Dissent magazine is an intellectually honorable and politically honest magazine that goes back to the fifties when it was founded by literary critic Irving Howe and sociologist Lewis Coser, both of whom I met when I was an undergraduate at Brandeis. (Someday I should write about Brandeis, a tempered hot-house of ideas. But not now.) It was a socialist magazine then, and it is still a magazine of the democratic left, of the morally scrupulous democratic left. It is now edited by one of my oldest friends, Institute for Advanced Studies professor Michael Walzer, also contributing editor and frequent contributor here at TNR (here, here, and here, for instance), and Mitchell Cohen. By the way, I am proud to be and to have been for forty years a contributing editor and a contributor to Dissent, although it publishes a few writers I wouldn't touch and doesn't publish others whom I'm proud to have in our pages.
It is a Dissent mark of distinction that its editors know the historical preludes to political calamities. And on its website (Aug. 16, 2008) it has published a commentary on the first Russian (that is, Soviet) intervention against a Democratic Socialist and independent Georgia. Titled "Georgia: 1921," it was written by the Prague-born socialist leader Karl Kuatsky. He was not fooled by the Leninist excuse that his army's intervention was provoked by Georgian persecution against other minorities, the same lie as used today by Putin's armies. A fascinating continuing history from nearly ninety years ago.
On August 15, Dissent also put on its website a piece, "Georgia on My Mind," evocative of Paul Berman's dazzling essay here last week, one that has commanded much comment including from the political campaigners who surely won't react publicly, though not quite congruent with it.