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Decadence means `falling away' from previously accepted norms and standards. But if the falling away takes place only in some areas, while there are new, creative developments in others, can we blanket the whole epoch as decadent?
On 14 August 1990 the Otis Bantum Correctional Center (OBCC) on Rikers Island, New York City, erupted in violence. Inmates turned on officers and on each other with handmade weapons. Correctional officers then blockaded the island's only access bridge for 36 hours to protest the administration's failure to hear their concerns.
Western society undergoing an age-explosion.
Never have more people been murdered than under such `great' leaders as Stalin, Hitler and Mao. Never, perhaps, have more people been led into wars not of their choosing than by lesser leaders like Lyndon B Johnson and Saddam Hussein.
Professor Eduard Kellenberger witnessed one of the great scientific breakthroughs of the century. He talks to Alan Channer about genes, ethics and society.
On 1st August 1291, a handful of farmers from the mountain cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwald met in the meadow of Rutli and swore to stand by each other. 700 years on, Switzerland's 26 cantons and half-cantons and four national languages represent a unique experiment in democracy. Andrew Stallybrass - English- born, married to a Swiss and living in Geneva - takes an affectionate look at his adopted country.
Their real crisis is a moral crisis, and a crisis of faith. It is far harder to tackle, for it is a crisis of self-confidence, which includes the confidence to admit things we got wrong.
Western media images of Muslims as threatening only help to further reinforce Islamic rejection of the West.
The fighting in Central America has dragged on for decades. In May 1989 we published a profile of Guatemalan activist Eliezer Cifuentes, who only just escaped a hail of bullets and was forced into exile in Costa Rica. There he struggled with `the tigers of hatred in my heart for the military, whom I blamed for the attempt on my life, and for the US which I felt was backing them'.
What made the grandson of Stalin’s foreign minister take on the power of the Kremlin? Bryan Hamlin and Michael Brown describe the education and struggle of a dissident with an unlikely pedigree.