A diverting move

If you, like me, are looking for something completely different, you may want to check out Bill Kristol’s just-released conversation with former world chess champion and human rights activist Garry Kasaparov (video below). In the conversation Kasparov reflects on his upbringing in the old Soviet Union and his journey from questioning whether Communism could be reformed to his ultimate conviction that the Soviet Union had to go. Kasparov recalls his epic series of chess matches against Anatoly Karpov and considers the importance of chess to the politics of the Soviet Union. Finally, Kasparov and Kristol discuss the decline and fall of the U.S.S.R. The conversation runs some 80 minutes; it is broken into four chapters here. It should be noted that Kasparov is the author of the new book Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.

Quotable quote: “The West won the Cold War. It was not inevitable. It was a combination of technology, the advantages of the free market over the planning economy. It was freedom and human rights versus concentration camps and gulags of the unfree world. But it was also political will. [During the Cold War there was] understanding from both right and left in this country and in Europe that the free world had an existential enemy. It’s very important to recover the spirit that we are defending the free world. Though the nature of the enemy has changed, the ideas and values that helped us to prevail in this fight they have not.”