Current Events

Mark Albertson

37 Russell Street,

Norwalk, Ct. 06855


Course description:  This four-week sojourn into current events will make four ports-of-call:  The seeming dilemma of the Iranian nuclear program; Populism and its political implications; Immigration as a scourge to those unfortunate enough to be caught up in same; and, China, under the leadership of Xi Jinping.  All are certainly topical; and therefore, have an unmistakable effect in the turbulent world in which we live.

Week 1:  Atoms for Peace

1953, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his Atoms for peace speech.  Any nation seeking to pursue the peaceful attributes of Atomic Energy had a friend in the United States.  One such friend was Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi in Iran.  This session will trace Iran’s pursuit of atomic energy, beginning with the Shah, supported by the United States; establishing a background to the present issue of Iran and the present regime in the White House.

Week 2:  Populism

Political approach and rhetoric designed to influence or inflame a majority (example:  moral majority, which in reality was a minority).  Appeal is generally to those who believe—either rightly or wrongly—that they are among those who have been ostracized from the political establishment.  Practitioners of Populism such as Hughie Long, Donald Trump, Hugo Chavez, Victor Orban will be discussed.

Week 3:  Immigration

The world has not seen as many people on the move since World War II; fleeing war, climate change, political oppression, economic disaster. . .   From Afghanistan, Syria, Africa, Burma, Central America. . .   This tragedy will be explored.

Week 4:  China’s New Revolution

October 2017, 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress, Xi Jinping addressed the party elites for three-and-a-half hours.  Since assuming the position of General Secretary of the Party in 2012, he has moved China forward:  His anti-corruption campaign, which saw 150,000 disciplined in 2012, amounted to 400,000 in 2016; air quality in many Chinese towns and cities has improved; the massive infrastructure program along the Silk Road continues. . .   But Xi has returned to a Mao-like approach as leader, centralizing power in lieu of the collective leadership which ran China for some three decades.  Where will this lead?  Does Xi provide a model in an era where Draconian Capitalism seems to be gaining prominence?  (Recall the remark by the current occupant of the Oval Office, “Maybe we should try that here?)

Course dates are as follows:  Tuesdays, July 10, 17, 24 & 31.  3:10-4:50 PM. - Norwalk community college