-term deadlines for ...Read more

The Global Authoritarian Wave, Democratic Countercurrents and Dangerous Crosscurrents

When it comes to the preservation of democracy, I can sound like a broken record. Democracy is very fragile; it must be protected, I tell my students and anyone willing to listen.

The erosion of democracy and the urgency of protecting it are, in fact, recurring topics in my weekly columns, a collection of which will be published later this ...Read more

This Is What Passes for Elections in Cuba

On Sunday Nov. 27, 5.7 million Cuban citizens exercised their constitutional right to vote, but a substantial percentage (31.5) of registered voters decided to stay home that day. This was in sharp contrast with previous elections' voter participation rates, which have historically hovered above 90%. In the recent past, however, we have seen a ...Read more

From Barter Trade in Ancient Mesopotamia to 21st Century 'Capitalism of Nothingness,' Part I

One day sometime between 2063 and 2060 B.C., in the extinct Sumerian town of Drehem, in the outskirts of the also extinct city of Nippur (in present day Iraq), a public scribe recorded the disbursement of 574 cow hides. In exchange for what? The cuneiform tablet does not say, but it could have been silver, textiles, pottery or any number of ...Read more

60th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis Finds Communist Island in Deepest Crisis Ever, Part IV


There is no evidence that French Queen Marie Antoinette ever said, "Let them eat cake." And according to most sources, the original misattributed phrase mentions brioche instead of cake. But who's counting calories; be it cake or brioche (or cassava bread as in Cuba), the phrase has survived as an idiom for a ...Read more



David Horsey Jack Ohman A.F. Branco Joel Pett Chris Britt Darrin Bell